Thursday, 28 October 2010

Mistley viewing

I have been to my friend J's house today, discussing our forthcoming show in the Trove Gallery in Birmingham. We did talk about silver glitter being all pervasive and gold-leafed suitcase interiors. We also talked about; her neighbours' dog who left muddy footprints on the newly washed kitchen floor, the beagle who made whooping barking noises and the man who walked by with a huge rucksack and a pram full of what looked like a life times belongings and the large lorry with an enormous tree on it. She has a great way of working, upstairs in the morning with the sunshine and then downstairs in the afternoon with the passers-by walking their dogs and the view. Then we came back to gold words on newsprint, silver point drawings of Queens, candle-lit interiors and torches. It was a great afternoon, thanks J!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Funny Sister

Been busy this week. I had lots of coffees in Starbucks, where I overheard a conversation and all I can say is "Move to California ! Become an artist ! You will never regret it " to the old-before-his-time worrier who sat opposite me.
I saw my sister, who has dislocated her ribs again so she can't lift anything or drive very well, but she can't reverse her car anyway, so not a lot of difference there anyway. She also tried to have a shower but the water was cold, its only been 5 years now. She is the funniest person I know, odd-funny, funny-peculiar and funny-haha. She makes me and S laugh uproariously and smile wryly.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Sat-nav and silver on the moon

I have been writing on my other account about this internal sat-nav that I have. It is supposed to guide me through life and tell me when I have taken a wrong turning, tell me when to do a U-turn, all of those things that are a map to your journey. Mine is annoyingly, at the moment, getting it wrong. I am stuck up a blind alley with a cold and have no memory of how I got here and how to get out. It also seems to have got stuck on a weather girl voice over loop, permanently chirpy and smiley in the face of tornadoes.
I have just seen on ITV news that for technical reasons they can't do the weather today, that's because the weather-girl is running around in my head shouting out incomprehensible instructions to my cotton-wool stuffed head. I will try to get her out for the evening news.

And they have discovered silver on the moon, how timely is that.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Meetings and Museums and Taxidermy

I have spent today in meetings and museums, I have to say the latter was much more exciting. The museum here is one of the very few Victorian museums left. It is slightly dusty and the exhibits in the cases of the taxidermy animals and birds are brilliant. I always like the cases full of hummingbirds and parrots, the slightly squint eyed look that follows you round the room.
I have a particular passion for the more macabre exhibits, the snouts from the Swordfish, the seal where the stuffing is coming out, the Sea-eagle that is attacking a nest of chicks, the mummified cat that looks really surprised, the cagoul made of seal skin, the full knitted body suit from Africa, I could go on for hours !
I think museums and their contents are under-rated and we should celebrate their quirkiness. I love drawing in them, always seeing something new on return visits, looking and re-looking.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Sunday and silver

I have spent my Sunday doing exactly what I want. I have tried to think about how to make work about being quiet and calm. Not to busy and cluttered on one hand , but on the other hand complex and complicated. I have always tried to make my work out of these diametrically opposed thoughts. I have no idea wether or not I have ever been successful in this, but I try over and over again. I feel that this is what drives me forward everyday, to achieve this seemingly impossible ideal, or I might just change my mind and try to achieve something else in my art, maybe the perfect drawing or two.
I am hopeful of my success. At the moment my ideal of perfection is silver queens.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The deep south

I have been thinking about the Deep South recently. I am strongly influenced by my surroundings and, at the moment, these surroundings are representational of the deep south of the USA. It is hot, humid and a bit fetid. I keep imaging white anti-bellum mansions with wrap around porches approached by avenues of oaks with hanging moss. I have visited Savannah and I can see and feel the humidity still. I spend my days in a studio with very little air, lots of glass and as the day slips into evening the glass heats up and the studio gets warmer and warmer and more and more airless. This means I have to go to the pub a lot at the end of the day to quench my thirst, but mainly on lager and not bourbon on the rocks, maybe I should drink the latter more to recreate the south.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Awkwardly wanting to look.

I have just been reading about the sublime again, I am amazed at how often I am drawn to these ideas, as described by Joseph Addison in the early eighteenth century, as something "that fills the mind with an agreeable kind of horror".
I really like the idea of something that gives you the chills and also that frisson of naughtiness that gets you excited in ways you want to, most of the time, keep private. I have always been interested in that awkwardness of wanting to look but trying not to, because of your own prejudices or history.
I am obsessive about that awkwardness; to look or not to look; to re-look to make sure you weren't wrong in the first place: then that horror/shock/tremble of feelings that make you a bit hot under the collar and an inability to explain that rush of heat away.
Awkwardness is, for me, that agreeable horror of the sublime. I like teetering on the edge of what Wordsworth called "the blank abyss". I love the idea of these emotionless blank areas of life and thought, of being on the edge of these thoughts and where we can no longer say what is happening to our own thoughts.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Glitter and black paint

I have spent the afternoon working with lots of black paint in a darkened room, so why, oh why do I have gold glitter under my fingernails ?
Even if you worked in the most sterile environment in the world I am absolutely convinced there will be a single flake of glitter there, I am also convinced that at the end of world the last thing standing will be a little tower of glitter flakes.
If you open anything with glitter on it, it will get everywhere, you will end up sneezing it.
Going back to the black paint, I was working with students on tonal drawings in a dim and darkened room. I love the idea of blocks of tone on tone building up images with an idea of abstraction. Maybe drawings using blocks of tonal glitter should be my next port of call.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Silence by the sea

Sometimes in life you just need to hear silence, so my partner and I went up to Walberswick yesterday. We timed it just right, after September 30th so free parking and dogs on the beach, and before the rain drenched afternoon set in. We walked on the only sandy beach in Suffolk and then in a fit a rashness or intrepidness we went paddling in the sea. It was remarkably warm, well not really but my feet some became so numb it didn't matter. My partner is made of much hardier stuff than I so he stayed in for ages.
We then had lunch in the pub garden with someone else's dog tethered to our table (who was lovely), whilst the owners read a Paul Auster novella at a table some distance away.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

wi-fi connections and my sister

My sister just phoned me up to declare that the magic wi-fi fairies had been in over night and her friend S had picked up this magic network on her phone. My sister was astounded that this modern technology had landed on the village that she currently resides in. I should say that the magic of telephonic communication and gas have only just arrived there. Anyway I digress, she was so excited that she had to phone my partner, who is on hand for 24 hour technical support, to gabble excitedly about this wonder; he had to deflate her somewhat by explaining there are no magic wi-fi fairies or pixies and infact he had installed it last time he visited. Her bubble was slightly burst but she parried well and asked if her friend S could be a PA in their new venture, as long as my sister had a longer job title in said new venture. I think some semblance of ,dare I say, normality, or at least a balance has returned to my sister, the village, S and above all to the magic wi-fi fairies.