It quite often happens that I lose confidence on the piece I am doing or am happy enough but fear to take the next step in case bugger it up. Fortunately I mostly tell my self to stick to the plan or go with the flow as appropriate. Today was a stick-to-the-plan day. A few times I had to remind myself that the picture I had in my head would work just great and that I just had to keep on to the end. Of course it was fine, in fact I am more pleased with it that I expected, but I am interested in examining that process where doubt sticks a finger in! It appears as something negative, but it is probably based in a cautionary principle (“mind you don’t waste those materials” or “if it doesn’t work you will have wasted all that time”) coupled with a quality-control vector. If I can link more with that aesthetic quality control when those feelings arise it may be a very useful exercise.
I said above “the picture I had in my head” and yet I am not able to visualise as I understand some people can. I do not and really cannot see a picture in my head as if i were looking at something with my eyes. It is more a feeling that I get. I can feel my way round things and describe them but I don’t see anything. I never have done even though from all the tests I seem to be a visually-biased person. I have never been able to do those creative visualisation or NLP exercises because when I close my eyes I see black or after images mostly. There is a sort of visual process that goes with remembering and imagining but it’s not like a scene which I can view and move through; it’s more like a 3-dimensional diagrammatic feeling!
I am still struggling to come to terms with our cat being seriously ill, but I managed to get on at the studio for a while today and started a big drawing as well as preparing some substrates. I was a bit concerned that my #Letter365 piece was more device than content and didn’t commit to it fully straightaway and left it hanging around for a while before I was able to see it with objective eyes. Now looking at the photos Ii am happy all is well.
Basically as an artist you get to play around with all sorts of stuff and generally have a fun time until you remember that you have to sell stuff and pay bills and do admin and you realise that it’s just like any other job only less well paid.
We are really lucky in Bridport. For a very small town we have loads going on. The flags in Bucky Doo Square for the Hat Festival today proclaim us a Britain’s Eventful Town. We have a film festival, a book festival, a literary festival, three performing stages and a number of pubs and other venues for music and events. One of the key arts sites is the Bridport Arts Centre where this project will be installed in March 2014. LIke all public arts venues the Arts Centre, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is always in need of funds. We are lucky to get people willing to give their time and performances to aid the cause: on of these was Mark Knopfler who appeared in conversation with Polly Gifford, the Arts Centre Director, to talk about his career and music. I can remember him talking about how he needed to have a little riff to let the audience know what song it was but that mostly he just improvised and it was different every time. He was playing guitar as he talked and a number of times said “I’ve never played that before”. Well I can honestly say about today’s piece, “I’ve never done that before”. The combination of surface treatment, format, materials and even the style of the marks and structures are totally new – and yet it sits in the flow of my work in a way that you can tell it is by me even though it is quite radically different to what I have done in the project before or even through all my work. Oh, by the way, I really rather like it!
It’s perhaps that I am still upset by our cat being unwell that it took me three goes to get a piece good enough. I think that I may have been over critical of one but the other was crap! Well perhaps that is not fair. The piece didn’t work as a finished artwork and I would not have been happy seeing it on my wall or anyone else’s, but It was useful to have tried it and understood why it didn’t work.
The piece I did complete for the project started a bit tentatively – not surprising after two false starts – but turned out well in the end.
Now I have reached the halfway point I need to crack on with all the things that will make the whole project come together: things like this blog’s design and additional content and being able to buy on-line and sponsorship perhaps.
I hadn’t left myself that much time to do today’s piece so hesitated when my idea got superseded by another. Pleased I let myself commit to the inspiration as it turned out quite different to much that I have been doing recently and I really rather like it!
It’s been a very emotionally trying day for me and I have decided that today’s piece is not for sale, but is dedicated to our cat Bramble who may not be with us much longer. She went to the vets to have a dental treatment today but we had a call to say they were unable to give her the anaesthetic because her tongue was swollen with what is probably a tumour. It was that and not her teeth that has been causing her discomfort and difficulty in eating. We thought we might lose her today but she has had a shot that will take away some of the inflammation and discomfort and we have some time to love her until the inevitable time comes when we must decide to have her put down.
I have been pretty distraught and today’s piece is a personal response to the imminence of her loss and as such is not for sale, though it will be displayed in the #Letter365 installation.
I was very pleased with yesterday’s piece, created at Tate Modern and partly because I was tired I decided to develop that theme today and I am really pleased I did. It took a bit longer than I had hoped, well quite a lot longer really, but it was really worth it and I will be doing more in this vein or progressions of the idea both in and outside of the project.