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
Sigmar Polke tears everything down that came before and starts again It is a common misunderstanding to think that creativity is an optimistic response to life and its single aim is to reflect the beauty around us. However, if you born in Germany in 1941 in the middle of the Second World War, would you want to paint an attractive still life with flowers? Everything is a function of where you think you belong, and everything comes back to your identity. If you had an urge to create an artistic response while growing up on malevolent soil in a world full of angst, would you use the potatoes of your youth? It… Read More »The Art of Sigmar Polke – Review
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
Things that catch my eye There is a belief that if you allow yourself, it be distracted from earning money and a professional career like being an accountant or a lawyer; it is to play away from what is essential. I’m afraid I have to disagree. Since I was a child, I have allowed myself to be pulled down a rabbit hole. When most people move on with turning their life away from play, I have stuck at it, allowing myself to indulge in a belief that an interest in what I notice is of value. I have given perception, high importance in my life. I feel lucky to be… Read More »How does a new art work come about?
Swimming through a diamond – Bridget Riley Art Exhibition London review Almost anyone who loves art would be interested to know what the first experience of discovery is like. The moment when a painter notices that ‘something’, and has the opportunity to capture it all. Leading to the dream of a fantastic career as an artist, with an absolute breath-taking body of work, accumulating in a career beyond belief that makes you go goggle-eyed. I imagine Bridget Riley in 1960, aged 29 years old walking by a lake. Her arms are heavy, after a frustrating session in the studio. She is young, gifted and hopefully going places. Her… Read More »Bridget Riley Art Review
Marlene Dumas: the painter’s life In 2004, I started to make a visual diary. It is a great way to tune into what feels important. My visual diary has slowly developed and transformed over many years into a multifaceted body of work. This body of work, like Marlene Dumas’s work, has recorded many of the moments in life that felt relevant and significant. It helps me understand and consider the things l am doing a bit better. Writing about Marlene Dumas’s artwork enables me to articulate what l see and then go deeper into what l, myself, want to achieve when l stand in front of the canvas. Painting… Read More »Marlene Dumas: the painter’s life
‘Bad Boy’ by artist Eric Fischl – book review I imagine when artist Eric Fischl wrote ‘Bad Boy,’ about his journey as an artist, it must at times been excruciating to write. Fischl along with his co-author Michael Stone goes deep with stories about the uncertainty of life as an artist. He includes narratives of middle-class white America, from his messy dysfunctional family to his roller-coaster career. However, the highlight for me is the journey Eric Fischl took to realise the type of artist he wanted to be. Eric Fischl talks a lot about his time at art school at CalArts, California Institute of the Arts under the… Read More »‘Bad Boy’ by Eric Fischl – book review