I am not feeling very well again today but am trying to ignore it, except that I did my #Letter365 for today as one of my first jobs just in case I wasn’t up to it later. And I have to say I am very pleased with the piece I made. Not that I am not happy with all the pieces I am putting forward in #Letter365 – they all have to pass the “would I have it on my wall” test as a very minimum! But some days I think that maybe I should reconsider my intention to destroy, unseen, any pieces that haven’t sold at the end of the exhibition.
Anyway, having got the piece ready I decided I would post it rather than deliver it by hand. When I got to the Post Office there were two shiny red post vans and there had been a collection (they don’t tell you the times any more in case they can’t be bothered some days I suppose). The postie who had emptied the box readily offered to take my #Letter365 and, slightly more reluctantly, agreed to have her picture taken. I think you will all agree it’s a pleasant change when I can feature smiling people rather than just a post box!
Thing is I now find myself in a quandary. I have previously been refering to “postmen” and have today used “postie” as a non gender-specific term as the person who took my letter is clearly female. Should I refer to her as “postwoman” or change all future references to postal operatives to “postie”. I am not a great lover of shortened names and terms, though “postie” does have a friendly nature to it. What do you think?
I thought about calling this post “Letter The Right One In” as a play on words with the film I saw this morning. I am glad i didn’t. I’m actually not feeling very well so I have nothing else to say apart from the fact that I have posted No27.
I don’t mean the evidence that shadow rabbits can hold credit cards between their ear and nose (see picture) but the evidence that the post box day plate for Tuesday has been “mislaid”. It hasn’t been there the last few weeks and MON is displayed on Tuesday. That’s why all the people in Bradpole look confused! Well, one of the reasons.
I got very frustrated creating the envelope for this one. For some reason the printer would not recognise the settings set up for this particular document – the ones it has used for the previous 25 days – and chose to use the settings for the other documents that were open!
It’s odd that there is a pressure in me to produce a completely new and unique work each day. While I intend each work that will be unique that doesn’t mean that I have to summon up a totally new idea each day. I have only just realised that I could work on developing a single idea over a period of time – I had already thought of doing special series, say at Christmas – and I had sort of forgotten that part of this process is the final installation, so perhaps I will do series of similar work for stretches at a time. It will perhaps be like the wave-carved ripples on the wide sand beaches, the same but totally different every day. And some days there will be a rock or a crab. But mostly it will just be the same but totally different. There again I may not do that!
I thought it would be sunny today but it turned out dull and drizzly. So today’s #Letter365 offering got everso vaguely damp in the 30 paces to the post box.
After a blistering performance at Bridport Arts Centre acclaimed folk duo O’Hooley & Tidow did me the honour of handing over today’s #Letter365 to Jill Beed. It’s the third time we have seen Belinda and Heidi and they never fail to delight. Tonight their cascading harmonies were tighter and sweeter than ever. I just hope whoever buys No23 will be delighted as me.
Jill and Dee at Bridport Arts Centre are still pleased to see me and seem delighted to receive another #Letter365 offering. We’ll see how they feel in 6 months time!
It’s interesting that Dee, who took this picture, suggested the picture should be taken from inside the office and that Jill should turn and smile into the camera (and an excellent smile it is too as always Jill). Yet when I took a photo of Dee taking delivery a few days back the most she would allow to seen on camera was her thumb!
It’s one of those things that when you read it you think, “yes that’s interesting, probably true” but when it comes down to it you don’t follow through. It was – and don’t know who wrote it or where – something like, “Accept that all those things that you think of in the middle of the night that you know are brilliant ideas but that you can’t remember in the morning, accept that really they were rubbish.”
I saw this to be useful wisdom for those nights when the brain is overactive: excited by all the brilliant ideas for brilliant things that you will create or do or think next day. Telling yourself that they are all crap and if there are really any good ones you will remember them in the morning, can help you get back to sleep, the sleep you need to have a creative day next day.
Last night after just 40 minutes sleep I was disturbed by the cats, or my parter, or a putative burglar or a good/bad idea and found myself awake for the next two hours wondering if I should risk the disturbance of recording the creative maelström in Evernote or getting up and making a calming tea whilst jotting it all down in my notebook. I did write a couple of words in the dark on a small scrap of paper – one of which was a useful memory jog, the other was a superfluous reminder of something I really would not have forgotten anyway! I did manage to tell myself that “all these ideas are crap anyway” but ignored my advice and stayed awake desperately trying to imprint my brilliant ideas so firmly in my mind that I would be able to instantly access and use them this morning.
Well, what a success! I woke to find I had clearly remembered 3 or 4 of the dozens of good/bad ideas I had had in the night. These must be the worthwhile ones! So I was quite excited to get to the studio quite early and start working with them.
The first indication that something was wrong was my lack of confidence. Instead of just wading in and doing it I decided to try it out on a piece of paper the colour of which I was unlikely to use – no way I was going to risk wasting a piece of expensive hand-made paper… Hang on! What kind of idea was it that was so shaky I wouldn’t risk wasting a piece of paper on? This was an idea that I was so convinced was interesting that it kept me awake for two hours – yet I hadn’t the confidence to back it to the price of a piece of paper! In any case, I believe what my dear friend Jill Beagley once told me, “You are an artist and anything tha an artist does with a piece of paper can never be a waste.”
Well I fiddled with this idea for about 30 seconds more before I realised that it really was crap. I reviewed the other ideas that I had packaged up from the night and concluded they were not much better.
The good thing was that this left me totally clear to approach my #Letter365 piece open and fresh. Immediately I had discarded the rubbish I knew exactly what I wanted to do and as I worked it developed a purity and clarity that almost brought tears to my eyes.
I wonder if now I will be able to remember next time that thing I read somewhere about things that are crap in the night
I am going to have to get used to seeking publicity. I hate having my picture in the paper and doing self promotion, but I know that it is a vital part of the business of being an artist. So I am pleased to get a half-page slash in our local paper the Bridport News and know I have to aim for plenty more pieces – locally and further afield – if I am to make a real success of the #Letter365 project.
I wrote the outline of the press release and the Arts Centre tidied it up and sent it out but I am not sure to which other publications it may have gone. I think I need to build my own list of helpful press release recipients. Please help and let me know the best people to send out to.
Yesterday I was surprised that something other than the idea I had planned wanted to get made. Today it was me that doubted myself: I had a clear picture of what I wanted to create for today’s piece but as I was making it I began to doubt if it would work. I was beginning to thing I might bin it and start afresh and just made a final adjustment and bingo it suddenly became perfectly what I was aiming for. It’s magic all this!
An unfolding artwork created a piece each day for a year