I realised earlier that I have never asked Sally, my partner, to deliver one of my #Letter365 pieces. As she is out at choir at present I have left a note with the letter on our kitchen table. I am pretty confident that she will pop it in to the Arts Centre tomorrow.
I really like today’s piece. I admit that the idea has been banging around in me ever since I started and I was set up to do it today, but I am more than pleased how it all tuned out. I like the concept, the subject/s and the way it looks. Mind you I am so tired with the installation and all that I nearly left it in the studio! I had put my coat on and switched out the light and realised I had not photographed it and put it in an envelope!
There is not really any connection between the headline and today’s piece. I mention the bees on the envelope and subliminally my visit to our apiaries my have influenced the work I suppose, but really the inspiration came from something in the studio.
Really and truly I just want to do some drawing or cut some lino or splosh some paint about, but I have stuff to do if I am to pull this show off and make it a success. So you might see that there are new menu items on the site here, which take you to pages with all the info you need to make as much sense of this project and installation as anyone can have! I have been working pretty solidly on this kind of work for a few days now and it is pretty hard to focus when you have to deal with a diving suit, but let me loose in the studio and I am up and at ’em! This is pretty important really as I had no idea what I might do for today’s piece, but all is well. Later I watched a documentary about Kraftwerk and thought “that’s interesting, there was some of that about in what I did at the studio.”
Sometimes it all goes so swimmingly! I thought about this one on the way to the studio and wondered how it would work and apart from one minor hitch that I had to compensate for it all just fell into place and worked perfectly. If only everything in life was such a joy!
“How can that be” you say, “two #Letter365 postings on one day?” Well as you can see from the image above it was me that had to cough up for the fact I forgot the stamp the other day. Of course, when presented with the Post Office card, I couldn’t just nip round to the sorting office and pick it up as I’m not supposed to touch it again till we install the show. So I had to get the stamps and send off the card to get the piece delivered. Later in the day I popped No337 in the same post box.
Now the thing about No337 is I found it difficult at first to appraise its quality. I had been busy all day and just come from a meeting with Laura and Megan at Arts Centre planning the installation and though I had the idea quite quickly, my head was in a different space. It took me a while to move from the administrative state I was in and reconnect with my art life. I suppose you could say I should have trusted my instinct whatever state I was in – and I am very pleased with the result – but I had to be sure. It was worthwhile to have to find a way to switch states quickly so I now have some useful techniques at my command.
I had a doubt if I would be able to stick it out at the studio for long enough to do today’s piece and, as I noted on the envelope, I was prepared to bring my materials home and do it here. As it turned out I was inspired to create a piece to send to an artist creating a collaborative installation at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery which I was alerted to today by Paula Youens. The deadline is Tuesday so I needed to get it in the post. So I donned my thermal merino wool base layer and thermal sweater and went to the studio where I drew the infrared heater closer and kept on my coat and merino wool hat and was delighted that I didn’t need my fingerless gloves on! i was also delighted with the two pieces I created, especially the one for #Letter365. It went exactly to plan and worked out exceedingly well though it bears no resemblance to Mr Kipling cakes.
In a conversation I had last Friday with two artists it was suggested that having a studio that is not too warm and comfortable can help to keep you from getting to comfortable about your work. It was suggested that it can be a spur to creativity and keeping the flow of new ideas. I’m not dismissing the notion but as I am never short of ideas I’ll happily sacrifice some for an equable ambient temperature in the studio!
I was feeling somewhat stressed today, but decided just to take some time out and go to West Bay to look at the sea and takes some photos and maybe some drawing. It was a peerless day: sunshine and a deep, deep sky almost cloudless. I was good to spend a couple of hours in a clear spot, focused on just being there.
When I finally got to the studio I found myself a little stressed again. My idea for the day’s piece involved drying time. I confess that I did a few pieces that I would choose the best or the driest from! That shows I was not that convinced I could produce what I wanted in the perceived time available! While waiting for them to dry i had a cup of hot chocolate and found myself in a clear spot, unhurried and relaxed. I started to clear up a few things around the studio and sort some paper into the plan chest. As I did so an idea began to emerge – not specifically for #Letter365 – and a handy few bits of materials happened to get placed together and in minutes I had decided to work it all out and bingo, it fell into place brilliantly. Super subtle and a visual coincidence, unplanned, indicated perfection (well almost!)
My first attempt at my #Letter365 piece today was, well, crap really. What seemed to be a good idea started well then quickly foundered. Despite many attempts to bring it back from the brink, sadly, it tipped off the edge! Part of the problem was my love of using mixtures of materials that are perhaps not designed to go together – sometimes it produces interesting results. There again another part of the problem was that it wasn’t a well thought through idea and I was experimenting as I went. As we all know not every experiment yields a useful result! If I am really honest, I would have to say that my discipline failed for a while too. It was cold at the studio and I had left it later than I intended and wanted to try out some other ideas not related to #Letter365. The lesson is, I suppose, you can’t win them all and get your ducks in a row first!
I don’t have a thermometer in the studio but it definitely wasn’t warm there today. This morning it was -6°C outside and when my son and I moved my printing press to the studio we didn’t stop. I just spent a few hours there in my merino wool thermals and hat, which I felt was enough time today!