Tuesday, March 15, 2011

chapter break and re-boot

I'm inclined to start every blog post with an apology as to why I haven't done more art, Art is a harsh driver!  I have been slogging away on the BP portrait the last couple of weeks and also teaching with the West Highland College 3 days a week. I had to step in rapidly to replace another tutor, so it has all been a bit frantic. However I love teaching, it makes me question my own assumptions about art, it stimulates ideas, the students enthusiasm rubs off on me, and when they struggle it challenges me to find a better way forward with them. If you are interested in any of these courses drop me a message! Next one planned is 'locational drawing'.

There was a time when I felt I wore so many hats & nothing connected or made sense, fire fighting, comics, youth work & art ?! But now I feel very privileged to be able to dip my toes in these different worlds and transfer the lessons & skills from one to the other. The dots are starting to join up. I wish there was more time for my own personal squiggly art though  as I feel like I'm still struggling to break onto the right path / technique / subject. I dip into dreams, allegory, metaphor but there is no time to execute the images effectively.

If I'd had more time I would have blogged about the International Womens day event I attended. It was wonderful, emotional, empowering.

I also didn't get to blog about the Highland-Russian Art exhibition with some of my work thats out in Siberia just now... maybe another time.

this is what happens to the spare room/ art room / 'studio' when I'm 'in the zone' working on one project. It looks like chaos but trust me I can locate the prussian blue, my favorite brushes or that receipt from last october no problem.

So the portrait eventually got finished literally minutes before loading it to take to the collection depot at Coatbridge ( over 200 miles away ), I don't have photos of the final final final version, but it is probably only me who could see the difference that those last brush strokes made. As well as being so stressed from not having any rest at all in a fortnight, there was the problem of my van being on its last legs and only running on 2 cylinders. We managed to jump start it and lo! despite the snowy conditions it made it to Coatbridge! It was rather weird handing the painting over without much ceremony & seeing it disappear to be stacked with 120 others. We await to find out if it gets selected.
We popped over to Edinburgh to visit my daughters and deliver my eldest girls worldly goods while I still have a van to do so. After all the work & stress it was great to just zombie out with the aid of wine & pleasant company!

Before heading home in Saturday we went to visit the National Gallery. We couldn't afford to go and see the main Vermeer exhibition, but for free was an exhibition of French drawings from Poussin to Seurat. and a display or 3 of Vermeers paintings he did as a young man. Wonderful! reminded me why I should visit galleries more often, food for my exhausted art mind. Context to place my obsessive two weeks brush work in. The drawings were particularly interesting as its unusual to see drawn work, I feel drawing tends to be valued less in art these days than painting ( or ideas without any skills or technique ) and wrestle with the different categories art gets put into.  It affirmed that simply capturing realistic representative reality does have value, the historical and social details in these drawings were amazing. I'd have loved to have shown my students these exhibitions. On that note, I'm going to go tidy the studio & draw something.

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