obstacles

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

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Art and Fear book review

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

Dreaming about success

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

Stuart Bush Studio Blog, What to paint, The recipe for failure

What to paint – The recipe for failure

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… 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