Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Less of the Wibbly

Got a phone call today after college offering me some life modelling. Not a huge payment, or very many hours, but its work and the first step on the road to being independant of the NHS paycheck. Feeling a little less worried about money now. And yes i know it will all work itself out, but I can still worry occasionally. It's my party!

Had a fairly good day at college, started putting stuff in the sketchbook and ran 2 monoprints off, to work on on Friday. I think the idea for the growth project will actually work well. Collage and mixed media on canvas, with a bit of stitch too. Can't do anything without a but of stitching!

by the way the flames are to remind me of the fire in my belly and the ambition that lives and burns inside of me for success as an artist. Either that or I die tragically just as I'm startring to get recognised and Josh can live off the profits of my art after my death. The price always goes up when the artist pegs it.

Been reading lots of depressing stuff about slums in Mumbai, but also a lot of very positive stuff about community, recycling and small scale farming in the slums. Who says that the slums are all bad? Not that I would expect anyone to live there if they had somewhere better to go, but I want to make a positive statement about the people who have to live there, for whatever reason.

Had fish and chips for tea and watched rubbish on tv. Too tired to think of homework. Going to town tomorrow morning to draw public buildings and sky scrapers for the project. I want to look at the patterns of the buildings, the windows and the shapes of them to be able to reproduce them for the big picture for my project. Hopefully no-one will think I'm a spy or a terrorist and fetch the police on me. There will be scans of the results sometime over the next couple of days.

Looks like olympus are steadfastly ignoring me now. Need to send another email to them to see if I can at least get a replacement card. Only 2 weeks to go before the next wedding to photograph and I haven't got a reliable memory card. Bugger, more expense.

Going to spend tomorrow working on Claire and Sonia's photos, cos I really don't think I'm going to get any more off that memory card. Very bitterly disappointed about the whole thing. Learned a valuable lesson though. 2 memory cards and split the pics through the day. Formal on one and informal and candid on the other. Hmmmm, why didn't I think of that before? Idiot woman! Never mind. Will make the best of what I have and make a lovely album for Claire and Sonn.

Right off to feed the snake and go to bed ready for the busy day tomorrow.

Countdown to unemployment

I've had loads of support from folks all around wishing me well in the new job choices, but now I'm starting to feel a bit wibbly. It's silly really because I know I will get loads of work, last time I was temping I had more offers than I could cope with! But still, big move and panic may set in some time at the back end of next week.

On a lighter note, there are actually people who want to come to my leaving do, so that will be loads of fun. Big nosh-up and a boozy bimble up west street.

Homework is starting to come together, I've made my sketchbook, finally and done loads of research on different artists and urban geography. I feel I'm starting to move towards a clear vision now, probably to do with Mumbai being the fastest growing city and the slums that occupy every spare inch of the city. I spent about 3 hours yesterday looking at Google Earth and photos of the slums and felt quite depressed afterwards. It seems loads of people have ideas about what to do with the slums, but none of them actually provide minimum standard housing for all the slum dwellers displaced by the clearances. How do you house that many people in adequate housing? I don't have any kind of an answer, especially when you consider the slums are responsible for the vast bulk of the recycling of waste in Mumbai and without that there would be a massive waste problem that could only be solved by land fill rather than recycling. I shall ponder. And never come up with an adequate solution.

Anyway back to the homework, I'm looking at collage and mixed media, although I've been playing with encaustic today, and I want to be able to include maps and town plans in with the collage. Loads to fit in, not sure how I'll do it. Looking at Robert Rauschenberg and Lee Krasner at the moment. Different approaches to collage, but fantastic results with both of them, such power and energy in both of their works. i have to say I've not really done much collage, but I'm looking forward to the experiments. Have to produce a finished board or canvas at the end of the project. Looking forward to that. Should be fun. I may even manage to get some stitch and textile in there too! Pics will be posted in progress.

It's now way past bedtime, so off I go.

Monday, September 21, 2009

New everything

Well, after much backing down and worrying about stuff and getting myself stuck in a place I wasn't happy with, i finally put my notice in at work. As of 16th October 2009 I will be officially jobless. I've never been happier. And in line with the shock of the new, I have also chopped all of my hair off and changed the colour. Can't think of anything else to change at the mo, but I'm pretty sure that if I think of something then I'll just go for it, that's the kind of mood I'm in now.

And here it is my new hair. What do you think? It's still wet from colouring it, but I think it's pretty. I feel lighter, younger and more energetic and that's what I needed, to lighten the load and find the where the energy was being depleted.

Now I'm going to get on and finish my CV and then sort myself out for getting some real art done instead of messing about.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pointless labour

So I try very hard to crack the watercolour thing, to get at least one decent, or half way decent picture ready for college on wednesday and I'm getting nowhere, getting worse at watercolours and about to give up completely. The cat has decided that he likes sitting on my shoulder and doing a parrot impression, but then suddenly moves to put his but hole in my ear. Yummy. Sums up my life and total lack of talent.

