obstacles

Stuart Bush Blog, Learning how to live as an artist, The slipping of pattern and form

Learning how to live as an artist

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
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday book review, Stuart Bush Studio

Ego is the Enemy – Book Review

We have all come across people who appear cocky and arrogant. People with massive high opinions of themselves.  People who seek the attainment of superiority and ascendancy above making a real difference to others in this world.   When I come across people like this, they always rub me up the wrong way. As an artist, at times I can get overly focused on my work, like most people who enjoy what they do.  However, I don’t want my confidence to turn into arrogance. I am very mindful that I don’t allow my focus to lead me to be self-absorbed and egocentric.   Luckily, I have come across the excellent… Read More »Ego is the Enemy – Book Review

Making it in the Art World – A book review

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 tell me the same old things I… Read More »Making it in the Art World – A 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 stood in front of his work, they thought of… Read More »What I learnt about process from Chuck Close

Art and Fear 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 are going to be graded differently. One group is informed to produce as much work as possible, while the other group has… Read More »Art and Fear book review

Dreaming about success

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

What to paint – The recipe for failure

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

Painter Killed By Critique Of His Own Bad Art

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 needed to find my new painting in my last painting

When I started out and sought to develop my work into an artistic practice I often used to get very frustrated and disappointed when I felt I had made an unsuccessful work of art.  As the piece was near completion judgemental voices in my head would take over saying, “this isn’t good enough,” “you’re not good enough” and “you’re never going to make a go of this”.  But over time I have learnt that I need to find my new painting in my last painting. After a bad day in the studio, I use to stare at the canvas.  I would feel disillusioned and there would seem to be no way forward.… Read More »I needed to find my new painting in my last painting

Wishing for dyslexia

I recently read a book by Malcolm Gladwell called David and Goliath. The theme of the book highlights how we are misled about the nature of our advantages and disadvantages.  Gladwell explains that it isn’t always correct that our disadvantages preventing us being successful in life.  “We have a definition in our heads of what an advantage is — and the definition isn’t right. And what happens as a result? It means that we make mistakes. It means that we misread battles between underdogs and giants. It means that we underestimate how much freedom there can be in what looks like a disadvantage.”   In chapter four, Gladwell starts with the question,… Read More »Wishing for dyslexia