New Year, new studio

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A wide-angle view from the sofa.


And I’m back…

I hope this finds you well and that you’ve had a good break during the Christmas & New Year period.

Yesterday, I moved into a shared studio space. It’s for six weeks until the artist with the lease moves out. Then, if I want to stay, I’ll need to find a way to cover all the rent.

It’s a vast space with plenty of room for two or even three people, so one option is to find another artist to share with. That said, being there yesterday, I realised it would be quite the thing to have it all to myself. So, I’ll explore and find ways to pay the rent alongside making new work over the coming weeks. Fingers crossed – I think I may be busy!

Admin, a Butt Plug, and the Brutality of The World

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20230618 Collage
Magazine cutouts glued to premium paper, page cut from sketchbook.
210 × 297mm
2023

A couple of things before the weekend…

I’ve finally started compiling a spreadsheet of the work I’ve created this year. Yes, it’s easier to do this throughout the year (like keeping your accounts up to date), but for now, adding a couple of pieces a day will eventually get everything up to date.

What’s been nice is coming across work I’d forgotten. The above collage is a particular favourite. It has energy yet remains balanced. This combination comes from that two-finger salute, the white and green coloured cut-outs balancing each other, the scale, the various shapes, the white space, and even the dynamics of the represented objects. Bok choy, an eye, a plastic cup. Is that a butt plug?

I’ve also had this Philip Guston quote rumbling in my thoughts:

“When the 1960’s came along I was feeling split, schizophrenic. The war, what was happening in America, the brutality of the world. What kind of a man am I, sitting at home, reading magazines, going into a frustrated fury about everything –and then going into my studio to adjust a red to a blue. I thought there must be some way I could do something about it. I knew ahead of me a road was lying. A very crude, inchoate road. I wanted to be complete again, as I was when I was a kid . . . I wanted to be whole between what I thought and what I felt.” (Mayer, 1991: 171).

Confident and tentative drawings

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Drawing.

A2-sized drawings, acrylic on paper.

I’m enjoying the ambiguity of these drawings and their incompleteness. The marks are both confident and tentative. I can’t be too heavy with the paint because I am working on unstretched watercolour paper, so too many corrections will buckle the surface. If these were paintings on canvas, I imagine there could be plenty more amendments and repainting – which brings the challenge of keeping the feeling of a light touch.

Eyeballs and leaves

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Eyeball and leaves on the kitchen table.


Eyeballs and leaves drawings.

Eyeballs and leaves.

Developing ideas on paper is quick and less expensive than on canvas. And my drawing is much looser, with the paper being larger than the small canvases. Adding colour and building a more integrated and complete image, I want to maintain the freshness and vitality of the initial drawing.