I'm not doing anymore water colours, because I simply cannot do them. Why bother, I have spent the last 2 weeks trying and gotten worse each time I have tried. I'm going to stop now, because I'm getting depressed.

Had a strange day today. Parcel arrived from Australia from Helen and Leo, with lots of wonderful cheery goodies in it for me. Made me feel loved and cherished. Went to the docs to have my final dressing change, healed over ok so back to work tomorrow. Then went to my mate Janet's house for advice, art chat and lunch, all good, and felt buoyed by her comments on what I'd done. On way home phone call from the boss asking me to swap a shift, which I did. Then home to try to get to the studio and do some work, which I failed to do.

After failing to do any work I collected Josh from boxing and came home, and finally made it to the studio, where I totally failed to make any impact on the art of painting the sky and the sea. WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF? WHY DO I PERSIST IN DOING SOMETHING I CAN'T DO? I AM AN IDIOT!

Sorry for the capitals. I think I need a break from the watercolours and I need to move into something else. So that is what I will do. Put the watercolours away and use something different. Hah!

I'm off to bed now, up early in the morning for work and getting Josh to college. I may play with my snake for a while.

Night all.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Alone in the sunshine

Josh went away for the weekend today for a boxing retreat and intensive training sessions. I managed to go 6 hours without phoning him. Not bad for me. The last time he went away I was distraught within about 2 hours, dreadfully depressed and miserable by the time 4 hours had passed and suicidal by the end of the first day. The key is keeping busy. Done the pots, baked some bread and painted another picture. Ratatouille for tea, and more cleaning probably. I'm usually gladd for about 10 minutes after he has gone away and then I start to worry and get upset. Why is this, I am generally quite a sensible mum. Generally. Sort of. Ok I am a total fruit loop, but he is my one and only, my baby and the centre of my universe. So much for being a mum who has her own life!

Latest painting. Looking better I think. Getting the hang of it now. Bottom right hand corner is crap, but the rest is looking good.

I still think that I'm never going to really get watercolours. Oh well, at least I'm trying. Very trying!

Back to work.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm Still Not Turner

Ok, so here I am two days later, still unable to do it. But I am starting to pay attention to the copy of a Turner Sketchbook I have.

1) Don't mix the colours on palette.
2) let the bottom colour dry before going over the top unless you actually want it to bleed.
3) A little goes a long way.
4) Don't overload the brush
5) Stretched paper is definately better

So I'm trying, honest I am.

Here's a couple more examples of what I'm trying to do.

I'm trying using different colour schemes and trying different ways of adding the colour to the paper. Not sure how well it is all working.

I'm going to start feeling sorry for myself soon.

I think chocolate or cake may be in order. Or chocolate cake. Now there's an idea.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I am not JMW Turner.

First faltering steps towards a new skill, keep falling over and scraping my knee on the road to watercolouring. Bugger, can't do this, not making any progress, can't do it!

Feeling a bit sorry for myself, even though finally my back is actually healing and the grand canyon is looking more like a medium sized ravine. Oh and the pus is nearly gone. And yesterday I went to my oldest friend, Sapphire's funeral in Stapleford in Nottingham. Cried at the words spoken by her closest friends and family. So many people loved and were loved by her and she saved so many people with her ability to see sensible solutions to people's distress and problems. A rare person who was able to touch so many people without being eaten alive by their problems. It was a beautiful service and I am very glad I got to say good bye to her. Miss you Sapphire, always will. You will be part of my life forever, you taught me how to want to stay in the world.

Not sure where I am going with today's post, partly it was to distract me from the painting that I'm waiting to dry, other wise I'll mess it up, and partly to say how I'm feeling today. A little happy and a little bit sad. I'm of an age now where I am starting to lose friends and relatives on a fairly, sadly, regular basis and I don't like it, can it stop now? Along with people dying, friends have moved to Australia, and others have drifted or stomped out of my life. I feel a little bereft recently and I'm not sure how to pick myself up and get on with my life and make new friends. Not sure I want new friends, I'd like the old ones back, with maybe one or 2 exceptions, can I have my old friends back? Please. Oh better not ask, I remember the tale of the Monkey's Paw. Edgar Allen Poe, be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. Bugger.

The Small Faces on my Media player and the wind blowing through my open window, why am I being so maudlin? Stop it now Sam and get on with some work. You can do it so just stop being lazy/mardy/scared.

Just had a quick tidy up, cleared the clutter, feeling better and ready to go for it again. Maybe I'll get it eventually.

And discovered Somefield Ginger Beer doesn't go with anything at all. It's vile. Never again!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Grand Canyon

So here i am with a huge hole in my back that for a few days looked like it was going to stay as a suppurating wound forever, non healing and infected forever. But, finally I can lie down properly, which means the pain in my lower back and hips will subside. It is also itching like a freshly infected crab carrier.

