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Why I paint?

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, play his base desires

Why I paint?

When I think about why I paint, l find it difficult to put it into words. The answer is complicated and complex. I know that as a painter l learn something new every day. I stand in front of the blank canvas, not knowing what is going to happen or how will the work develop?


When I am painting, I feel like I am doing what I am here to do. It is easy to assume I already know how to do it; however, everyday painting teaches me that I have so much more to learn. I feel exhilarated when things go right. However, the other side of the coin is dealing with feelings of disappointment and despondency when things don’t.  Daily l have to re-adjust my definition of failure.  The moments when I throw it all on the line and risk it all is when I feel truly alive.


Stuart Bush Studio Notes,

©Stuart Bush, Just a feeling and not the truth, oil on canvas, 50.9 x 71.5 x 5 cm – click for availability

Stuart Bush Studio Notes

Everything is abstract

I have to continually ask myself; what it is that I see? As l try to communicate my unique view and work towards mastering a form of expression, it feels like l am trying to get to grips with a slippery fish.


I have a concept in my mind which gets me in front of the canvas, but often when I pick up the brush, things happen that I don’t expect. Painting is utterly instinctive. I don’t get the opportunity to see what the painting would be like if l did something different, as I can’t undo the last mark. For me, this is what makes the process so addictive. It draws me to try again and again. I have learnt that when l step out of my own way; that is when things start to happen.


Stuart Bush Studio Notes, Great souled way

©Stuart Bush, Great Souled Way, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 x 3 cm, click for more details

Why I paint?

Making a better painting than I did yesterday

When l pour-over art from the past, I am constant broadening my perspective and understanding. It’s like a time machine. I realise l am not dissimilar to the painters that have gone before. The fresh insight inspires and invigorates me to go forward.


The artist, Philip Guston, recited a comment by the composer John Cage, “When you start working, everybody is in your studio, the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas, all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you’re lucky, even you leave.”

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, death and art

©Stuart Bush, It won’t make you happy 2020, oil on canvas, 70.4 x 100.3 x 3.4 cm (click for further information)

Stuart Bush Studio Notes

Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist on What Make Painting an "Urgent" Medium Today

In those moments working furiously in front of the canvas, l am thinking fast, and l am in the moment. I recognise it is not the time to stop and reflect. I don’t want to hit the brakes too soon. Instinct, intuition, impulse and automatic actions lead the way as I tiptoe up to the outer boundaries of my practice.  I often jump over the line with both feet, in defiance and in the excitement of the moment.


A successful session is when l am growing and developing. I hold the brush, using my whole body and arm in the movement to get the perfect fluid flow.  It takes staying power to examine each crucial moment.

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

@Stuart Bush, Response to the flux, oil on board, 41 x 31 x 4 cm

Why I paint?

How does new artwork come about?

If I didn’t achieve what I was aiming for, I used to find it heart-breaking. Now I expect it. I am at peace; in fact, I love it when I don’t know where the work is leading me. I continue to paint because l have giving myself permission to explore and make mistakes. I remind myself that in every painting, there is potential to uncover something I haven’t seen before. The exhilaration and invention drive me forward.


All too often, I recognise that I have strayed too far from the perimeters of my process. I try to discern common decision traps. Learn some quick lessons before I continue or do it all again. Getting it wrong is worth the agony if I learn something new.

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, creative freedom

©Stuart Bush, Empire state of mind, oil and acrylic on canvas, 85 x 150cm – Click for availability

Stuart Bush Studio Notes

The benefits of adversity

It has taken me years to realise, that is not always the artwork’s outcome that makes the session successful. A successful session is when I am growing, developing and recognising consequential decisions. It feels completely limitless; there is no end to learning and no end to invention.


I also think about all the talented artists that have gone before me.  The ones that didn’t have the opportunity to get their work out there and seen. Which means they have no way to make a living out of doing what feels vital. The idea of working towards something bigger than me inspires me to try harder. I try hard not to squander my opportunity. As I go forward, I want to go forward for all the other artists. I want to share my journey and l want to learn on the way. I care about talented artists that are not getting the chance to succeed.  As I take on the myth of the starving artist, this may be my only chance; I want to share what I learn.

Stuart Bush Studio Blog, pretending to be an artist, I can't trust myself

©Stuart Bush, I can’t trust myself, oil on wood panel, 40.7 cm x 30.5 cm x 3.9 cm – click on painting for availability

Why I paint?

Getting started in the studio

I hope you enjoyed reading this post about what inspires me to make my work.  I certainly enjoyed writing it.  If you would to get to know more about my work enter your email address below.

Stuart Bush, The Quality of Absence print #stuart.bush #absence #artforsalebyartist ...

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Congratulations to Jenny Saville from London for winning my June print giveaway. The print ‘Just a feeling and not just the truth’ looks great at the bottom of your stairs, on your hall wall.
It was nice to meet you, talk, and chat by delivering the framed print in person. I hope your husbands gets better soon. Best wishes.
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Connecting us with our sense. I hope my print can help to do that. I’m into beauty, but not pretty pictures. I want to make something that rattles you and makes you think. Art on your wall, and this print in particular, can help you to reflect on the moment, and the past and of course the present.
When you look at it once, it hasn’t sunk yet. It takes repeated viewing. When you live with an artwork in your walls and you see it everyday, the artwork slowly reveals itself. #printgiveaway #artprints #framedartwork

I don't know what it is but I am sure it is highlighting some kind of truth. ‘Great Souled Way’ #oilpaintingoncanvas #figurepainting #abstractpainting #londonart ...

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