I am an artist
As I'm still struggling with words, let's do this bullet blogging style. I don't know why the words haven't come back I feel fine in myself, it's simply that I can't write a coherent sentence on here at the moment. I've been deleting drafts all month. Pfft. Whatever. Here's my world in all it's glory.
- I am an artist.
- It does not feel at all real. I announce: "I'm off to my studio" on Facebook and fall about laughing. Yet, here I am arting away. Artist are as artists do.
- The session with Nicola, my mentor focused my work for the month. I had suggestions of activities I could try, as well as artists to look at.
- Nicola has got me rethinking artists materials and surfaces. I've put away my usual drawing pens and am now using a dip pen and drawing ink. Given my cartridge pen was taken away from me at school because I covered everything except my paper with ink, it's been a challenge.
- One of the suggestions was covering a 10m roll of wall lining paper with my stick forms. I've only managed about a meter and let me tell you, ten meters is quite a lot.
- It turns out I like using dip pens and ink to draw my shapes. It gives me The Happy.
- I'm beginning to let go the idea of me being a figurative/representational painter.
- In fact, I'm not even sure I can call myself a painter...or that I'd even want to.
- I'm still getting used to the idea that what I'm doing now isn't so much about learning to be a better painter (which I've been working hard to do), but rather my challenge is to explore the length and breath of my artistic practice.
- My work with Nicola isn't only about how prepare for my application to an Master of Fine Arts programme, our time is also about how I build a solid artistic career.
- I've known for some time that retirement will be something that other people do at the end of their working lives. I won't retire because I intend to create art and (hopefully) to write until I stop making sense or I drop dead. Whichever comes sooner.
- The lack of retirement means I am thinking about creating an artistic life from the foundations upwards. To this end, I've overhauled my morning routine of coffee, social media and squabbling with strangers on the internet. Julia Cameron, author of the Artist's Way strongly recommends doing Morning Pages before anything creative. I've taken this on board and have already finished on Moleskin notebook.
- I'm also working on my meditation practice. My sanity is a precious and fragile thing and daily meditation is beginning to help me keep my thoughts under control.
- Yoga and daily exercise is a goal I'm working hard for. My physical fragility is a constant source of frustration recently. I want to be out there running and lifting weights again. I miss feeling awesome. It also means I'll be physically more robust in my later years.
- It turns out there's ten years of dust and cobwebs gathered in my brain. My ability to think critically (which wasn't all that great to start with) needs a good dose of WD40 and a massive wrench to get it going again. Anyone got any jump cables?
- I'm working on several projects at once. This gives me The Happy. I like having several different schemes of work to dip in and out of. It means if I get stuck in one, I can hop over to another, giving my unconscious time to resolve the issue. It keeps me from getting blocked.
- As well as preparing for the show next autumn, I've been invited to submit work to an exhibition at the end of April (this April, like April 2017). It's called Sardines & Beer and is being held at Thirteen A in Norwich. I'll be putting in three pieces of work. One is actually Dave's, it'll have an NFS sticker on it. The other two I'm working on now and they will be for sale. I've only got about ten days to get them ready as they've got to be framed. No pressure. No pressure at all.
- The exhibition next month means I've got to get other things sorted like: business cards, website...you know all the marketing stuff I should be all over, but actually have been ignoring.
- I am an artist.
- I've got to think about myself in the world in those terms and that's a bit scary. People believed me when I said I could do this and now I've got to get the mass of ideas from my head onto paper and canvas. Easy peasy.
- The chickens are still in lock-up. Unfortunately, with the warmer weather, they've discovered how to dig. Dave and I moved them to give that patch of grass a break, he glanced out of the window and called me over. On a totally fresh bit of grass, within an hour Scrabble had dug herself a lovely hole up to her chest.
- Bantams are brilliant for getting moss out of grass. If only they would stop there.
- Apparently, I'm feeding the pheasants too much. Dave says their obese. Nonsense. I say they're just puffed up!
- Jenga was kicking up a fuss, when I went to see, the massive cock pheasant was strutting around like he owned the place. I did try to get a picture, but he became suddenly camera shy.
- It's definitely Spring around here, though I am deeply resentful of the hour lost to British Summer Time. I don't care what the clock says, it still feels like 5am when my alarm bloody goes off.
Well, that's enough for the moment. In my typical fashion, once I got going I was fine. Ah well. Let's try this again next week, shall we?