Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Creativity in All of Us

I watched this excellent documentary on Outsider Art and was really moved by it. It raised many questions about the art market, the role of artists and also how we see those who are differently-abled. There was also discussion of the fact that we are all creative and artistic, as children we were all artists, but then something happened along the way. For me it was having teachers frequently tell me I wasn't any good. Now, I hope, I am reclaiming my right to  be creative.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Freedom in the Sketchbook

I want to express the liberation I have found in using a sketchbook. It has unlocked the fear of making a mark. Our teacher has recommended using poster paper and for beginners like me, it is a useful option: cheap and big.

However storage is a problem due to the size, and because it is so big I feel pressure for each one to be a finished piece. I look at some of the works or exercises I did on poster paper and they seem over-sized and clumsy.

A sketchbook on the other hand is unassuming and intimate and by its nature, suggests exercise or study, which for me makes experiment easy.

Monday, 23 June 2014


It's interesting how much of learning about art is learning how to be aware. Awareness of light, color, form etc. and our reactions to them is a constant theme and is a seductive aspect of the process. The pictures above are from a class on texture. It works for me as record of techniques I practiced, some of which I would love to explore further. When I first did this, the brown was off-putting but after a couple of weeks, I look at it now and find the results quite pleasing.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

To be Discontent

 My sisters says that our family has the tendency to to 'look towards the horizon'. Meaning that we have a habit of always looking for the next thing. Despite having so much to be grateful for, I still look for things to work towards. I think it's this part of my nature that led me to art classes, and yet I still wonder why exactly I chose that collage class and at that point in my life.

Tuesday was the beginning of a new class and at the start our teacher (Ursula this time) told us that the Universe had told her to paint. I envy this assuredness, I'm not sure I have ever had it. At the moment two paths diverge and I don't think I would recognize any message from the universe. My habit is to choose the sensible path, but art has taught me to be discontent for this leads to work and to be defiant because if I had not been, I would never have produced anything. This is a new disposition that I am still learning to live within.

I am beginning to look forward to the not knowing aspect of drawing, painting etc. Much of what I do in life forces me to plan and predetermine so that when I get to doing it, it already seems old and drab.

I look at this work above and the energy bursting from it and its inconceivable to me that only a few hours earlier it didn't exist. The fact that I created it and had no idea a few hours earlier that this would be the result is amazing to me too.

Friday, 6 June 2014

This is Not the Drawing You Are Looking For

This picture looks nothing like the subject from which it was drawn. I like it though, it's curious looking. The activity of drawing and painting still life etc. I don't believe will ultimately be where my pursuits end up, I still enjoy it and see it as necessary work. It also has the capacity to surprise me and I like that very much. 

What do Artists do All Day?

I have spent most of my life making assumptions about those who create, I thought them different to the rest of us. I thought of them as full of that mystical thing 'talent' that seems so cruelly and randomly bestowed, we mere mortals look to artists because they see what we do not and do things we cannot. The more I am involved in creating the more I see that this is a myth. Artists, the accomplished ones, are tireless in their pursuits. I think that over the years their sense of sight and observation have developed so that they do notice the unusual or beauty in things usually taken for granted, however it is something we can all learn to do.

The BBC series 'What Do Artists Do All Day?' does a superlative job of showing the process of art making without seeming high-minded. These artists are not distant beings but present humans full of doubt and conflict and also desire, hard graft and humor. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A Day at the Pool in Pencil and Marker

At no point are we more alike as a species than at the pool, lounging prides reading our light paperbacks and magazines, strutting consciously sucking in our tummies, our postures consequently suggesting we've pooped ourselves.

In doing a rough sketch I noticed how regimented everything is. Every umbrella identical, stark lights in the parking lot. The tile of the pool an oppressive, flat and rigid pattern.  My subsequent picture does not illustrate these things very well, but no day is wasted when drawing or art-making is allowed to happen.