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
What I learnt from Philip Guston, Stuart Bush: Studio Notes It is well known that during Philip Guston’s career and throughout his life’s work, he toyed with two opposing forms of art. There was the figurative cartoon style of his earlier work in the 1930s and abstract expressionism in the 1950s. Philip Guston’s career highlights what he believed to be the central concern in the career of an artist. No matter what anyone else says or does, Guston believed that “A painters first duty is to be free.” Free to make their own choice, that is said, “unless you’re the kind of an artist that gnaws on one bone all… Read More »What I learnt from Philip Guston
A love story between a painter and the subject It is perhaps not surprising that the first thing I am drawn to as I enter Elizabeth Peyton’s new show at Sadie Coles in London is the few abbreviated spontaneous strokes. The marks capture feelings sending the paintings beyond just physical aspects in her lush romantic paintings. Over the years the configurations, I have noticed Peyton’s paintings have become more and more involved. However, the subject matter is still the same. Peyton’s use of light, colour and poignancy has compounded. The watercolour brushwork is pure and clean like freshly fallen snow. Through her use of bristles of her brush, Peyton has… Read More »Elizabeth Peyton review
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
Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson book review If you have ever wondered about the life and mind of a voracious creative genius, then this is undoubtedly a satisfying read. Leonardo Da Vinci left 7200 pages of notebooks after his death, filled with anatomical and scientific drawings, detailed designs for new machines and weapons, military strategies, maps, sketches, and observations, as well as 15 paintings. He was interested in art, engineering, biology, medicine and geology amongst many other subjects. Walter Isaacson’s book is an interpretation and analysis of those notebooks and paintings. The six hundreds pages of the book, ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’ by Walter Isaacson it is an immensely impressive undertaking. Author… Read More »Leonardo Da Vinci book review