I thought about cheating but I am glad I didn’t

#Letter365 No239 goes in the box
No239 goes in the box

I am very tired and only had a few hours sleep because I was preparing files for my #Collage365 show last night (and today!). I seriously thought about just finding some bit of paper I may have daubed or scribbled on and signing that, but as it happens I am very pleased with myself that I didn’t weaken and pleased also with the result.

Repetition is at the heart of Nature

#Letter365 No238 goes in the box
No238 goes in the box

If anyone has been following this blog, they would notice a similarity in each day’s image. Most days there is a snap of my hand holding the day’s artwork encased in its envelope poised at the edge of a postbox’s aperture. I have a collection of many hundreds of such images (I take usually multiple shots in case I mess up in some way). I like the regularity of it. This regular, repetitive process, the same but with individual variables, is at the heart of most of the work I create. It is also at the heart of what Nature creates: my favourite being the ripples on beach sand. At this time of year we notice the leaves on the trees turning and falling. Millions of the same thing but everyone unique. Starlings murmurating. Wildebeest migrating. Crowds of human beings. The structure of crystals. So many things we find beautiful because of repetition given texture by individuality.

Sometimes things work big, sometimes small, sometimes both

#Letter365 No237 goes in the box
No237 goes in the box

I can’t say any more – and anyway it’s late having been out to see Mark Steel at Bridport Arts Centre – but in this case I think it is an idea that works in many sizes. Sometimes I wonder if I have the skill to make bigger – I mean much, much bigger – versions of ideas I make in small mostly I think it’s a little bit of fear and lack of confidence. What I have wondered is why I stuck as stamp on and posted this to a place I visited an hour or two later!

It is possible that my brain is failing

#Letter365 No236 gets posted in the rain
No236 gets posted in the rain

It’s probably just that I am tired and bored with having to spend time in front of the computer. I have been working on some of the things I need to do in preparation for my exhibitions but what I really wanted to be doing is some art! In fact, when I did get to the studio, everything went so smoothly! I didn’t allow myself to say no when I had the urge to work on a larger piece. I am at that point where I need to just concentrate on my art or I’ll have a meltdown – but I have other stuff I need to do.

Don’t ask about the stuff on the envelope. I was so desperate to get away from the computer I forgot to do the envelope and found myself at the studio naked in the envelope department! So it got done this evening when my interest in computers and keyboards has waned even further.

No room for a sloppy, half-hearted approach

#'Letter365 No235 goes in the post
No235 goes in the post

I sort of had a half idea, a sort of just-about-do idea, for today’s #Letter365 piece when I got to the studio. It wouldn’t take me long to do – ah not long if I cut corners – probably no one will ever see it – but that’s not the point – oh that might take a while and may not work – and actually it’s not that interesting unless I do it in a way that probably needs a different scale and different materials – and that won’t fit in the envelope! So I started again and took it and myself seriously. A little trickier than I intended but it didn’t take much extra effort and I have ended up with a piece to be proud of. Along the way I had some thoughts about the original idea and now have some ideas how I could make it work – it will take quite a bit of trial-and-error experimentation but it may resurface later in the project!

Not a lot of scope for origami but Finley Quaye gathers a rainbow

#Letter365 No234 gets posted
No234 gets dropped in the box

Songs with Sunday in the title range from excellent to dire and in my opinion there’s probably a lot more towards the dire end! The first song that came to mind was, of course, the Small Faces’ “Lazy Sunday Afternoon”, quickly followed by Lionel Ritchie, but you wouldn’t want to get that stuck in your head. Blondie’s “Sunday Girl” would be tough to shift too! But today’s winner is Finley Quaye with “Sunday Shining”

Done and dusted in Birmingham

#Letter365 No233 gets posted in Birmingham
No233 gets posted in Birmingham

Today’s piece was created in the Waterhall Gallery in Birmingham. Nice quiet space where the current selection of pieces from the city’s collection is themed round still life. It has a nice series of Jim Dine screenprint/collages in there. I popped into the Gas Hall afterwards to have a look at the West Midlands Open which I found massively disappointing. I cannot believe that our second city and the surrounding area could not produce some more exciting or interesting pieces. It mostly seemed a little dull, staid and derivative. Most of it would not have seemed out of place in a show from the Seventies. I place the blame on the curation and it really wasn’t displayed or lit to bring out its best. There was only one piece I thought I might like to have on my wall and three others that I thought had interesting aspects. There were quite a few well executed pieces and some superficially attractive stuff but nothing to stretch or stimulate.

A piece of music that has stretched and stimulated me for 40 years is Jefferson Airplane’s “Won’t you try / Saturday afternoon” – this version is from Woodstock

A West Midlands posting for today’s #Letter365

#Letter365 No232 goes in the box in Redditch
No232 goes in the box in Redditch

Today’s piece got transported all the way to the West Midlands this evening. It’s an interesting one that has set me thinking about some new techniques to experiment with.

I am still on about music and days the week and I’ll add a video of someone’s version of “Friday on my Mind”. I can’t really do Bowie because he was featured yesterday. I thought about Springsteen which has its own flavour. But the original Easybeats’ version is probably the one.

John Lee Hooker adds mystery to an unsettling piece

I always feel the echo on John Lee Hooker tracks has an eerie air and today’s piece (if only I could talk about it) has something unsettling about it: so they go together. Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus playing “Wednesday Evening Prayer Meeting” would have been a good choice but maybe too cool for the piece. I don’t know. As to the Simon & Garfunkel thing “Wednesday Morning: 3am” is a disappointing track on a disappointing album really and the artwork is definitely not that!

#Letter365 No230 goes in the box
No230 goes in the box