Friday, 5 November 2010

There are times when my brain goes into overdrive. Apart from the constant mulling over painting ideas, colour palettes, how to get more depth and mood into my compositions, how to incorporate direct imagery like people and buildings, whether I have overdone it with the glitter (again) or whether I should switch from canvas to board, all of which are constant recurring mental conversations I have with myself, I am often cursed/blessed with the mindstate where these mundane ponderings step up a notch and I end up scribbling away into sketchbooks or creating massive brainstorms on my studio walls that are intended to be mind maps, to simply get down on paper everything that is tumbling around in there before I forget something that could be worth remembering. (I have a tendency to do that)
The outcome of this is often a lot of wasted paper and some serious under eye bags thanks to the lateness of the hour. I'm one of those people who cannot switch off when going to bed, I lie there going round and round over ideas, churning and tumbling over the potentials. Annoyingly only about 5% of what I mull over during these periods actually comes to anything which at the moment is quite frustrating. What doesn't help is that when I'm not painting, I have other projects on hand, be it planning exhibitions, joint or solo, planning new enterprises like developing into sculpture and possibly installation, right down to making the odd bit of jewellery, or dabbling with the novel I have been trying to write for three years.... If it's not one thing, its another... It's a wonder I haven't gone a bit emo over the years with all this....
Tonight is turning into one of these nights... I've been trawling the internet all evening and fear that my sketchbook could be in for a battering until the wee hours. To make it worse, I have to be up for work at 6.30am tomorrow... I presume this is simply the creative tendency making itself known and I should be welcoming it, however, why is it never there when I'm in the studio on my day off? Staring at a blank canvas then giving up and coming home to grump about why nothing is happening is the usual course, whereas tonight, when I can do nothing about it, I have ideas coming out of my ears....

Monday, 18 October 2010

Ideas a-plenty

My visit to Frieze art fair in London last week really got me thinking. What am I doing compared to the state of the larger art world? How does my work relate? My visit was quite eye opening, a lot more painting that I expected which was pleasant to see, and moreover, a seeming slide towards a more creative and skilled approach to work. Sound silly? I mean that over the years, visiting contemporary galleries has become more and more depressing for me. As an artist I personally place value on timely, considered art. Art which takes some skill to create, something that not everyone could come up with. I have personally found exhibitions rather devoid of this attribute in recent years, save for the stunning exhibition Fiona Rae compiled in 2008. I remember a quote from her, saying she liked witty art, art that was intelligent and challenging. I find I agree more and more. So to see some really quite interesting and engaging art at Frieze gave me some hope... Perhaps in these difficult economic times, when money is not as plentiful, those big bang make the money art works are stepping aside for those practitioners who may have been slightly sidelined by the shock and awe of the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, and we are allowed to see some creative beauty coming through? A very positive note then... I would not say that the entire fair was to my taste, certainly not. I still find it hard to engage with video and performance art, however, each to their own. As the old saying goes, if we all liked the same thing, the world would be a boring place.
I feel an urge to get back in the studio.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Ta Daaaa!

I can finally say that the studio build is finished! That is unless I find some minor detail that needs attention, but for all intents and purposes I can reveal my 'Showroom' thus called because of it's pristine unused state! Or as my friend James called it, my 'Marvel of Architectural Wonderment', which I like very much and may adopt as a sign over the door.
So all's well, now just have to get on with some work, although there is a show at the studio tomorrow night which may simply involve looking at other people's art and drinking. I feel it could be a good way to christen the space. Til next time x

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Studio build progresses

A Quick update on the studio build... Well over half way done, perhaps just one more evening of building to finish it off. Tonight, we rest, because Rob is tired and I have a cold, and frankly it's time to have a night off! My creeping worry now however is that I only have 3 more days to be out of my old studio and there is still one car load and a couple of walking trips required to shift 4 rather large canvases down to the new place. I say down because it's downhill all the way. There's something to be thankful for at least. Still, we're nearly there and it will be worth it in the end. The space is actually feeling rather big now it has been defined, although this picture fails to show it, it is in fact 14 feet long and nearly 8 feet wide. More than enough room for little old me anyway.
In progress picture attached.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The studio build has commenced! After a quick trip to HSS hire that is. Turns out my cheap Argos drill just doesn't cut it when attempting to drill into brickwork, so one hefty hammer action drill later and we have progress. Aided by my glamorous (and somewhat stronger and taller) assistant Rob, who turned into Superman for the evening, we now have wall batons and floor beams in place, and very sturdy they are too I might add.
For clarity I attach a before image in which you can see the other artist's spaces on either side of me, and may understand why I want to build walls to keep it all out. We're based in an old factory, which in fairness as with so many of these type of place, has seen better days, in that the walls and ceiling are a bit worse for wear, but it contains twenty five very nice arty types and I'm very much looking forward to moving in officially.

