Rolling Stones or Melanie?

#Letter365 No229 goes in the box
No229 goes in the box

Now there’s a thing, having got caught with this thing about music with days of the week, and having loads of songs with Monday in just popping into my head, I decide to carry on and do Tuesday and my brain offers up just two songs! Monday I’m spoilt for choice: Tuesday I am scrabbling around te vague recesses of my mind. Isn’t there a Tori Amos track? I can’t quite get it. Paul Kossoff? No, access blocked. So that leaves me with Cat Stevens’s “Tuesday’s Dead” and “Ruby Tuesday” and Melanie has to be the version (though I am quite tempted to just put up a live version of “Sympathy for the Devil” because it’s a much better song!)

So here you go:

I know I hinted at Cat Stevens but I might save him till next week.

Well and the piece? I never know what is going to happen. Today I had a meeting at the Arts Centre about #Collage365 and this one. It went on a lot longer than I thought so I had limited time as i was going to go to the Film Society. I decided to miss that, sadly, so as not to get stressed about this. The work that came out was unexpected (and took longer than expected) but very interesting.

Monday, Monday – using the Mamas & the Papas to drum up interest

On the envelope of today’s piece I hinted at two pieces of music – the Mamas & the Papas “Monday, Monday” and The Boomtown Rats – “I Don’t Like Mondays”.  I suppose I just let my brain churn up some old memories and I sort of assumed the songs were very different. Then during the day I came to realise the songs were not very different. The Mamas & the Papas can’t cope with Monday’s because of an association with events that happened on a Monday, whereas Bob and the boys seemed from recollection to have a dystopian view of the whole week and Monday was just an example day singled out for destruction as an example to the rest of the days!

Now that I have had a chance to refresh my memory and view the YouTube clips i see that I was both right and wrong. There is something deeply menacing in the Mamas & the Papas. There’s a touch of Star Trek and it’s so clean it looks unreal (in my memory they were all flower power and druggy!) I suspect that in their choreography they trace out a message to the alien death ships in geostationary orbit above us. The only reason we were not destroyed was they had better things to do that watch pop TV. They don’t seem upset that this unnamed woman (we presume) upped and left. It’s actually Monday afternoon specifically they find untrustworthy – there was no warning in the morning of what was to be!

For the Rats it’s a very different story: it’s not just Monday afternoon that’s the problem, they feel the whole day deserves shooting down! And is there menace in their dystopian song about death? No, they are all such cheeky, friendly softies. It is quite clear that there is nothing to fear from this bunch – though had the alien battle cruisers above been watching and had travelled back in time they may have put us all out of our misery of having to watch years and years of Bob Geldorf being famous for being Bob Geldorf and blown the planet to pieces way back then!

And how are they the same? They are both so clean! Their meanings are apparently the opposite to their presentation. Worst of all, once in your head it takes an incredibly long and annoying time to shift them from your brain!!!

Of course you won’t have that problem with #Letter365 No 228 as the whole enterprise is thoroughly forgettable:

#Letter365 No228 gets posted
No228 gets consigned to the oblivion of the box

My first attempt was too big to fit in the envelope

#Letter365 No227 is posted in the opening for stamped mail
No227 gets posted in the right slot

Well that headline is a lie. It’s just trying to add a bit of drama. I spent a decent amount of time at the studio today. I had hoped to do a bit more sorting but really needed to try out working on something much bigger than usual so I can assess the best way to set up the studio. So after sweeping out and cleaning some fo the drawers of my recently acquired plan chest I created a paper work area about 2.8m by 1.2m. I was going to leave it at that point so I could get the #Letter365 piece underway but well…I had to try out something!

There was never any intention that I was going to force such a large (in any case as yet unfinished) piece into the envelope. My #Letter365 artwork today is more modest in scope and somewhat more refined I would say.

For a change I am showing a larger view of the double-mouthed post box I have been using of late. There is also a return to a picture of the back of the envelope:

Back of No227
Back of No227

I cannot tell you why it’s like going to the opticians

#Letter365 No226 gets posted
No226 goes in the box

It’s a shame I cannot talk about the process of making today’s artwork and why it was like a visit to the opticians in some respects, but I cannot give the game away. Mind you there are so few people actally looking at this blog – let alone reading it – that it really wouldn’t matter much anyway! What I will say is that I really enjoyed the way today’s piece came together. I will say it is a return to more familiar ground and it me in top form! Ha!

I would talk about the printer but frankly I’m bored with it all and have other things I would rather do. I was going to say I have other fish to fry but you may have thought I was having problems printing because I was using a fish.

