Friday, 28 January 2011

Significant words

light,  mirror, reflections, shadows, water, beauty, death, recognition, cosmos, fire, absorbed, transcendence,
fear, birth, violence, condensed, dream, life, eye, scream, water, beginning, cycle, ending, transition, pain, joy, vision, emergence, darkness, space, void, submerge, oblivion, memories, vision, reception, projection, unconscious, landscape, dissolution, inside/outside, meditation, body, mind, energy, unseen, unknown, spirit, intensity, elevation, shift, stillness, another world, beyond, the edge, imagination, subjective, nature, tears, freedom, mind, sacred, within, intuition, awareness, the 'other', the 'seperate reality', veil, faith, time, elemental, insight, flame, deeply, vulnerability, sensitvity, essence, emotive, experience, sensation.

To be continued...........

Friday, 21 January 2011

Going backwards in order to move forward

 I have lost my way a bit as far as my painting is concerned, mainly because my mind is crowded out with too much other 'stuff' and I just don't seem to be able to focus. So rather than do nothing except stress about things, I have decided to get on with making some small studies,  working with any image that takes my fancy without having to think too much about the concept behind it. I think that eventually something will present itself to me which I can then take forward  and turn into something more substantial. There is also a possibility that these studies
could be grouped together to create a 'whole', an installation?

I am interested in collecting together seemingly disparate images, which when juxtaposed with each, other open up a dialogue about our relationship with the world in which we live and our inner most thoughts and feelings.

Another thing on my agenda is to get going on some printing for the exhibition PRINT which is taking place at the Exchange gallery in Penzance, as well as other venues, in April. When I get stuck with my painting I have found in the past that this is another way of making work that explores a different language and somehow gives a new perspective to an image.

Following the success of getting one of my photos into a London competition I also want to go back over my archive of images and earmark any that I feel I might be able to use for future exhibitions. Instead of regarding them purely as source material I will look at them from a different angle and decide if they are strong enough conceptually to stand on their own. The only drawback to this is that they are expensive to print and present well so I will need to be focused about what to put forward.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Digital processing nightmare

Have just spent 7 hours in front of computer trying to process photographic images to send to an online print company..............very stressed out.............but finally they have been sent. I am just waiting for the phone call tomorrow to tell me what a mess I have made of them and they will not be able to print them off in time for the 29th which is when they are due to be delivered to the gallery.
Time for a much needed glass of wine I think!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Accepted for Salon Photo Prize

Have recieved a job offer, so subject to references should be in part-time work from beginning of February which will certainly help balance the books and able me to continue with my artistic practice. I think it will be a question of trying to balance the two so that niether are being compromised but will rub along beside each other.

I have heard back from Matt Roberts Salon Photo Prize that my work has been accepted, which I have to say, was a bit of a surprise..........brilliant news though! As a painter I have realised just how out of my depth I am as far as printing and presenting the work for exhibition, trying to get the right finish ( A2/A1 Lambda Prints mounted on aluminium/Dibond) produced here in Cornwall has been a bit of challenge and has meant a lot of time researching various companies and what they can offer. I can of course have the work done in London but the printers I have looked at have just been so expensive. I need to get the balance right between the quality of the image and the properties of the support, so that is it affordable but doesn't have a detrimental effect on the photograph itself.

Plans for painting in the studio had to be put on hold on Thurs/Fri due to a  job meeting, and the time spent on the computer researching. I am having a day off today as my mind is just so full of 'stuff' and wont settle but I hope to be back painting in the studio tomorrow.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Emerging new work

Collage Image produced on photo shop by layering, cutting and pasting photos onto a previously painted background, to give me a starting point for a new painting and also maybe a print; modifying it to suit the media.
Thoughts associated with image:
Window - darkness beyond - void?- black hole?-grid framing reference to bars/fence stopping entry.
Figure- flying - falling- framed by paper cut out which questions the 'reality' of the image- arms outstretched as in crucifix or alternatively an embrace (of what?)
Landscape or interior? - ambiguous - it isn't clear weather she is outside looking in or inside looking out.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


 I have been trying out some ideas for figure studies - laying in background washes  to cover and leaving to dry before pulling out the figure by gently removing the paint with a brush, then finishing with more paint.
 I will continue with this to produce further figures until I work out how far to take them in order of finish.
I am still waiting to hear about the photograhic images I put forward for a competition and I am getting quite impatient and worried that I will not have enough time to print and mount them in time for the exhibition.
No luck as yet on the job front either. Things seem to be really quiet at the moment, I don't think people have got back into things yet after Christmas and the new year. I have also put myself forward to take a workshop, which might help with finances, but again haven't heard as yet. It is definitely one big waiting game at the moment.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Back to reality

Have finished organising/cleaning studio, as much as I can do anyway. I am going to have to sweet talk my other half into building me a much needed racking system so that I can organise my work more efficiently and it doesn't keep spreading out into my working space.
I actually got my paints out this morning.........Hurray! And just started playing about with thin washes of oil paint on trial supports building up the layers to give depth to the surfaces and give me a base to do some experimental studies. I intend to apply more subtle layers to slowly bring in more defined forms but also to wipe away areas to create highlights and then gradually work up points of interst with thicker, more opaque paint. I will post images as they progress.
Back to reality this afternoon, in which I have spent the best part of it writing out a CV which is geared towards applying for a part-time job. It is difficult to know how transferable any of my creative skills will prove to be in the job sector.........I am feeling really doubtful about my prospects, but hopefully something will turn up.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Anxiety sets in.

