Thursday, February 28, 2008


I did not paint or draw at all today - but I did have the best birthday ever. It was definitely one to remember.

Thank you C.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Words Don't Come Easy

This time last year I was painting on a rooftop in Osaka, Japan.

I want to write an entry today but don't really have much to say - hence my entry being in image format. They say a picture paints a thousand words...

I just wish there were more hours in the day so I could paint more.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Everything Old is New Again

When I returned from Japan I was, surprisingly enough, struggling to find artistic inspiration. I came home with a head full of emotions rather than a head full of ideas. I found myself wanting so desperately to paint but not really knowing what I was doing or wanted to do... to the point where the work I did do became formulated. Rather than daring to throw some new methods or ideas around or onto canvas, I stuck with what felt safe and began producing a few pieces that saw me happy to be painting again but failed to inspire or motivate me enough to even finish them. As a result, they have sat in my studio for months, just waiting for some attention.

I believe my most recent experience in Japan was so very different to previous ones that it has ultimately had a huge effect on my art. I used to always get asked how long I thought I would 'stick to this Japanese theme'. I never had an answer. I didn't think it was a question that could be answered. You cannot just decide when a particular subject or theme will cease to inspire you. You ride the waves of inspiration for as long as you can. I now feel like that wave I was riding has crashed to shore and I have had to swim out to sea to catch a new one. The good thing is... I feel like I am surfing again.

I sat staring at two of these half finished works today, preparing to farewell them. I love a good 'paint-out'. It's somewhat liberating. It's time for a new artistic relationship.

This is not to say that I will not revisit previous themes, I am almost certain I will, and there will no doubt be repeated motifs or designs that are carried over into the new body of work. It's just time to step outside the square.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Praise of Slow

A couple of years ago, a good friend of mine leant me a book he thought I would enjoy. The book was In Praise of Slow by Carl Honoré. It made a lot of sense...

Are you always in a hurry?

Does life feel like a never-ending race against the clock?

These days, many of us live in fast forward and pay a heavy price for it. Our work, health and relationships suffer. Over-stimulated, over-scheduled and overwrought, we struggle to relax, to enjoy things properly, to spend time with family and friends. The Slow movement offers a lifeline. It is not a Luddite plot to abolish all things modern. You don't have to shun technology, live in the wilderness or do everything at a snails pace. Being Slow means living better in the hectic modern world by striking a balance between fast and slow. In Praise of Slow is the first handbook for the emerging Slow movement. Through a blend of anecdote, reportage, first-hand experience, history and intellectual inquiry, it explains how the world got so fast and why slowing down can pay dividends in every walk of life. To illustrate the benefits of deceleration, the book travels from a Tantric sex workshop in London to a meditation room for executives in Tokyo, from a Chi Kung squash class in Edinburgh to a SuperSlow exercise studio in New York City, from a TV-free household in Toronto to Italy, the home of Slow Food, Slow Cities and Slow Sex movements. Wherever you go, whatever you do, the message is the same: slower is often better.
- Carl Honoré.

I am currently trying to apply the art of Slow to my work - my art, but am filled with such an abundance of inspiration right now that I just want to finish everything in a hurry. I'm jumping from one painting to the next, each one giving birth to new ideas that I don't want to wait to explore.

Perhaps I need to read the book again.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Speaking of Art

There are times where I don't think, I just paint. The work just evolves as I go. There have been pieces I have planned from start to finish but sometimes I find this process restrictive.

Usually, initially, there is an image or idea in mind but often the finished piece ends up looking different to what I had first imagined. This is one of the reasons I like working with layering. Often each new layer, be it paint, collage or stitching, will inspire or determine what happens next. Many things seem to be done subconsciously, and for me, this keeps things interesting and exciting.

This was drawn to my attention last night whilst sitting at the bar at work when I was asked about my art. I don't make a habit of talking too much about my art, I'd rather just paint. For me art is a very personal thing - yet on the flipside, I do enjoy being able to share it with others. I don't however, have the expectation that others should see in my work the same things I see; regardless of what each piece means to me, or what the story is behind the work, I am happy to leave my art open to interpretation. Often when I do discuss my work with people who have seen it I actually learn something about it myself. Some conversations have been revelations for me as people have pointed out things that I was perhaps not consciously aware of but the fact that they were created subconsciously makes complete sense. I sometimes also find that it is not until I am prompted or 'forced' to discuss certain works that they, or the ideas, actually become more evident to me.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Clean Slate... or Plate

Let 2008 really begin.

The year of the rat is now upon us - farewell year of the pig or the pig of a year. My year was not bad, just a little mad.

It was a strange start to this new year and I am feeling a little out of sorts due to taking some medication that my body is finding foriegn. I don't like taking tablets at the best of times. With most negatives come a positive however and today was no exception so it is with open arms I now welcome this new year: the year of the rat... and it is only now, as I type, that I realise an anagram of rat is art.

The year of ART.