Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Exploding with ideas

Even this last year with all its huge personal and difficult challenges doesn't diminish it.

It's still there. Safe inside. Not seen, not even aware of, not called for, no sign of it.

But its days like this that make me aware of its existence, of how powerful it is, within me.

The invite was innocuous enough - to come and view an art exhibition. It sounded intriguing, though,  for its innovative ideas. The concept of an explosion of paint covering plasterboard. I'd not met the artist before, and he hadn't met me - but we had a connection through my surname, and that had caused us to be aware of each others existence. So I went along, after his personal invite, with an open mind......

He greeted me warmly, and showed me the artwork and gallery. A lovely, open gallery full of light and space. He told me about his work, and  showed me the different paintings there - he hadn't painted them himself - but had organised the explosives expert to blow them up. Does that count as art? A few years ago I would have said a resounding "NO". But as he explained the works, and what was involved, and about the different items imbedded in the paint, I could instantly see what he had done - he had created an explosion in a visual way, he had shown what it did, what it looked like, and what the split second of huge power and impact had created with texture and force, and colour within the paint. As I told him about my thoughts about it he said "You're the first person to realise what I'm doing, what it's about, what I'm trying to achieve" and I felt gratified for that. I explained to him about when I had visited Japan a couple of years ago, and went to Hiroshima, and visited the museum there, full of images of the A-bomb and its effect on the city, people, and surrounding environment, and I told him that his paintings reminded me of one instance where I had seen a set of stone steps from outside a bank in Hiroshima. Someone had been sitting on the steps waiting for the bank to open, on the day of the A bomb exploding, and his shadow was there, shown clearly on the stonework, a poignant echo of a living human being here one second, and gone the next. The art explosions reminded me of that.....and touched me in a way I hadn't expected......

We had a lot to chat about, so decided to go and have a chat over a cup of tea - the conversation easy and flowing. His youth and lack of experience perfectly happy with my greater experience and older years. I think we both learnt a bit from the other, as we both talked about our art, about selling it, exhibiting it, creating it. And of course, we touched upon my "Fantasy Fannies" as he was intrigued with them, their bright colours, how I had created them, and what was involved in the creative process. But I had fully expected that he would be interested in them, as most young men would be.

But, by then I had learnt that he had produced a porno movie.

Its not every day that you meet a pornographic film maker. But then, perhaps its par for the course when you're an Erotic Artist! :)

And that's what I had seen within myself - through the fulfilling couple of hours of chat, through seeing the exploding paintings and understanding them, through talking about making arty porno films, through chatting with another artist, through explaining to someone who doesn't know me who I am and what I do, through talking about the life of an artist, and all that it entails. I had seen ..................myself.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Blogging's difficult when you haven't got a computer, let alone internet access!

Well, the title says it all, really. And I'm still not sure when I shall be getting my internet access, or even my landline at the new address. Why are these things difficult? The people who lived in the house before me had a landline, and internet access. But it doesn't just "sit" there waiting to be picked up, as far as I can tell...... Perhaps I was being overly optimistic, or maybe naive, in the belief that I would just ring up someone on my mobile and they would attach my debit card to their phoneline (or however else they get you to pay, blood sweat and tears?) and - as if by magic - the phone would work. But no, it's not that simple (it never is!). I have had to ring up the new provider, who tells me that they can't find the line (well, it was there last week, where has it gone since then?!) so I have to ring up the Post Office to get a line set up by them, so then the new provider can take it off them. Which certainly begs the question, in my mind, as to why they couldn't have done that themselves in the first place! But, they can't. So, there's a ten working day delay whilst they do all of this (bearing in mind that the line was there for thre previous people only a few days before all of this!). And added to this will be the new telephone provider having to wave their magic telephone wands to enable them to do their telecommunacative stuff (so I'm not getting my hopes up regarding all of that happening at breakneck speed in nanoseconds after I ring them up!).

There's a lot to be said for carrier pigeons................

Anyway, in the meantime, there are still a multitude of jobs to be done in setting up the house. Somewhere to paint pictures, would be nice! And an office to work from (even if it does have a big gap where the computer should be until I can move it there). So, to that end, I've been hunting for furniture. And found some, quite amazingly! But, the multitude of boxes that are currently residing in the office-to-be will have to be moved to the hall, and then all moved back in again after the furniture has been set up....... so that'll keep me busy for a while!

