In my last post I was feeling rather daunted by this steep learning curve I am on – mind you I had been working on the same painting for three months so it had all got a little intense! Head down again though and some of my hard toil has transformed into noticable progress –

I know a little more about

where to start,

when to stop,

how to create a feel.

Its a beautiful feeling – something becomes more familiar and achievable and my skills a little more natural.

And today in the studio we had a bit of singing and laughing too – which was great.


I am my own experiment!

I have been researching into how memory works with regard to shaping our identities.

Today I made studies of an object that I have ‘known’ all my life – a ceramic figure of a little boy. (He ‘lives’ with my Mum so I see him every week but haven’t studied him closely for years).

The drawing process has been very revealing! As I handled the figure memories and feelings came instantly to mind that I really hadn’t had since childhood.So the act of recollection – which seemed totally spontaneous – was as much about touch as seeing. As I drew these’ fresh’ memories we in the forefront of my mind. I’m going to record these memories and their assocaitions in my journal before they fade.

So when I’m thinking about how to use the figure in a painting I have this context of childhood perceptions to set it in. It feels really exciting.

And what have I found out about making sketches as reference for my painting? The sketch connects mind and place so vivdly that subsequent drawing or painting of the object or place can contain an incredible amount of detail and an understanding of 3 dimensions . In this sense is sketching a more valuable referencing tool than photography?


On ‘finishing’

Today – after a few months in progress I have finished my painting. But what is it to finish?

It seems to involve an intense mix of anticipation and aprehension;an excitement followed by the anti-climax of feeling – ‘is this it?’

Its almost as if I pass myself coming back at the finishing point – its done so quickly – yes there is time to reflect now but also just a short breath before starting again on the next painting – continuing the process of painting.

I have been looking at the painting of Swedish artist Anicca Neumuller, now selltled in Herefordshire and exhibiting at the college. She has been painting for many years and looking closely at her work I can recognise the subtle nuances and painterly language of someone who is fluid in her work – a fluidity that comes from experience and knowing. Her work is beautiful.

I feel a frustated impatience – I want to be furhter along than I am – impossilbe – to be an artist is to work hard and long. I am just at the beginning


I tell my tutor that I am exploring my relationship with familiar objects. “Why use paint?” she asks “why not take moulds of these objects and explore your ideas in 3D?”

“Because I want to explore the relationship between abstract marks and representation marks as a way of expressing my feelings towards said objects” I say – which is true. But I didnt say – “because my feelings and ideas have an element of secrecy about them. If I use paint to explore the significance of ‘my’ objects I can immure my feelings – and keep something of my feelings safe and secret within the layers of paint”.

I didnt say that – at that moment it felt too personal to explain – but thats how it feels – I have a sense of control within the process of painting.