And now for something completely different

#Letter365 No225 goes in the box
No225 proves my likely existence

I have been in a really low mood today. I do suffer from depression and have been pleased that despite the death of our cat and feeling unwell and a number of other stresses, I have not been attacked by the black dog for quite a while. But this cold/cough/sore throat/flu/sinus/toothache bug or bugs that have been bugging me for weeks had ground me down. I am just so weary at a time when I have lots I want to do and this had made me frustrated. A number of things I try to avoid have got in over the last day or two as well. So all in all it is no surprise that I am down today. Whilst it is a pretty low mood, I do not feel that the black dog has come to stay. He has been sniffing around for a few days and has nudged open the door today to see if he can come to play, but I think I am just physically exhausted and I’m feeling just ordinary low rather than starting to be invaded and inhabited by the alien being of depression.

Anyway, my state meant that I have found it difficult to do much today. I had some correspondence to catch up on, one item of which was in the “usually avoid” territory so was not helpful. The rest was pleasant enough or necessary but I still found it took ages for me to do even after using up all my avoidance strategies! So the day went by without getting to the studio and I ended up really not having the energy or interest to go to the studio this evening. Instead I lit a fire in the Pig Barn (my old studio in the garden) and did something completely different; something I have not done previously in this project; a totally different approach to making images and even though tempted to stick in a bit of tried-and-tested technique I resisted and stayed with the vision and am pleased I did.

Believe it or not I am alive

#Letter365 No224 gets poeted
No224 gets popped in the box

Seriously, I am alive. My doctor signed a form for me today to confirm that I am indeed yet to pop my clogs! I know some people may have their suspicions but an experienced medical practitioner has refuted those rumours. He did not, however, cure my virus infection/flu/cold/cough/secondary bacterial infection and whatever. He said it wasn’t worth trying antibiotics since as i was clearly alive and not too ill it would all probably clear up in two or three weeks. It’s been going on for 4 or 5 weeks already. Great!

This one got posted to the sound of wagtails bubbling and swirling about as they come in to roost – and the first drops of rain (that is the first drops of this evening’s rain!)

Perhaps if I think of #Letter365 as a sketchbook

#Letter365 No223 gets posted
No223 gets posted

I have been – well still am – unwell and feeling low. I have occasions when I wonder what I am doing with this project. I am doing a lot of work which if I do not sell it, no one will see. It will all get destroyed if unsold so I will never have it to sell in other ways. But I do have a photographic record (of varying quality) so I can view it as a private sketchbook that I can draw on for ideas. Thinking that way may soften the blow. On the other hand I could just try to sell them as intended – best try to get the on-line sales system set up!

On another note, I am not sure if I have used this post box before. The use of gloves is more to do with my illness than the actual cold.

No way bloody Maggie gets on #Letter365

#Letter365 No222 goes in the box
No222 goes in the box

It is questionable that any politician should appear on a commemorative stamp, but the choice of bloody Maggie Milksnatcher was inevitable if Prime Ministers are the subject. There is no way however that the evil bitch gets space on my art. I toyed with the idea of defacing it but she is not worth the price of a first class stamp.

The thought of the witch and the ire that rises in me has worn me out so I can’t be doing with writing any more now

Self-inflicted torment

#Letter365 No221 gets posted
No221 gets posted (note the classy artists’ fingerless gloves!)

It really hit me today when I was finishing off No221 that I may never see it again. Nobody may ever see it again. I rather liked what I was doing and wanted to share it and get some feedback and move it on with other versions, but I can’t do any of that. In ordinary circumstances if I sell a piece there is a finality to the transaction and I may or may not see the piece again, but then I am settled to it. Not knowing and not being able to talk about it is really weird! Plus I’m only 60%of the way through! And, of course, in the Spring it may all go on the bonfire! It makes me wonder even more about those people who create their work in a vacuum and who don’t share it, expose it, exhibit it and sell it. What a torment that would be!

And it’s not just this aspect of the #Letter365 project that is painful: I have taken on a studio that will be freezing in winter. There was just a sense of it this afternoon. Today was the first time I have worn gloves this season – albeit fingerless ones – but I can imagine that I will be wearing them in the studio soon! More self-inflicted pain!

Snail mail for #Letter365

Giant banded snail takes #Letter365 No220
Giant banded snail takes No220 for delivery

It’s finally come to this: collaborating with a snail! I have given responsibility for the safe conveyance ofNo220 to a gastropod! How long this snail mail might take is out of my hands, and given these mollusc’s love of eating paper, who knows in what state this piece might arrive if at all!

No220 envelope
No220 envelope
Snail mail leaving our home having collected No220
Snail mail leaving our home having collected No220
No220 on the horns of a giant snail
No220 on the horns
#Letter365 No220 about to be eaten?
No220 about to be eaten?