But, it was great to go to the art workshop last Saturday and see all my arty friends again after the summer break. Good to catch up with their news, and to see their faces again, and to join them in the great creative outpourings that make up for these days!

I've missed it.

And loved getting back into the swing of it again. It was about inks and being creative with them - and the tutor certainly made sure we were kept busy all day with it. We did three paintings in the six hours we were there - all with different ways of working with inks - the first was painting with Quink ink - which has some strange chemical properties that means when its painted onto wet watercolour paper, where it is deep black it stays deep black, but where it is painted thinly, it dries golden yellow, to great effect if you can plan what you want to paint with it, and how you want it to turn out....we did a black yacht silhouetted on a lake, with forebidding black clouds above which really looked great with the yellow effect adding to the atmosphere of the clouds and thundery sky.

The second painting was done drawing black ink pen onto watercolour paper, this image of a French courtyard garden, with many pretty flowers and a variety of shapes and textures of foliage. After drawing the image out, we painted the colours with watercolours - a pretty way of painting, and very effective for the subject matter.

But the third picture we did was my favourite - it was done by drawing out an image of a stone cottage (and for us each to decide whether it was creamy Cotswold stone, bleak Scottish stone, whitewashed Welsh stone, or mellow Mediteranean stone) and then we used a mix of watercolours, acrylic inks, heavy black Indian ink, using various effects that incorporated candle wax (to make a wax resist pattern), or using straws to blow the paint and ink around, splattering, tilting the paper to move the paint around, using different implements to make marks, or even as a last resort, to just paint with a brush - whatever came to mind was fine, and added to the overall effect.

Which makes me wonder about the conversation I had earlier with my friend across the seas, who went to an artshow at the weekend, and sent me some photos of his visit - all nice to see, very familiar, and certainly interesting. But, the most surprising image that stuck most in my mind, was the one of the pastel painting being completed by a woman. She was copying a photo of a man on a bike in a street scene – but for me the surprising thing was that she hadn’t done any under-painting – which is so familiar for me to see, particularly with pastels. She was just painting the colour on the white paper and working down the length of the paper starting at the top. That’s really odd! Because the white paper looks so stark next to the colour that your eyes “read” it differently, so its normal for an artist to do an underpainting of colour (which may be muted tones of the top colour, or a contrasting colour to give the top colour some zizz through colour mixing on the paper). Very strange! She wasn’t “painting” the picture from the photo – she was COPYING it. And doing it in an amateurish way – as you could see by the straight line of diagonal leaves on the edge of the tree to the left of the painting. How odd!

And how different from the day I spent at the weekend, being encouraged to be so creative, that anything was acceptable. So long as it was arty!  And inky!

Yep, black fingers again.....

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Some semblence of order

I'm slowly, very slowly getting the new house set up. There are some things that have to take priority - like the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. So long as there is somewhere to sleep, wash and brush teeth, and make a sandwich, and particularly a cup of tea, then the basics are there!!!! After that, the other stuff slowly gets set up - the services of water, electricity and gas, the council tax. And then the house and the stuff in life that makes life more livable.......so I've got to go and buy a washing machine, a front door mat, and some book shelves, some art storage cupboards, and some form of workspace for my new studio.

But, I have the basics. I have a kithcen table to paint from, and a small cupboard to put things in.

I have a lot of stuff in boxes still, though. And I am attending a workshop on Saturday - one that sounds like its going to be a lot of fun - its investigating effects in inks - both permenant and semi-permenant inks. That's great. I have inks already - permanent acrylic inks in various shades, black ink, and Indian ink which is about as permanent as you can get. I have watercolours too, and brushes, and paper, and a workboard.

I have all of those things.

................ Somewhere......

 In boxes. Yep, definately in boxes.

Different boxes. But all in the same room, so that helps!

But, which boxes?

I'm not sure.... I'll have to find out though, before the weekend. And I think it may take me a while to find them.......

Monday, 13 September 2010

Moving on

And now I'm unpacking them.

In a different place............

Sunday, 5 September 2010

At long last

Too busy to say anything, other than ......................I'm packing. At long last.