After a bit of fiddling about – I left my camera at home basically – I finally got today’s piece in the post tonight. The artwork “felt natural” (as it would listening to John Martyn) though I wish I had not needed to stay at home waiting for a delivery this morning. It would have been nice to have the sunshine in the studio rather than needing to supplement the afternoon overcast light.
You will note there is no mention of Captain Beefheart or Frank Zappa today!
I don’t know why I let my brain start comparing pieces qualitatively against each other! Right at the outset I decided that my criteria for inclusion would be that I had to be happy to have the piece on my wall: I would not allow myself to put anything in an envelope in this project which I did not sincerely believe to be of quality. Now it may turn out when they are opened – if they are opened – I may feel differently about them but at the time of sealing them up I need to be happy they pass muster. So there is a qualitative assessment done every day, but whilst I may have been particularly pleased with a piece and even suggested it might be one of the best yet, I never wanted to rank or compare them. So why today do I suddenly, after 10 months, start wondering if today’s is better than yesterday’s? This way madness lies, though with another Beefheart quote on the envelope I’m probably part way there!
I really thought I had made a big mistake with this one! As it progressed it got less and less appealing and closer to appalling. It nearly got binned but I put it to one side and did something else (had some lunch and did a crossword). When I took another look it didn’t seem quite so bad and I decided to at least follow through and complete what I had intended and then reassess it. As I added the final touches it seemed to suddenly be a different piece! It had a glow and an intrigue and I, cynic I am, didn’t trust that reaction. How could I be so dubious one minute then so positive the next? Time to put it out of sight and get on with something else (a large experimental watercolour). Quite a bit later I felt unbiased enough to reappraise the piece I had done for #Letter365 and I found that it was good. In fact I like it very much and nearly didn’t put it in the envelope to be ignored and probably burnt in a few months time.
Smugness is not a pretty thing but it does have its pleasures. I have been toying with today’s idea for a while and never got round to working out how I might use it. Today it worked out better than I could have expected and a little serendipity helped it along.
Plus Captain Beefheart gets another mention/quote on the envelope!
Well Captain Beefheart gets a mention as I have been playing my Christmas present box set quite a bit. I have been struggling today and really found it difficult to do anything: energy levels at a low. Too much alcohol and a broken night don’t help me to deal with the black dog. So I am having a quiet night off now,
It took a long time, but the piece is great today. Don’t think for a moment that because I am suffering from depression at present that today’s piece is gloomy or dark. In fact it is full of slightly self-deprecating humour and is very nicely composed and has visual allusions to earlier developments in this project.
Yesterday’s hurried headline has me in a fix. I said it was a song lyric but I can’t think of anything with those words. I can only imagine that I subconsciously altered the words of Cat Stevens’s “How Can I Tell You?” to a negative. Who knows?
I did a drawing years ago – about 1974 – which I still have, called “Raining in My Heart” but that was from my clouds and rainbows period. Whilst there was a sort of wistful melancholia about it there was not the sadness of the song in it nor the pain of depression. (Oh and wasn’t Melancholia a good film!) Today’s message is connected to the melancholic but was sparked by the sun being out and me being indoors.
The Captain gets a mention because Louis Hawkinsresponded to yesterday’s post and alluded to Don V. There ain’t no Santa Claus on the Midnight Stage got chosen for the topical subject – not the mention of Santa but the despair and desolation of poverty , homelessness and slavery that is growing in our world! I tried to find a live YouTube video of the number but failed. I got a bit sidetracked watching Frank Zappa playing The Torture Never Stops and Black Napkins (with Terry Bozio and Adrian Belew) – and no I am not finished with Zappa yet! Recently I’ve been watching Talking Heads Live in Rome featuring Belew too
I did find the clip below of Captain Beefheart doing Golden Birdies. I saw him with the Magic Band at the LSE about this time I have got a feeling that Blossom Toes were supporting. I saw them at LSE again with Eclection and Third Ear Band. Enjoy!
Oh and there is some art in the envelope!
An unfolding artwork created a piece each day for a year