obstacles

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, a better painting

Making a better painting than I did yesterday

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

Stuart bush Studio, Outliers book review, 10,000 hours, malcolm gladwell

Outliers – Book review

‘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

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, the painting process comes alive

Getting started in the studio

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

vivian maier, stuart bush, creative secret

What is your creative secret?

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?

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, Playing to the gallery, Grayson Perry

Playing to the Gallery – book review

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, one brushstroke at a time, stuart bush, stuart bush studio, contemporary artist

One brushstroke at a time

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

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

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, Making it in the art world, art world,

Making it in the Art World – book review

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

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, contemporary artist blog, Chuck Close, chuck close process, Process painting

Chuck Close’s process

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