I do what I do and sometimes think about the ramifications of working alone so much with little or no validation from the outside – or larger world…then I think fuck it – I do what I do because I love it and if people do not like it – well that’s for them to worry about – not me.
Each piece hurts me, it’s intricacies and all the labour intensive processes that this type of art demands, I think perhaps I could cut this corner, or that one – no one will see or notice – but I will, I will know it’s there – or not as the case maybe, central to my work right now is being honest and conscious that I am respecting the craft that I am partaking in.
There are other things I would like to try out but I know I am not done with what I am doing, there is still a lot to explore, more challenges to attempt. I feel there is a lot left until I reach my limits and want to keep going until I reach those limits and have exhausted all possibilities. I know for a fact that this is probably a decision that I will regret when I am a third of the way into a big drawing but it is something I feel I need to do, I guess it will make or break my work at which point I will begin to explore other avenues of interest.
Anyway here is a picture of my latest drawing. What do you think? I am experimenting with colour to try to maximise the popping I can get from the colour, this should really become apparent when I complete the work in the negative spaces.
artfinder: stuart belton
So here we have a progress shot of my latest drawing, I have been working on this sporadically, typically in short bursts for quite sometime. I thought I’d share a little about my working methods and some of the prizes and pitfalls I encounter along the way. My work (technique wise), for sometime has centred around the very small, the micro, maybe a microcosm of sorts, and I have to maintain extreme concentration to allow myself to work so intricately. I am always looking and exploring new ways of making more exhaustive and detailed drawings whilst ensuring my drawings genuinely follow on from what I consider my art to be about. I always use a magnifying glass to help squeeze colour into tight spaces and further control line quality. It has started to become a dormant obsession which is brought instantly to life as soon as I sit down and put pen to paper. I describe it as dormant because it is always there but only truly activates once the ink begins to flow on the paper.
Due to the exacting parameters I have chosen to work within often the first half an hour or so are the most painful of each sitting. Nerves and a steady hand – are two essentials whilst working on such a small scale, if I find I cannot settle or my hand doesn’t stop to shake I cannot continue if the drawing is at an advanced stage as I would be risking a slip which inevitably would detract from the finished work. I do not wish to have this kind of serendipity present itself within my work at this stage of my life. This doesn’t happen often but it is a very real danger, if I can push through this initial period I tend to settle into a focussed state – but it is always a constant effort to remain seated and working. The thing that always pulls me through is an approximate idea of what I am looking for and watching periodically as it emerges (slowly) before my very eyes. This I find extremely rewarding and especially after taking a break and coming back to look at my work once my eyes have freshened. I always try to leave the table without looking at what I have done to intensify this reward to myself and so as not to form any opinion with a stale eye. I like to work in my dining room which is always very well lit during the day with windows to my left and to my front, I like routine where this is concerned as I know that I am comfortable sitting in this position and can produce (what I would consider) the bet results I am capable of producing, I do sometimes sit in front of the TV with a sketchbook but it is always just doodling as opposed to any finished work. As a left hander I always cover my drawings with a sheet of paper where my arm is extending across the drawing to avoid and unwanted effects coming by way of an arm or hand rubbing against the drawing’s surface – could just be a greasy mark but also guards against anything else falling accidentally onto the surface. I consider this good studio practice and like to maintain a studio discipline which also includes absolutely no liquids or food on the same table on which I am drawing upon, if I want to drink I will leave the table and always wash and thoroughly dry my hands after eating. I put a lot of value into these drawings and want to treat them with a respect that should be afforded to an object of artwork. A respect I show to every piece of artwork I encounter. A respect that everyone should show. I would like to know more about the chemistry of inks reacting with papers, lightfast inks how to maximise the staying power and life of my colours, I am careful and work conscientiously (to the best of my ability) to ensure I am offering a quality object. I make periodic updates mostly to Instagram which details progress of my current work (@stu01621). thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Please feel free to contact me: [email protected] https://www.artfinder.com/stuart-belton twitter: @stu01621 https://www.saatchiart.com/blbwickaolcom
Sometimes during periods of reflection, perhaps gently swept away by meandering philosophical thought I wonder why I do what I do? Why do I spend hours, upon hours working on a drawing that sometimes never sees the light of day? Sometimes I put myself through almost unbearable bouts of painstakingly detailed work aiming for – and attempting to focus on the microcosm that I can see whilst drawing that is buried somewhere within my subconscious, sometimes details that the naked eye, once surrounded by other elements of the drawing a third party viewer would barely notice. The simple reason as it struck me – because I feel it makes the world a better, more enriched, a more beautiful place to temporarily dwell as we travel through a sometimes hard and unforgiving world. I’m not for a second suggesting that my work makes this world more beautiful, that I create such wondrous work, but because art, rather the creation of it has a gentle, thoughtful nature that asks people to stop and look – and think…maybe even the fact that watching an artist at work often allows people just to stand and stare. The act of creation, in my present case – drawing, has something to offer the world that nothing else can really supply, it has (art that is) a very defined niche within society that by its very nature is indefinable and has blurred the lines of its uses and role within society. Stay tuned for more ramblings, thanks for reading.
So I have had quite a long lay off from writing. I have recently got married and now that the ripples from that amazing day have begun to settle I can now begin to focus on my drawings and indeed writing my blog.
Here’s a picture of our fabulous day.
So anyway, I have been reading Earnest Hemingway recently and have been swept utterly swept away by the mans writing, his ability to tell a story, the experience that he gathered throughout his life bleeding into the work, his incredible thirst for adventure and the straight forward philosophical stance his characters seem to take. I love the fact that his love of boxing, big game fishing and hunting, fascination with bull fighting and experiences of war are all thrown into an earthy Hemingway melting pot and out comes literature of the highest order. He has inspires me to continue what I am doing and love it – with passion.
Back to drawing and my current situation, so basically being the polar opposite of the paragraph above I am taking part in the Hockey Art Trail. This is a local council scheme set up to partner local businesses with artists to allow them (me included) to show works and potentially sell them. I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed this modest exhibition opportunity and will gratefully take part in the coming years. My work has been placed in a local tanning salon and by all accounts received very well.
Some of my work.
What do you think about these drawings?
Instagram Stuart Belton (Stu01621)