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 have been low and feeling a bit stretched, so when I finally got to the studio I wasn’t brimming with confidence! I aimlessly and half-heartedly poked around at this and that for a while. Nothing popped into my head to even start playing with and for a while I was concerned that this might be that time, that first time, when I couldn’t come up with the goods. I knew that I mustn’t start fretting and if I applied myself – went to work – all would be well. Sure enough things began to fall into place and gradually I found myself gathering elements and ideas and in the end I had a completed piece that I was happy with. I documented it, and the envelope, and popped it in the post box and that is when I started to fret! My lack of confidence swept over me and I went through a whole negative process that encompassed far more than just tonight’s piece. It is only now having finally seen the images on screen that I feel comfortable that I’ve kept to my contract.
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.
I couldn’t work out why I was finding it so difficult to do my #Letter365 piece. Despite all my worries and upset about our sick cat and other stuff taking my time, I have been able to get on well in the studio – so why not #Letter365? It got a lot easier when I stopped trying so hard
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 say interesting because I thought twice about sticking with today’s piece. I found the results and process very interesting and want to play around with other things in this vein but obviously don’t want to start tweeting images that might give people clues to what I am doing. So yet another thing goes into abeyance – or not!
Today was the first time for ages that I have used sealing wax and I stuck the stamp on sideways which I have not done before.
I was right to be concerned about the IT side of this while away, only I never expected it would be that my WordPress app wouldn’t let me upload a photo! I’ll try again later.
I perhaps should have been more concerned about all the other stress factors that could affect and, indeed, have affected my ability to create something I was happy with! I jettisoned 3 pieces before managing something that passed the test.
After spending 20 minutes failing to be able to work with the image I have given up. Last time I used this ago it was a little clunky but worked fine, but this update has made it impossible to use on my HTC one M8. I’ll try my tablet tomorrow. Sorry if it’s a bit broken.
I am going away for the next week and I will be busy setting up and manning my exhibition in Ramsgate as part of the Summer Squall festival. I’ll be fine with doing the art work and getting them in the post on time, but with limited IT and no broadband added to little time, the quality or even presence of my blog entries is at risk.
Still that is in the future. Today’s piece is in a combination of media that I have not used in this project to date. In retrospect I wish I had not chosen something that took so long!
I nearly didn’t make it tonight! I posted No152 with just 12 minutes to spare and only posted a holding page here at 23:58! To be frank I have struggled all day, mostly because I was struggling with designs and words for invites for the Ramsgate show – mostly still trying to get some quality reproductions of my work! I think I can be better placed to get what I need when I next have a photographic session.
So in my usual slightly-overconfident fashion I was leaving #Letter365 until this evening. I had not taken into account that working from home today I had only a minimal range of materials and decided that I really needed to go to the studio. I also did not take into account that my printer might malfunction in a much more complete way than a visit from Violet Lines. When there is a problem my printer communicates the issue by specific numbers of flashing lights. In this case it was twelve. I looked up what 12 flashes meant in the manual but the list had a reason for 11 flashes and an explanation for 13 but 12 was omitted from the list! Fortunately my partner, Sally, was able to print it for me. This little scenario made me even tighter on time and I was a bit “flustered” by now. By the time i got to the studio I was back to a composed state and set to work. Even after a false start – well two false starts – I remained confident and relaxed. I even took a little time out to make some notes of ideas for something else and to try out a little technique to see if it would produce th eresults i was looking for. I only started getting stressed again when I was photographing the elements when I heard a drip that was clearly inside the studio. It was lucky that I was there to put a bucket under the drip or else a sketchbook and some drawings would have been ruined. I moved everything else that might suffer to what i hoped was a place of safety!
An unfolding artwork created a piece each day for a year