After so long out of the studio due to the staging of the exhibition 'Silent Signals' which took place just before Christmas, followed swiftly by Christmas and New Year, I am starting to feel the anxiety start to rise. I need to get back to my painting as soon as possible so that the feelings of self doubt don't start to overwhelm me and stop me from being creative. Whilst I am working I am 'in the moment', totally involved with what I am doing and as a result the doubts have no room in my conscious to surface and develop.
In preparation and as a way of getting into the right mindset I will be cleaning up and tidying my studio this afternoon which, as a result of some frenetic activity that led up to exhibition, is in a bit of a state at the moment. Then tomorrow I will start bringing together some images that I will use as a starting point for future work, so that I am ready to make a good start on some new painting after the weekend.
This week I have been researching competitions that are coming up in the next couple of months and the deadlines for these will act as my motivation.   

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Transition and transformation

More notes on Bill Viola.

'What is inside is also outside: we are the cosmos.

Beauty and violence are used together as a way to access our inner knowledge buried deep within - death as transition.
'I do not know what it is I am like?'
Somewhere between 'nature morte' and 'tableau vivante'. What is dead? What is alive?
As in a dream.

Beauty - as in my virant colour palette and delicacy in handling of some subjects.
Violence - with the depiction of masked/bound figures and dead birds, for example, taking the lead in a dramatic narrative.

'I want to go to a place that seems like it's at the end of the world..................Where all becomes strange and unfamiliar...........It is a harsh place. It is difficult to reach.........It is the edge.' 

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Experimenting with Photographic collage

Went to job interview this morning, didn't go too badly, and I'll know by the end of the week wether or not I've got it. Hours may be a bit of a problem as it requires me working evenings and weekends and it is yet to be confirmed how many. I'll just have to wait and see.

This afternoon I have made a start on sorting through my photos, putting any I think may have potential into a seperate folder so that I can work on them at a later date. They all really need filing which is not something I look forward to tackling at the moment.
I have been experimenting with using photoshop to layer and collage different images together, this is because photography is very much a part of my practice and I wanted to make them work as pieces of art in their own right. I am also aware that this is a growing trend and to this aim, I have sent some 'straight' images off to a competition in London to see if there is any interest.
Heard back from Beers Lambert that I was unsuccessful in getting my work accepted into their latest open competition, as always it's disappointing but it means that I will be searching for other opportunities now in which to exhibit this work. There are two I have got my eye on entering at the moment - Creekside Open 2011 and the RBSA Open. Wish me luck!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Email overload

As an artist I never realised how much time would be taken up with working on the computer. I have spent this morning just sorting through and deleting my old emails, something that I know I should do as I go along but I never seem to have the time or I'm just too un-organised. Having spent this last year subscribing to various networking sites and putting my name down on the mailing lists of goodness knows how many galleries, my post can sometimes be a little overwhelming. I have had to learn to speed-read in order to sift through and identify anything that is potentially of value . I do still seem to have a backlog however and have spent far too long searching for information that I know is on an email somewhere!

I am going for a job interview tomorrow as I need some sort of income to support my art practice. I was hoping that I would sell a work or two over the Christmas period so that I could stave off having to go out to work as I know it will take away precious time that I was planning to put into my painting but needs must!
On the plus side my work can sometimes be all-consuming so it will do me good to get out and have something else to focus, and perhaps the forced break will give me fresh eyes when I come back to my painting. And it is only 14 hours a week, so hopefully.........................?

I still haven't got around to sorting out my images, maybe tomorrow afternoon I can make a start on them, if I'm not too stressed out from the morning's events.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

A coded displacement of self

Still struggling with a cold and as a result my thoughts are a bit wooly.

Bill Viola's book is un-put-downable and rings so many bells for me, for example:

'Landscape can exist as a reflection on the inner walls of the mind, or as a reflection of the inner state without.' (Note, 1979)

Vast barren spaces and scenes of urban decay as monuments to the repeated loss of self and of oblivion.
Uninhabited ruins that bear silent witness to our failures and repressed memories.

There is no way back
All that is left
Is to play in the ruins

Absorbed into nature
Revealing an inner structure,
A hidden truth

Spiritual exhaustion
Emanates from
A residual presence

Overwhelming energies
That goes beyond
What is

A future that
Never happened
Of dreams abandoned

And obscure
Outside of life’s restrictions
An escape from reality

And surreal
A coded displacement
Of self 

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Starting point

I have decided to write this blog to both document and help me understand my working processes.
Talking about my work and communicating my ideas is not something I find easy to do but I hope that this blog will help me organise and concentrate my thoughts.
This is not my first experience of writing a blog, having created them for two group exhibitions- A Strange Country and Silent signals - that I was involved with earlier this year, however the reasons and, therefore the constraints, behind them both were governed by the need to showcase both the events and the artists involved.
The reasons for writing this blog are totally different, and are from an entirely personal point of view which will be free of any restrictions required by a collective event.

After a really busy and productive year I fell the need to take some time out for reflection. To stand back and look at my practice as a whole so that I can make plans for taking my work forward and pushing it to another level. The new year is a perfect time to do this, a natural lull that opens up after Christmas, a pause in the day to day activities that can sometimes invade my creative space. Plus I am laid up with a cold so I am forced into putting the chores on hold for a while.
Today I will start reading Bill Viola: Reasons for kocking at an empty house. - recommended to me by a fellow artist who thought that there were conceptual similarities in where our work was coming from. I am aware that I don't spend enough time looking into the work of other artists and one of my new years resolutions will be to address this.
In order to move forward I know that I also need to sort out all the files and images that I have stored on my computer, reviewing and re-evaluating the information stored. This is what I will attempt to do over the next few days, it's not easy as I am not the most organised person but I realise that this is a necessary evil.
I will keep posting on a regular basis and wish everyone a happy new year.