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
Making it in the Art World The once traditional approach of cracking the art market by working the gallery and exhibition circuits, and applying for bigger and bigger opportunities, is no longer the only route to notoriety. The book, ‘Making it in the art world: New approaches to Galleries, Shows and Raising Money by Brainard Carey’, was written to give artists insight to finding their own way into the art world. Carey incites artists to raise their own money; build up networks; and bypass the gallery system in order to light a fire under their own career. I had the assumption, before reading the book, that it would… Read More »Making it in the Art World – book review
What I learnt about process from Chuck Close To someone who loves art, walking into a gallery and seeing stimulating art is inspiring and uplifting. However, at times, it can be intimidating when you’re trying to emulate success for yourself. When Chuck Close started his career, like a lot of artists he was affected by the best art of the time. De Kooning became a massive influence on Close’s earlier work. De Kooning stirred Close into practising his style and technique. It all started so well. After several years, Close had De Kooning’s style and technique down to a tee. However, Close struggled when he realised that when people… Read More »Chuck Close’s process
Through an Olafur Eliasson moment can art change the world? It wasn’t that long ago that there was a common belief that humans were separate from the natural world. If people wanted to experience the fundamental characterises of the sublime the only option was to journey to the countryside to observe nature and the natural world. In his new show at the Tate Modern in London, the artist Olafur Eliasson attempts to bring the sublime to the city. When l visited this art exhibition l saw the physical response to the wonders of nature. Eliasson highlights that not only are we part of the environment, that Art, can directly acknowledge… Read More »An Olafur Eliasson moment
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?
Art and Fear, Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Making, by David Bayles and Ted Orland – art book review Have you ever wondered about the best way to approach art-making? In Art and Fear, Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Art Making, by David Bayles and Ted Orland the artists and authors take on the challenge of verbalising the disquiet and unease of making art. It is somewhat comforting to read an artist talking about typical problems and how to overcome them. One of the memorable anecdotes from the book comes from a ceramics class. The ceramics class is put into two groups and are told they… Read More »Art and Fear book review
Henry Moore’s appreciation of form In my previous blog post, I mentioned Michael Craig-Martin’s interest as a child in the shape and form of American cars. From a very young age, Michael Craig-Martin had the ability to identify every make and model of an American car. I found this profound because as a child I also had this ability, but with British cars in the 80s and 90s. This foundational understanding and appreciation of form is clearly something that many artists unconsciously encounter from a young age. This week l stumbled on a black and white BBC documentary about Henry Moore (1898 – 1986) and my appreciation of form was enhanced.… Read More »Henry Moore’s appreciation of form
Michael Craig-Martin: Sculpture review It is hard to understand the incongruities between a successful artist and the work of mere mortals like the rest of us. I want to put into words how can a simple drawing of an object can be turned into a world-class sculptural form. Michael Craig-Martin, the once significant tutor of the YBAs at Goldsmith between 1974-1998, is now showing his latest sculpture at the Gagosian Gallery on Britannia Street in London. Is it the snap at the moment of impact when seeing his work, where he is best in the game? Is it the skill of his placement that no one else comes close to?… Read More »Michael Craig-Martin: Sculpture
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?
‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield – book review At some point, most creative people realise that something needs to change. The book ‘The Art of War’ by Steven Pressfield, essentially it is a self-help book for amateur artists and writers battling with inner self-doubt and fear, to help them understand what is holding them back. The highlight of the book for me was about learning to overcome resistance and ‘turning pro’ as the book inquires, “Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what “Resistance” is.” When I tried to read ‘The Art of… Read More »War of Art book review