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

Friday, 17 January 2014

Where Does Your Art Take You.

 I've just come back from Newlyn Art Gallery and the Pirrip Press exhibition that is nestled in (the Picture Room) with the Gareth Edwards and Peter Webster exhibition. The show was great and had a really satisfying contrast throughout. I'm having a show there later in the year as you may know and it really made me picture how I wanted it to be, so that was great. I love the work that Pirrip Press does and especially the looser screen prints, drawn and painted over by George (Hounsome) and it gave me the impetus to start on the work for my show, so I will be starting very soon on a new body of 'antidote' work, which is exciting.

Today while I was driving some things started to drop into place, like the Newlyn Show in October, my children's books and authorial work, and I can't get the word residency out of my head. So maybe it is time to think about going away to work, to get perspective and put myself into a context in hope that my work may pick up on it and move forward, helping me out of my blockage?

At college on Wednesday it was quiet in the afternoon, so I went to see what the first years were doing. They were separating an image into colour-ways and printing them on one piece of paper on the photocopier. The results were great. Here's mine...and also some of the separate layers. Not my style really but great to know there's a new technique that is not only pleasurable and easy, effective too.

After the exhibition I pootled off to Trewidden gardens to see my lovely friend and fellow artist Faye Dobinson in her studio. We chatted about life and art and our place in it all, as we always tend do, although sometimes dancing takes place too, but today just chat and coffee. One conversation came up and it made me think and ask myself a question which may help me answer why my work doesn't seem to stick anywhere.    

My question is 'where do I want my art to take me? 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Looking Back To See

I was looking through some old MA sketches from 2009-11 and found some old bear sketches that I've worked on and finally see more clearly. I've been struggling to find a new way of working, to find the content that makes me tick, that I get excited about etc. I was looking over a reference from a previous lecturer from Portsmouth Uni, and he said that I would be an asset to any course etc etc, which was lovely to hear, he also said that I needed to work on my understanding of fine art and design content. Back then I didn't really understand what he meant but I do now, and although the MA has definitely improved this tenfold, I still find difficulty in finding content of my own. I almost feel like I have the know how, the capability but I just need projects, briefs to move my work forward and to give me content, because I am rubbish at choosing my own. It was easier on the MA because I had deadlines. Ironically it is under brief, with less time that I work more effectively, it would seem. With too much time and the whole world to grasp inspiration from it all feels too much.

I have started to look more closely to home and to my old sketchbooks. I have realised that the search for a new style, way of working, finished pieces etc is right under my nose. It was on the MA, under pressure of deadlines, with no pressure from audience or commercial demand, that I found that way of working. So all the small movements forward I have made with my new bits and pieces, have been ok but I feel by going back and reflecting I have moved forward even more.

I feel I need somewhere to put these new gem illustrations, so I will be making a book...possibly for Pylon Press if they'll have me. So I now have a purpose, a brief, a deadline again. Self inflicted, but never the less valid and I feel a flow of clarity and it feels nice.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

New Year Gusto

I seemed to have woken up on New Years day with a bit more gusto.. I have been in a receiving, more contemplative mode for the past 12 months and now I have energy again. I may even start running again!? Here are just a few more illustrations I have managed to extract from my sketchbooks, one including a piece for the PCA Pylon press publication, Support Structure-Shelter. So here you are, bit clunky in places, esp the text but we'll ignore that for now. Also to reiterate that these are something of an attempt to find ground between authorial and commercial illustration.