There’s a story behind every story

Beki takes delivery of #Letter365 No197 at the Arts Centre bar
Beki takes delivery of No197 at the Arts Centre bar

And the story is that I was going to be at Bridport Arts Centre tonight for Story Cafe (to be followed tomorrow by a mini story festival tomorrow) and since the special #Letter365 box is broken at present Beki at the bar had to take delivery. I pondered for some time about how Beki spelt her name as I was certain it was not the ordinary way. I almost didn’t use her name because I didn’t want to get it wrong! But then of course as an artist it is good to use my eyes and read the name badge she is wearing in the photograph!!

First day cover for No196

#Letter365 No196 gets a manual postmark
No196 gets a manual postmark

It’s a first day of issue for the stamp but I almost forgot to do this post on the blog. My daughter rang as I was starting it. She is off to South Africa tomorrow for a holiday with friends who live there. Then it was time to get some food for our meal and tend to Bramble and we were out this evening at a gig at the Arts Centre. So it all got forgotten until almost the last number of the show and I started worrying. No problem in the end as I had loads of time.

Limited time on a testing day but great results

#Letter365 No195 gets posted
No195 goes in the box

It is really satisfying when things go well. I was unable to get to the studio until this evening because we had the BT engineer coming to connect our fibre broadband (woo!) this morning and had to take our poor, sick cat to the vet for her steroid jab (boo!) this afternoon. So I didn’t have long and I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do – and I think that is an important factor. I didn’t have a clue but was open to inspiration and confident that something would come. In a way it is not even confidence, well not in any bullish way. It is just a calm assumption that it will happen. Because time was limited I discarded the first couple of things that occurred to me on the basis they would take too long to dry. So still not having a clue what to do for #Letter365 I decided to work on a piece I had prepared a substrate for yesterday. It started well and then got twee and then I ballsed a bit up that looked ugly then tried to make a bad bit better and made it worse instead then altered the bit that went twee and it became one of the best bits and….and essentially it all went really well. When that piece needed drying time I did think I would do my #Letter365 but just thought I could play with something else while on a roll. In the end I just had to start from scratch and amazingly it all came together brilliantly for me. In a way it was even better than I hoped and has an element or aspect that I didn’t predict – a happy accident?

Who’s stolen my box?

Jill Beed takes delivery of #Letter365 No194
Lovely Jill Beed takes delivery of No194

I was thinking that I hadn’t delivered one by hand recently and thought Thursday would be good because we are at a gig at Bridport Arts Centre that night. Then I realised that there was a new stamp issue and it would be good to do a first day cover. So I thought I would wander round there and take a last look at the Greta Berlin show before it finishes. So imagine my surprise when I saw the box was missing! I don’t know: Polly Gifford, the Director, is leaving soon to take up a new exciting role in Hastings and already the place is falling apart! Lovely Jill took delivery and certainly makes a much more interesting and colourful photo than my hand holding an envelope by a box! She said the box had broken. The question is, “how?” When Rothko’s painting was vandalised at the Tate it was in all the Media. My work is removed without a how-do-you-do let alone a splash in the local press!

What does it mean?

#Letter365 No193 goes in the box
No193 goes in the box

It’s not a big philosophical question that I allude to but today’s piece is a bit of an enigma for me. So I don’t mean what is the meaning of this artwork you can’t yet, or perhaps ever, see but what does it mean that I have created something that links work I was doing a year or more ago with work I am doing now! Does it mean that the ideas and issues that motivated me a year or so ago were unresolved; that there is more mileage in them? Are they bubbling under the surface wanting to get out again? As I wrote this I realise that is the case. The other option was that I was just a bit stuck and opted for a familiar path, but I see that was not the case. I see also that there is a continuum rather than separated ideas. I hope the reunion will be fecund.

As to the seal, well I used up the last little bit of that stick stuck on the end of a scalpel and heating it with a lighter. Of course it all melted and fell flaming onto the envelope. I was all for letting it burn a little but it went out of its own accord!

Back of #Letter365 No193
Back of No193

Pleased but excited

#Letter365 No192 gets posted
No192 gets posted

I suppose I should have said “Pleased with this piece but, more importantly, I am excited where it might lead.” The piece itself some might consider too “sketchy” and in some ways it has that feel of a work in progress, an idea still alive with potential to be explored. And expolore it I will. If you buy this one you could have the start of a new series of work from me. Well I’d definitely have it on my wall!

Back of #Letter365 No192
Back of No192

Emotionally drained

#Letter365 No191 goes in the box
No191 goes in the box

I spent last night and most of today nursing our poor cat, Bramble, and am pretty drained yet strangely creative. I have loads of things I want to play with but am too tired and short of time. Stuff is going in the sketchbook and getting tried out as and when. Today’s piece is just such a one and thankfully it worked well.

The end of a sealing wax stick is always fun and today the little piece I had speared on the tip of a scalpel fell burning on to the envelope. I blew it out and picked it up and it stuck to my fingers and left lovely, fine strings of red scrawled over the envelope, Sadly they didn’t stick to the paper.

Seal on the back of #Letter365 No191
Seal on the back of No191

I think I might want to make some really big paintings

#Letter365 No190 gets posted
No190 gets posted

I keep doing things that I would like to see on a monumental size and today’s piece is one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I like what I have done today it’s just that I would like to explore the idea much, much bigger and in different media. I have never really been a painter and never before the last year or so wanted to create large-scale pieces so the idea is unsettling but exciting.

I am a bit pissed off because I lost all the next bit I wrote when my session expired and I want to go and spend time with my sick cat not rewrite this. Sorry.

Only to say that I forgot to take my camera to the studio today and had to record things in a rather ineffectual way and broke my desire to record the whole thing on that camera – not that it matters a jot really.

The splattered sealing wax continues

Splattered sealing wax on the back of No190
Back of No190