Saturday, 4 February 2012

Graphite :)

Had a marvellous day this week, think it was Wednesday? With Gillian on the stereo and the sun shining through the window I let rip with the pencils and the graphite and tried all the little ideas that have been bubbling frustratingly in my head.
The material culture. This phrase struck me. It was in reference to museum archives being material objects. Capturing the history of culture in a physical sense. Don't know how this links entirely but whilst I was drawing I was so conscious of the materials. What they tell me. How they speak. They capture the sense of idea. This thought process needs to brew before unravelling because I can't even begin to explain this and in a way this is a note to myself. The concepts are so immaterial that to make them solid with words almost destroys them. Something happens that transcends the physical.

Monday, 30 January 2012

The Ego

After attempting to paint "how I feel" onto canvas it became patently obvious how difficult this was going to be.
I haven't painted for ages. I haven't painted how I feel since I was a teenager! Bearing this in mind there are also lots of levels to this difficulty.
Being averse to imagery an abstract sense of my emotions emerged and perhaps it's a little too vague or subjective to access. When I look at what I've made I can't make any judgement of quality. I have no reference points for this. When I'm drawing I am researching, it is ongoing and temporal and in process. Painting on to a canvas with oils is so determined before you begin. I am constantly searching through the painting activity but it's all so finite and there is the end product contained in that dreadful, ominous, rectangle.
It would be fair to say I am struggling. Struggle is good, however, today I am reeling from reading a very old review that I hadn't seen before and it wasn't a very generous one. The woman reviewing my work and the event it was part of was incredibly dismissive and complaining, almost whiny. I abhor that sort of criticism. It's difficult enough to read glib comments about contemporary art being pretentious when it's written by Daily Mail bigots but from one of your own, a fellow artist, well that is harsh. I took it completely personally, naturally and have been obsessing about this badly written review based on opinion rather than sound reasoning all day (incidentally, uploaded onto a forum at least a two years ago.... get a grip Heaney).
It does leave you open, this art malarky. Not everyone is going to approach the work with the same integrity and dedication that it was made with and it would be impossible to reach all audiences (first lesson in self preservation). And maybe it's ok for folk to hate it. But hate it with style - PLEASE!
As a small consolation there also exists a very thorough, intelligent review of the work in question so I might just go and read that again to boost my ego.........

I'm currently blogging over on It's a repository for my developing PhD research The Graphic M...