“Everything is abstract, in my language of paint” I love going for walks, and I often take my camera with me. I sometimes feel like a child discovering nature. As I walk, I react to the spaces. I have come to realise that if I look at what I want to express long enough, I can see everything in shapes, forms, lines and edges. These forces leave marks in my mind and l discover aspects that I have never seen or described before. Everything becomes abstract in my language of paint. I take lots of photographs, they function like preparation sketches or reference material taking me back to that… Read More »Everything is abstract
Making a better painting than I did yesterday I stand in front of a blank canvas. All the thinking and preparation is done. Inspiration from direct experience and reference material is in my head. New ideas are no good to me now, my overthinking mind needs to stop. I have a conviction; to make a painting. I want to make a better painting than I did yesterday. However, as I stand there, I realise the act of painting is a mystery. Without hesitation, all I can do is pick up a brush and focus on the first mark. After that, I am painting. I like to add a coloured… Read More »Making a better painting than I did yesterday
Getting started in the studio If you talk to people who procrastinate when in the studio they will often say… “First I have to open the door and tidy up the mess from last time. All the equipment needs tidying or putting in some sort of order, to make my space workable. In the winter I need to turn on the heater to warm the room up. Then I have to change my clothes, so I don’t get paint on them. Next, I have to think about my mood and the music that goes with it. I often feel the need for a tea or a coffee before I get… Read More »Getting started in the studio
Following your passion, looking for your creative secret On a wet cold street corner in Chicago, in the worst part of town, you’re experiencing the thrill of observing life with your camera. There is a homeless person on the sidewalk, who looks tired and hungry. As you walk towards him, he looks directly at you, reaffirming life. Looking in his eyes you see through the grime. You recognise his spirit and hope for something more worthy. Your pulse races, you’re witnessing suffering you can hardly imagine. Your hand moves to the shutter. However, you realise that to make the picture work, you need to step further into his personal space.… Read More »What is your creative secret?
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?