understanding creativity

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
©Charline Von Heyl, It's Vot's Behind Me That I Am (Krazy Kat), 2010 all rights remain with the artist

How Charline Von Heyl inspires me

The next Picasso or Braque will not invent cubism.  The next Peter Blake or Andy Warhol will not invent pop art.  And the next Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning will not create the Abstract Expressionist movement.  If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.  I realise that of the many successful artists following their path, Charline Von Heyl, has figured out the real definition of success on the canvas.   Von Heyl understands how highly successful artists through the decades have been volleying the ball between themselves.  In order to create a meaningful and significant occurrence on the surface of the fabric, like they all did,… Read More »How Charline Von Heyl inspires me
Stuart Bush Studio Blog, pretending to be an artist, I can't trust myself

Pretending to be a painter

When I hear a negative voice in my head saying, “I am in over my head, they are going to find out,” this little voice reminds me I am not good enough.  It seeks to devalue my self worth causing me to underestimate myself.  Then I come to the conclusion that l must be mad about choosing to be an artist. I realise that l have volunteered myself for all this self-doubt.   I feel like l am pretending to be an artist. If l am not careful the voice gets out of control and my self-confidence is eroded. It is hard to break the psychological patterning in which I fear… Read More »Pretending to be a painter

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

Is time the artist’s greatest enemy?

I dream of sitting in my dusty studio. I can smell the pungent scent of turpentine. I can see the photographs and sketches stuck on the wall. Devils Haircut, by Beck, plays in the background and newspapers, magazines and books litter the paint-covered floor.  I have a primed blank canvas on the easel, all ready to go. I sit, staring and reflecting on what to do next. I wonder shall I draw or paint today? I wish there was nowhere else l have to be. I often only wish it was true; that I had nowhere else to be. The idea of being unbound by time feels like the ultimate emancipation.… Read More »Is time the artist’s greatest enemy?

My thoughts on Henry Moore’s appreciation of form

In my previous blog post, I mentioned Michael Craig-Martin’s interest as a child in the shape and form of American cars. From a very young age, Michael Craig-Martin had the ability to identify every make and model of an American car. I found this profound because as a child I also had this ability, but with British cars in the 80s and 90s.  This foundational understanding and appreciation of form is clearly something that many artists unconsciously encounter from a young age. This week l stumbled on a black and white BBC documentary about Henry Moore (1898 – 1986) and my appreciation of form was enhanced.   In the documentary, Henry Moore discusses what… Read More »My thoughts on Henry Moore’s appreciation of form

Michael Craig-Martin; Sculpture review

It is hard to understand the incongruities between a successful artist and the work of mere mortals like the rest of us. I want to put into words how can a simple drawing of an object can be turned into a world-class sculptural form. Michael Craig-Martin, the once significant tutor of the YBAs at Goldsmith between 1974-1998, is now showing his latest sculpture at the Gagosian Gallery on Britannia Street in London. Is it the snap at the moment of impact when seeing his work, where he is best in the game? Is it the skill of his placement that no one else comes close to? Or is it the… Read More »Michael Craig-Martin; Sculpture review

War of Art book review

At some point, most creative people realise that something needs to change.  The book  ‘The Art of War’ by Steven Pressfield, can help explain what old behaviours and mindsets are holding you back.  Essentially it is a self-help book for amateur artists and writers battling with inner self-doubt and fear.   There is a diamond of an idea about learning to overcome resistance and ‘turning pro’ as the book asks, “Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what “Resistance” is.”   When I tried to read ‘The Art of War’ for the first time, several years ago, I… Read More »War of Art book review
What I learnt from Philip Guston, Stuart Bush Studio Blog

What I learnt from Philip Guston

What I learnt from Philip Guston, Stuart Bush: Studio Notes It is well known that during Philip Guston’s career and throughout his life’s work, he toyed with two opposing forms of art. There was the figurative cartoon style of his earlier work in the 1930s and abstract expressionism in the 1950s. Philip Guston’s career highlights what he believed to be the central concern in the career of an artist. No matter what anyone else says or does, Guston believed that “A painters first duty is to be free.” Free to make their own choice, that is said, “unless you’re the kind of an artist that gnaws on one bone all… Read More »What I learnt from Philip Guston

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