understanding creativity

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, artist Eric Fischl,

‘Bad Boy’ by Eric Fischl – book review

‘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

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

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

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, however, 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… 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

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 myself 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 a painter.   If l am not careful the voice gets out of control and my self-confidence is eroded. It is hard to break the psychological… Read More »Pretending to be a painter

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

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, artist's time, art for sale

Is time the artist’s greatest enemy?

Is time the artist’s greatest enemy? I dream of sitting in my dusty studio. The pungent scent of turpentine is in the air. 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. 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… Read More »Is time the artist’s greatest enemy?

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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

Stuart Bush Studio Blog, Henry Moore, Appreciation of form

Henry Moore’s appreciation of form

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.… Read More »Henry Moore’s appreciation of form

Stuart Bush Studio Blog, Michael Craig Martin Sculpture

Michael Craig-Martin: Sculpture

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?… Read More »Michael Craig-Martin: Sculpture