Today = day of rest, both for me and Rob, who in fairness has done most of the hard work so far, except he was at work when the delivery guys arrived with all the wood and panelling. We had to shift it all up 25 steps to get it in. They weren't happy. They were sweaty and red faced.
And so was I.

Still onwards and upwards, for tomorrow it continues. We should actually see some walls appearing all going well.
Til then.......

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

T Minus 6 days until all the gear arrives to build my new studio.. Quite a daunting task actually, to build what is now being referred to as 'Vicki's cube of Pain' (no dodgy references intended) It involves lots of timber and 8 foot x 4 foot chipboard panels, LOTS of measuring and drilling etc, but thankfully no cutting because B&Q are doing that for me. For free I might add, the powers of batting your eyelashes at the boy placing the order. Not that I would decend to such feminine tricks of course....
Anyway, before and after pictures to follow as and when I suceed/fail miserably. However, I'm going for success for now as I feel strangely optimistic so far and am just concentrating on how good it's going to be in the end. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

New works coming soon....

Contract signed for new studio signed: Check
Key for said Studio: Check
Application for several new exciting ventures and competitions: In Progress
Paintings: Wrapped and ready to go
Current Studio: Sad to say goodbye
Van hired to move all belongings: Not quite
New Paintings: On hold until all of the above is done!!!

So whilst there is a slight lull, I've included a little snapshot of my Masters show in the Peter Scott Gallery in Lancaster as a little indulgence to fill the gap...

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


The last few days have been pretty eventful. There I was on my day off cheerfully stretching my nice new canvas, when I found out that my studio is closing down at the end of July. It's a real shame as they're a good bunch who run it, but they have other commitments and can't keep it up anymore.. So tonight I went to check out a new studio, a tad further away, which seems pretty good... Nice people and more of them that at my current place which is good. The space was a little disorganised, but hey, I guess that's the nature of 25 arty people all in one place. So fingers crossed I can update with a studio move very soon...meanwhile, that canvas may have to stay unpainted for a while...

Monday, 17 May 2010

Back on track

After a good month off, I finally went back to the studio today. I haven't really been feeling the painting vibe recently after finishing the previous works for the exhibition and Nottingham Open, so it was actually nice to feel the need to go back and get stuck in again. Perhaps seeing Neil Dawson painting live in the gallery yesterday inspired me? (thanks Neil!)
Anyway, a painting that I started weeks ago got a new lease of life today and is almost complete, and it has sparked the need to get my next canvas stretched and ready to go, however that takes a while so one thing at a time! New pic included....

Saturday, 20 March 2010

An anxious wait on thursday yeilded my two new frames, delivered by the UPS man who disturbingly knew who I was and thankfully delivered them to my place, even though the dude from manchester who posted them had put down my house number as 6 instead of 4. Clearly I am getting some renown, even if it is from the italian delivery guy who can't say my name.

Anyway, one of them is now stretched and ready to prime, so my mission for tomorrow evening is to get it ready to paint on on monday... When I get a day off work.
the other one will have to wait, one thing at a time, but I'm now getting itchy fingers and want to get cracking, roll on monday!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Well, today was filled with good intentions, but I didn't actually get much done, so I have set myself the ambitious idea of getting to the studio for 7 o'clock tomorrow. I'd like to say that this is all down to my over active desire to fling some paint around, but largely it is because of parking...
For some unknown reason, all available parking spaces on the street surrounding my studio are full by 7.30am every weekday and remain that way until 5pm, so if I have to lug anything heavy, it's 7am or bust. Tomorrow I have to lug a very large over-head projector which I dragged back from Manchester last week, plus all the painting goodies I have accumulated over the last few weeks. So I'll be yawning my way there early. Hopefully. Unless the snooze button calls like it did this morning.... Fingers Crossed.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Day two of the blog: (said in a geordie accent befitting that bloke from Big Brother)

Not much to report today as I've been at work, however,yesterday I bought some new paint and glittery bits and bobs that I am itching to open, so in the next few days there may be some interesting happenings. For now, I'll simply post another recent painting, although there are stil plenty more to upload...One thing at a time, I wouldn't want to get ahead of myself...

Monday, 22 February 2010

Latest news:
My painting 'Unrolling a Deep Promise' Is currently on display at Nottingham Castle, as part of the nottingham Open Exhibition. Click on the link below for details.


New day, New blog....

Well well, In these technologically enlightened times where you are no one if you don't have an i phone, a new fangled laptop, wifi, blu tooth and a big headache from dealing with the said technology, I have decided to create a blog, not to discuss Eastenders or what I had for tea, but instead to offer some small insight into my studio, my paintings and my plans for 2010. I hope to list my up coming shows, commissions and paintings in progress. There should be many a lovely picture for you to peruse and I do hope you enjoy following my work.