Why I paint? When I think about why I paint, l find it difficult to put it into words. The answer is complicated and complex. I know that as a painter l learn something new every day. I stand in front of the blank canvas, not knowing what is going to happen or how will the work develop? When I am painting, I feel like I am doing what I am here to do. It is easy to assume I already know how to do it; however, everyday painting teaches me that I have so much more to learn. I feel exhilarated when things go right. However, the other… Read More »Why I paint?
The Obstacles is the Way – book review Have you ever considered that there are no statues of critics? If someone said to you “Really! You’re going to make a living out of your art! Ha, ha! You’re going to starve!” How would that make you feel? Would that be enough to break the hypnotic rhythm of everyday life? Would a statement like that make you stand up an inch taller and say I’ll show you! Does it make you want to prove it to them, that you can do it? Does it become the power of you? In ‘The Obstacles is the Way,’ it is Ryan Holiday’s contention,… Read More »The Obstacles is the Way – review
How the influential work of Francis Bacon inspired me to become a painter As a young adult, I had lots of feelings that confused me and I often didn’t know how to deal with them, words just didn’t seem to fit. My thoughts and experiences felt on the far side of normal. Often I thought l was the only one who felt this unease. When I saw Francis Bacon’s work in a London gallery, it was a remarkable moment for me. It was the first time I had seen someone challenge the intense feelings I felt. Bacon depicted the complexity and chaos that was going on around me and inside… Read More »The influential work of Francis Bacon
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
‘Outliers, The Story of Success’ by Malcolm Gladwell – book review As an artist, the idea of wanting to make an impressive declaration through your work, and reaching for the top is understandable; this happens in almost any field, not just in art. Quite often I look at other artists and the people who have gone before me and think, what can I learn from them and also what am I looking for? In his book ‘Outliers, The Story of Success,’ Malcolm Gladwell believes that we often focus on people’s personalities and intelligence. “Our hero was born in modest circumstances,” Gladwell writes, “and by virtue of his own grit and… Read More »Outliers – Book review
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?
Playing to the Gallery by Grayson Perry Have you ever stepped into a contemporary art gallery and felt angry and confused? How do you tell if something is good or bad? It can be puzzling trying to form an opinion about contemporary art. Who can answer this question for us? Grayson Perry, the transvestite pottery and Turner Prize winner, takes on this brave task in his book ‘Playing to the Gallery’. In it, Perry guides us on a whistle-stop tour of dissecting contemporary art as he sets out the tools to allow us to an understanding of modern societies’ relationship with art. His book is based on a… Read More »Playing to the Gallery – book review
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