Sunday, November 10, 2013

First day on Residency

I woke up at 6am after a really good nights sleep. Didn't even hear the grain train that is supposed to rumble past my bedroom window around 2am. I heard the 9pm one so I knew what to expect. 

On arrival I was warmly received by Jenny, who gave me a short history tour of the station gallery site and surrounding area.  a fully furnished old station masters house with studio space that opens into the public gallery that I will mind several days a week. The house has clearly been maintained with loads of love and hard work. The cozy home is on the the main street and surrounded by a well cared for public garden area with shade giving trees and places to sit quietly and contemplate life.

I unpacked my suitcase and the few paintings I had bought with me to possibly sell.I set them up in my studio and then placed some key items on my desk to entice me to start working. 

I'm well aware of a number of things I want to do each day as well as attending to my art progress.
Possibly in this order, the ideal would be, 30 min of centring prayer, morning pages as in journaling my random thoughts, stretches,  and this blog. I may tap into my other blogs and face-book if need be, but they are not a priority right now.

Anyway back to here and now. As I was placing my completed collage works on display around the studio I thought about a few important questions that I rarely ask myself about my art.

What are these about? 
What was my inspiration? 
What was my design strategy and working process? 
What makes them work?

As most of my work is painted in an intuitive and spontaneous way, drawing on inspiration and images out of my imagination and memory and there is no subject, a little planning and a lot of vision. I am relying one idea building on another and seeing if I can pull out something that artistically speaks to me. When I begin there is no vision of how it should look, not until I'm a step or two away from the finish. I allow plenty of room for mistakes and surprises. I instinctively paint what I 'feel' and not what I see and try to let go of as many rules as I can and fearlessly create and see what happens....and a hell of a lot does happen!

I did answer the above questions in my journal and found it such an insightful, grounding and inspiring exercise. As I am self-taught, for better or worse I missed out on all that critique and conceptual thinking at Art School. I think it is important to be able to talk about your art work, not in a 'wanky-I'm so good-kind of way' but in an authentic, constructive way that is interesting, not only to you but also to your viewers and jurors.
Beverley Studio

Brief overview of today: 
Today was really hot, around 37 degrees. 
I was moved by a poem written by William Stafford, "The Way It Is" about holding onto the thread that weaves through time and through your life and while you hold on to it you can't ever get lost. I could relate this image to the prophet Elijah artwork, as well as myself. Something I'll think more about later.

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