Monday, 10 February 2014

Studio time

Today I am mulling over the amount of time spent in my studio.  Or rather the lack of it currently.

Other artists will concur that once in 'the zone' having faffed with the paints, brushes and spent an hour pondering over the last work you did, it is a joyful, frustrating, wonderful place to be. Painting makes me truly happy, and that motivates me to continue. However, I do find that because I also work full time,the time I get to do this is rather slim. Don't get me wrong, I do actually enjoy the variety that working this ways gives my life, but I do find that my two days off in the week which are usually Sunday and Monday are often swallowed by the day to day chores of life: the food shopping, cleaning, exercise (yep I manage a bit of that!) and other day to day jobs.

My Studio is a 15 minute walk or a 4ish minute drive away, rather than being at home, so I find that in summer I feel motivated by the light nights to go of an evening, but in winter I confess I struggle to motiviate myself...

So I ask, how do you motivate yourselves to go to the studio when life is getting in the way?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

It's all in a name..

Quite often when people discover I'm an artist, the first thing the quite rightly ask is 'what kind of work do you do?' A branding of the practice it seems is quite an important tool in the quest for understanding it would seem...

You'd think that this would be easy, but quite often I find it quite a tricky question. I find myself being generally descriptive 'Big bright abstracts' or 'Really textural abstracts, with spray paint, glitter and enamel' but feel these are quite an inadequate way to try to encapsulate my work, particularly if I'm trying to describe it to an audience with a bit of art knowledge.

I usually then simply show a picture as an example which resolves the problem.
However, it has bothered me that whilst being able to talk at length about other artists work, I find myself baffled by my own practice, one which I should know best of all!

Having spent years writing about my work, cogently and with joy, I have realised how easy it has been to get out of the habit of talking about my work, and how self consciousness can lead to a 'dumbing down' attitude.
I recently re-read my MA thesis which was basically a mapping excersise, based on contemporary painters in line with my own practice. It has inspired me to reengage with the academic side of my practice a little.

So over the next weeks and months, I will try to put together a way to describe my work, a short but sweet 'abstract' of you will.

How do you talk about your practice? Do you have any self conscious trouble?

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Joy of Pinterest

One of the most powerful tools I use, and perhaps one of the most simple, is Pinterest.
I have been known to be a little behind the times with technology, mostly because I enjoy the old fashioned things like books and pencils, however, Pinterest is something I was immediately drawn to as it caters perfectly for the visually minded. It also links up beautifully with twitter  (see, I'm down with the kids)

Essentially a great big internet sized pin board for ideas, it does what a mood board used to do for me when I was studying my A Levels. I have filled board after board of things that make me tick, over the past year or so, predominantly artwork that inspires me, but also, nods to my childhood and hobbies like baking and sewing....

This isn't an advert for Pinterest before you say, and they're not paying me or anything! I just think it's a great tool for the creative brain.  A way to put down ideas, to find colours, concepts and to meld them all together in one place. A place I can check freely in the studio whenever I find myself flagging.

Just seeing the artwork that has excited me makes me refocus on my own work, and so I'll leave you with an insight into my brain, mapped out in all it's slightly quirky glory for you via the channels of Pinterest...


Bye for Now