'The place where inspiration hits the page running... A sketchbook to fail and reflect on my work and my process'

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


I'm really excited and slightly scared about taking my first workshop 'Mark Making', at Newlyn School of Art on 20th July (10-4pm).  This Saturday! It's a workshop that is aimed at people who may need a change of head space, or a different way of looking and being inspired, and are interested in a more abstract approach to making imagery.

Come along or pass it on, thanks.

Here's the blurb in more depth if you are interested.. if not skip past and look at the next post!

Mark Making

A day course exploring the energy behind the marks you make instinctively. Unlocking the free spirit that is often trapped inside through fear and habit.

This course is an insight into an individual artistic process, and offers a different way of working, while encouraging a fun and playful way of applying paint and using sketchbooks, in order to move your practice forward.

I will start the course with a short presentation about my experience of searching and finding my creative voice after 16 years as a commercial artist. This (along with another short talk in the course) hopefully offers a valuable introduction into how I use and manipulate paint, and how I design and compose my marks onto the page. Therefore putting the course into context while introducing a new way of looking and creating marks.

Using sketchbooks as a starting point, encouraging the hand and mind to loosen, while enabling the you to reassess and understand the marks you make, and the subject matter you choose intuitively. Challenging the fear of the blank page, enabling a less troubled entry into a daily art practice.

Working with multiple pieces of work in order to encourage and maintain the immediacy and energy of the marks, while also working at a slightly faster pace. So this course is for the open minded artist or beginner, who is willing to allow their mind and body to relinquish normal ways of working, in order to experience how they create work on a more intuitive level, therefore creating work that is not only full of life and energy but exudes authenticity.

For me artwork that carries authenticity carries layers. These layers may be invisible as a two-dimensional form, like history, education and experience, but there are also layers of time and activity. So working on a few pieces at one time means you are layering your page with time that is not laboured, but contains its energy and life. So the page not only holds the immediacy of your first marks, it also, in contrast, holds the history of marks made before, and if mindfully executed, each layer still has air to breath, building the bricks to a successful and energetic piece of artwork. This can take an hour or a lifetime to achieve, so approach with an open mind.

So once the workshop is done and dusted and was hopefully a success I can focus again on my own stories. I have created numerous stories and a few characters, the main one being my dog. I am constantly thinking about stories for him and have so many ideas I can't focus on one! I am considering asking for some help, I just have to make sure it's the right time to. 

We are in the middle of buying a house and it's taking a lot of energy, so finding the focus for my own creative work is hard. The deadline of an exhibition is helping me focus on other work, but the one I really want to nail is still in the waiting room. It means so much to me that I feel it is crippling me. I am constantly thinking of ways to make it less important so I can move it forward and go on tour with Bobo, and our new book. Watch this space!...again.

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