Wanna see a picture? Here ya go then. Yes it was painful and I will be glad when it's all better.

I just had a sarnie while I was waiting for the picture to upload and had a cuddle with my pet Corn Snake, Rosie. She is such a cutie, but I disturbed her from her torpor, so she was a little disoriented and not happy to be handled. She usually wakes up around 8 to 9 pm, so I'll go and have a play with her then.

I've finally made some headway with the summer project, and I'm pulling my research together, found loads of stuff on JMW Turner, my favourite landscape painter by so many miles no-one else comes close to the feelings I have for him. Anyway I already waxed lyrical about him in my previous posting so I'll not bore everyone again.

I also managed to do a fairly ok sketch of a really beautiful sky I photographed on my phone a couple of weeks ago. Very pleasing. I may upload that to another post. I still haven't worked out how to get the picture inside the words, cos at the mo it always ends up at the top of the text and it doesn't make sense to have it there all the time. Ahh I think I just cracked it. Cool.

I'm having the occasional breakthrough these days, but not the kind I would prefer to have. Mostly to do with technology, not art. But soon, I will be able to draw and paint without having a crisis of belief in myself. Or maybe not. Parhaps it is not worth producign if it is easy to come by, and the struggle to create makes it a valuable act and not simply the recreational act of a bored talentless moron, who would be better off watching soaps and eating cake. Ooh cake. I may go to the shop and buy some. Or I may make one. Sounds cheaper and better. Need cream though. Or icing sugar. Bugger it all involves a trip to the shop. I may as well just go and buy a cake. But then I won't have made it how I like it and it'll be full of flavourings and additives to give it a shelf life. Oh the quandary.

I'm going to stop with the stream of dribble that comes from my head from time to time, or ok all the time. Work now, work, work, work!


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Well the computer is now back, fixed and with a nice big hard drive, but of course I have to reload all of the software and everything, but it never goes smoothly does it? Oh no! Trying to get my email account to work properly and it won't send mail, but will pick up the new mail, so I may well have to ring technical support for some assistance, and eventually after three hours of talking to someone with an accent I can't understand, who has an imperfect understanding of the English vernacular, I may eventually get through to someone who knows what I want and can give me the 1 piece of information I have been trying to get for three hours! I HATE technical support! They always treat you as an idiot and ask the same stupid questions all the time. Have you tried switching it off and on again? Oh the ultimate solution to everything! Switch it off and on again! Of course that's the answer to everything!

Solution to the Middle East Crisis? Switch it off an on again!
World hunger? Off and on again.
Civil war in the Congo? Off and on again.

Sorry ranting now. And yes I am aware of the situation in the Congo and I'm not actually making light of the situation there, but I digress. Also I procrastinate.

Turner and Auerbach, my chosen subjects for my summer project, can I pull it off? And back on again.....oops sorry force of habit! Two fantastic landscape painters, Turner the father of abstract landscapes, Frank Auerbach, the damaged grandchild of the master. Mmmmm, I think I have the start of something there. The joy of living that Turner revelled in, with his travels, mistresses and general bigness of personality in a Brian Blessed kind of way (whenever I think of Turner I always have either Brian Blessed ot Leo McKern playing him!) and Frank Auerbach, displaced child of the Nazi pogroms, alone in the blitz ridden city of London, his world reduced over time to the bit of world that stretches from Mornington Crescent to Primrose Hill, his models his closest friends and almost nothing else to distract him from the purity of the forms and the feelings he wants to express on the canvas. His energy and vitality reserved for the heavy impasto on the canvas. Fabulous. Cool I may even be able to use some of that.

What has amazed me about Turner over the years, and I have to admit loving Turner from a very early age, is his ability to capture the light. I am beginning to understand how he does this, in his waterclours with the use of successive washes and scratching back, the precision of his finished paintings as opposed to the looseness of his watercolour sketches. He would fill 5 sketchbooks on a two week visit to his favourite places, and I was wondering how he did it, but now I understand how he managed. He would start with the loose, watery washes to create an impression of the landscape or more often the sea scape, and then would return to refine, define and create a more in depth painting, still working initially in watercolour all the time, until he was ready, had enough sketches and ideas to begin the work of the oil paintings. Although the various collections and bequests around the country, in Edinburgh and at the Clore Gallery all show the more refined watercolours, it is refreshing to me to find the initial sketches, in a copy of one sketchbook from 1845, showing his working technique and understanding the development of his ideas. I did have an epiphany with his composition at the new year when I went to Edinburgh, and kept notes of this, and now I am having the same kind of thought process while I am blogging. Great stuff! There is light and I can see it!

Now for an end to the chain of consciousness with reference to JMW Turner and back to ordinary life. Ah bugger it. That'll do for now.

Oh yeah the random picture is on the beach at Chapel St Leonards, I just thought it was an interesting image.