30 January 2011

the return of the painter's block (conquered)

Couldn't sleep last night, my mind was plagued by the logistics of mounting 1,966 post-it notes.  It is definitely too early to be fretting over such things - the exhibition is at the start of March.  I'll be a sleepless wreck by the end of February...

Enough faffing.  I must go and paint.  Or at least loiter in the studio away from this creative drain that is the computer.

I think I've hit painter's block again.  I know this because I came in from the studio just after 12.00 and I'm still here at 13.24.  And when I was out there before I didn't do anything except paint over 'Home Sweet Home' again, which isn't actually painting, even though it involves a brush and paint.  I knew I shouldn't have prematurely added the 'Procrastination' label to this post.

In other news, I printed off some slides of morse code.  Though I'm not at liberty to say what they spell.

ENOUGH!  I'm turning off the computer.

Well, I'm pleased to say something did get done.  First: the weekly touch-up of the secret date plaque, then: a bright idea.  I had been intending to wait until it got dark to do some projections, but with lack of anything else to do, I went ahead whilst the light was fading.

I now have 2 canvases, sketched out with new neon motifs: The new improved 'Home Sweet Home' with a standardised neon font; and the "rockface no.2", with a morse code message painted into the crack.

All I needed was to have something new to get my teeth into.  And now I'm eager to get back to werk next week.

29 January 2011

Exhibition press for I THINK OF YOU AND I SMILE

I just found this little preview for 'I Think Of You And I Smile', from the Brighton Latest magazine.

Neon Painting: I Think Of You And I Smile

I Think Of You And I Smile
oil and mixed media on canvas
165cm x 118cm

A large scale canvas completed in July 2010, this was short-listed for the FringeMK painting prize, for which I submitted the following statement:
A poorly lit back-alley; a bleak and dour town. A stuttering, fluorescent glow draws you in: “I think of you and I smile”. Serene and pure white neon shimmers against a filthy, water-stained wall. A heartfelt and private reflection rendered in stark, clinical form; the plainly personal made unabashedly public.
The painting debuted at my first solo show, also titled 'I Think Of You And I Smile', at Blanch House, Brighton, Aug-Sep 2010.

And finally, two photos of the painting in-situ at the 'I Think Of You And I Smile' exhibition.

19 January 2011

Destruction reigns: goodbye Home Sweet Home

I decided to get an early night last night, with the intention of waking up early and getting all the menial background tasks done first thing so I could have a full day of painting at my disposal.  The reality is that I woke up just before 9am, with a splitting headache. I am currently ploughing my way through an abridged list of menial tasks, so I must get on.

The things I do for my art.  I have just spent a stupid amount of time taking 81 post-it notes from a book and sticking them on a monitor.  I took a few photos, and then spent a load more time returning them, in order, to the note-book.  This is just a fanciful thing I wanted to do for the Work/Work exhibition, it will in no way form, or inform, the "artwork", but I wanted to have some documentation of a part of the "artwork".

It is 11.52, and I have wasted enough time.  The studio is calling me...

I did the customary once over of the secret date canvas, then flooded the crack in "the rock face" with more pink paint: Rose Madder, Titanium White, Permanent Geranium, Permanent Magenta.  In a fit of bravery I hinted the spread of the glow onto the edges along the crack.  Not sure if that was a good idea.  I put it aside for another week or two.

I sat there waiting for the inspiration to come.  It didn't.  When inspiration deserts me, it is sometimes good to let destruction reign.  Out comes the sandpaper, and then the white paint: goodbye 'Home Sweet Home'.

13 January 2011

white light

It is 10.56am, I have just spent some time preparing images for my presentation at the 'Work/Work' exhibition meeting tonight.  I also produced a plan of how the post-it notes could be displayed in blocks of 150 (10 across x 15 down).

I didn't actually make it out to the studio until after lunch, giving myself about 2 hours to get any painting done.  But the post-it note developments had to be done, it may not be painting, but it is another facet of my creative output.

I worked on the date plaque, building up another layer of the the subtle white glow.  Afterwards I used the left over white paint to improve the cold glow of the white "path of least resistance".

Soon enough it was 4pm: time to clean up and change into my civvies and catch a train to London...

5 January 2011


First day back at the easel after a lonnnnnng break.  It would be nice to say it is easy to just settle back into it.  But that would be a lie.  Conversely it hasn't been the uphill struggle I was expecting, though I have probably been easing myself back in gently.  Need to get my confidence back before I embark on proper painting, so I occupy myself with tinkering away at those more inconsequential tasks.

I have decide to flood the crack in the rock-face with pink neon glow, though at present it just looks like it's been painted over badly with magenta, and I need to wait for that to dry before I embark on the next layer.

There goes my my first bout of proper procrastinating of the year - thank you the internet.  I snapped out of it and made a cup of tea, and trudged back out through the fine, icy rain.  I then sat there listening to the music for probably about 15 minutes in this position:

I'd like to say I was deep in thought, but the truth is I was contemplating nothing more than this:

Time to call it a day, I reckon.

the new year message

happy new year campers!
This blog has now been in existence for almost 2 years.  Yes, two whole years of me spouting out my internal dialogue onto the screen.  Two whole years of self-indulgently recording "the struggle".  There have been good days and there have been not so good days.  But it's helped me to not have all this swimming round my head.

I seem to have been a bit slack of late: December shoved my painting to the side in favour of various social and seasonal commitments. And then there was the snow.  But it's the first week of January, and it feels good to be back (to paraphrase a certain fallen glam-rocker.  I say fallen, I probably mean vilified!).

Current news is that I'm involved in an exhibition titled 'Work/Work', investigating the difficult balance of paid work and creative work, for the artist.  The exhibition will take place in March in a sweet little gallery space in East London.  I plan to show an archive of nearly 2000 post-it note "artworks".  I will be presenting my plans/ideas to the group next Wednesday.

And so all that remains is for me to switch off the computer, take up my bag and skip round to the studio.