Things that catch my eye There is a belief that if you allow yourself, it be distracted from earning money and a professional career like being an accountant or a lawyer; it is to play away from what is essential. I’m afraid I have to disagree. Since I was a child, I have allowed myself to be pulled down a rabbit hole. When most people move on with turning their life away from play, I have stuck at it, allowing myself to indulge in a belief that an interest in what I notice is of value. I have given perception, high importance in my life. I feel lucky to be… Read More »How does a new art work come about?
Marlene Dumas: the painter’s life In 2004, I started to make a visual diary. It is a great way to tune into what feels important. My visual diary has slowly developed and transformed over many years into a multifaceted body of work. This body of work, like Marlene Dumas’s work, has recorded many of the moments in life that felt relevant and significant. It helps me understand and consider the things l am doing a bit better. Writing about Marlene Dumas’s artwork enables me to articulate what l see and then go deeper into what l, myself, want to achieve when l stand in front of the canvas. Painting… Read More »Marlene Dumas: the painter’s life
Overcoming fear by taking one brushstroke at a time I want to share with you, a story about how I overcame my biggest obstacle and my biggest fear. As I look back to when I finished my post-graduate course in Fine Art in 2007, aged 29 years, I am still surprised how naive I was. I thought I only needed to display my artwork in a proper gallery, it would be seen by someone in the know, and I would be an overnight success. How wrong can I get it! I realise there is no such thing ‘god’s gift’. Unsurprisingly quick success didn’t happen. Instead, shortly after graduation, I had a… Read More »One brushstroke at a time
Learning how to live as an artist – Stuart Bush Studio Notes It feels like it has taken me a long time to work out what I think is important and to trust myself. When it comes to sharing my errors and experiences, I want to be an open book. There is a lot to learn from small discoveries, successful experiments and breakthroughs, in the studio, in life and from a positive personal outlook. There is also stuff that I wish someone had shared with me. I use to hate making mistakes. However, now, my perspective on how to live as an artist has turned full circle. I am grateful… Read More »Learning how to live as an artist
Pretending to be a painter When I hear a negative voice in my head saying, “I am in over my head, they are going to find out,” this little voice reminds me I am not good enough. It seeks to devalue myself worth causing me to underestimate myself. Then I come to the conclusion that l must be mad about choosing to be an artist. I realise that l have volunteered myself for all this self-doubt. I feel like l am pretending to be a painter. If l am not careful the voice gets out of control and my self-confidence is eroded. It is hard to break the psychological… Read More »Pretending to be a painter
Is time the artist’s greatest enemy? I dream of sitting in my dusty studio. The pungent scent of turpentine is in the air. I can see the photographs and sketches stuck on the wall. Devils Haircut, by Beck, plays in the background and newspapers, magazines and books litter the paint-covered floor. I have a primed blank canvas on the easel, all ready to go. I sit, staring and reflecting on what to do next. Shall I draw or paint today? I wish there was nowhere else l have to be. I often only wish it was true; that I had nowhere else to be. The idea of being unbound by… Read More »Is time the artist’s greatest enemy?
What do I love about being an artist? I love what I do. I want to go to my studio every day and have a perfect day. On my perfect day, I want to express something of significance. Once I am in my studio, my mind starts to make connections. By fostering a studio practice with risk-taking and openness, I open an infinite space. Every painting l create opens a new conversation about, What if? I like to stay open to the possibility of generating tension in my work. I don’t want to overthink what I am doing. Words have never been a strong point of mine, so l stick… Read More »What do I love about being an artist?
Dreaming about success Often when I turn on the shower and step in, I turn on a shower of thoughts and start dreaming. I’m not sure why it happens in the shower, but I think it is a favourable place to be flooded with thoughts and ideas. My mind also, unfortunately, wanders when I am painting. Over time, I have realised I have become a professional daydreamer. This is the wrong time and the wrong place to be dreaming about success and imagining the future. I feel the need to gain some self-mastery of my busy creative mind. I used to think dreaming about the future was my reward for… Read More »Dreaming about success
I was taught at school that everything had to be right. I was encouraged to conform so that when I grew up I would make a good employee. Education was stifling. I was urged to aim for perfection; however, I was a long way away from achieving that. Sketching and doodling were discouraged, learning from failure was hindered. As a consequence, I had no idea how to rebound from a failed painting. When I started to learn to paint I use to stop, look and make a judgment about my progress. I worried I was wasting my time and making a blunder. I hated being wrong. It is a struggle to complete… Read More »Rebound from a failed painting
Most artists share the same fear and dread, a bad review! You think it’s all over. It makes you feel reluctant to share your work. I can imagine the day a museum curator knocks on my studio door with good news, and there is no answer. The bell keeps ringing…. The curator keeps trying to get an answer until he/she realises something terrible might have happened. Eventually, they gain access to find me dead under an incredible amount of bad art. So much so that they can just see two feet sticking out of the bottom. Do they run for help? No, they are horrified by how much bad art… Read More »Painter Killed By Critique Of His Own Bad Art