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
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 with making art to express myself. Words about sincere motives and… Read More »What do I love about being an artist?
Often when I turn on the shower and step in, I turn on a shower of thoughts. 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 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 taking on an almost impossible creative challenge. At times, I… Read More »Dreaming about success
I remember just starting out as an artist, and I didn’t know what to paint. The choice seems so vast and momentous. I was often lost in thought as I was worried about making the wrong decision. I wasted a lot of time and energy when l should have just got started. Recently I heard this advice from Herbert Swope (b 1958) the editor and journalist, “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: ‘trying to please everyone all the time.” Although these words of wisdom do not come from an artist, it is excellent advice. It took me a while to… Read More »What to paint – The recipe for failure
©Stuart Bush, A section of ourselves as a commodified object, oil on aluminium panel, 80 x 120cm Often when a viewer looks at works of art they ask themselves, ‘why did the artist make this?’ However I believe that understanding the original idea or intention of my work defeats my ambitions for this artwork. Instinct led me to paint this painting. By trying to understand my instincts my aims are never going to be clear. Creativity is instinctive, and it is buried within me. I’m interested in this part of myself. I am curious about exploring what I am hung up on. I’m not in control of what comes out. Braque said,… Read More »A painting has to stand up by itself
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
The need to make sense of this world through painting began a long time ago. The oldest known cave paintings where more than 64,000 years ago. Why do I paint? I feel a deep need to communicate something. Something I can’t put into words. Painting is my way of finding kindred spirits. When I look at art from the past, I realise I am not that dissimilar to my ancestors and painters of the past. Studying art from the past allows me to explore the many different ways that artists saw the world during their time. It helps me to broaden my perspective and understanding and allows me to see… Read More »Why do I paint?
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
I am happiest when I realise that there is something to investigate, something that doesn’t quite fit. I love the slow development of an idea. The slow convergence of thoughts that often come after a period of incubation. l realise then that there is a problem worth tackling, a problem that is going to become my muse. It is exciting to think that possibly, this concept hasn’t occurred to anyone else. If it has occurred to someone before me, they will likely approached it in a completely different way. I love my work more than what it produces. I love going deeper, I just follow my hunch and allow… Read More »I love my work more than what it produces
I crave for a life without physical, mental or financial constraints. It has been my intention not to have limits on what I do, what I say or how I spend my time. I want to make what I want, when I want. One of the attractions of being an artist is the concept of free expression. However, our culture, often wires us up to do what is safe and sensible. In my experience, it takes discipline to have creative freedom. Commercial art is a good, sensible way of making a living from art. It has a project outline, a list of do’s and don’ts and set deadlines. To get paid you… Read More »It takes discipline to have creative freedom