Journal

Command 7

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52 Colours – Week 37
acrylic on canvas
200 × 250mm
2014

Another day of wrestling with code and crossing the gaps in my knowledge. I find it so different from painting – all cerebral and not of my body at all. Quite separated in fact.

Open my laptop, type ⌘-7 atom, hit return, ⌘-7 term, hit return and I’m good to go. The best solutions come quickly and are elegant. Ugly works too. Or it doesn’t.

Captivating and consuming, the process tickles the problem solving aspects of my personality. I must find something attractive about it (even in the shallow levels I work at) and yet after overcoming frustration with moderate success, I find a day in front of a screen less than fulfilling. My body feels empty somehow.

Time to escape the screen and see what I can do with some paint.

Oh, and the image – it’s one from my year long project. The work was released five years ago this week.

Lost in code, caught in a trap

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Screen shot showing development branches


Lost in code, updating and preparing to move my website I almost forgot I’ve a short blurb to write for my exhibition in February.

Meanwhile I’m getting to grips with serverless hosting, merge conflicts, Git LFS, and more. At least the branches above are nice and colourful.

File under: other things artists do

Six small drawings

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Six small drawings


On my large white table a small stack of memo cube note paper sits in a makeshift container. It’s all too easy to sit and make small drawings.

Stall

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Testing in the studio


I feel there’s been a post-studio stall as I muster the other areas of my life to some sense of order. The reality is while the making has momentarily paused, my thinking hasn’t. I’ve been hungry for relevant texts (or at least those which intrigue me) and have spotted a few. One, The Three Dimensions of Freedom by Billy Bragg and another, Against Creativity, by Oli Mould. While not directly related to the work both will, I hope, sit nicely alongside it.

Other small steps have been taken too – locally testing a dark mode for my website, an email here, a conversation there – all gently moving things along. So while I may not have made something physical or tangible with my hands it doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on my practice.

And this – actually recognising my progress – is easy to overlook. Although I feel there’s still much to do (and there is, it’s not just a feeling) it’s good to stop for a moment and switch from the “I haven’t done enough” type of thinking and see what I’ve achieved.

Observations, questions and actions from the week in the studio

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Painting back the studio wall


  • It takes a couple of days to install the wall work.

  • Find the price of getting vinyl cut.

  • Explore alternative methods to vinyl – can I pre-cut in tape the shapes I need?

  • A two colour wall work is an option but will increase install time by a day. This will also increase cost. Use projector to only paint the “white areas”.

  • Be confident in how much / how little I install in the space.

  • A single small work can hold a wall.

  • Think about the dialogue between the works in the show. Positioning affects the conversation.

  • Confidence, confidence, confidence.

  • What if I only presented two works – one wall work and one small painting?

  • Scale of mark in relation to the object.

  • Scale of one work in relation to another.

  • A magazine page pinned to a wall could be more than enough.

  • The magazine blackout forms are anchored, the ones on blank paper are not.

  • Take the blackout forms from the magazines and reproduce them in other mediums with / without a background.

  • The significance of the magazines (or not).

  • The importance of the act of erasure (or not).

  • Concentrated works.

  • Pieces working from a distance and up close.

  • Same song, different parts / harmonies.

  • Gesture / mark making as the common denominator.

  • The practicalities and restrictions of the install time.