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I’m not sure how current my use of a blogging facility is but one thing I do know is – is that anyone that doesn’t should try it. I find it an incredibly powerful tool for introspection – and the remote inspection of my work. I never write whilst in my studio so there is an element of separation that allows a clear mind as it were. The simple act of writing can often cast a helpful light on problems obscuring development, offering next steps and solutions to visual problems.

This powerful effect can come in the form of inadvertently prompting ideas – which probably would of remained in the further recesses of the mind out of sight. Blogging also allows the fine tuning of existing ideas simply by testing what spills out in the contents of the writing.

It is here that I start and I am looking for the obscurity in my field of vision to be lifted in the form of colour combinations, you see I have three drawings ready to be coloured but they are all already at that “precious stage”.  This is partly because I have spent a lot of time with them and grown to love what they are becoming, however, each have been made to be coloured and the current “precious stage” needs to be advanced via the risk of colour addition. What I need to work out is the following:

– Do I use different shades of the same colour with accents of contrasting? For instance blues with streaks of different orange shades.
– Multicoloured?
– Equal amounts of contrasting colours?
– Black, white and shades of one other colour could be an idea…

I’m really not sure at the moment but just having written the potential options down has helped to focus things a little. Also another thing I will need to do is test different opacities of inks before making a final call.

Ideally I would like to use my inks in a different way – with more purpose and sense of direction as opposed to blindly seeing what happens and works.  This is the real battleground in what I am doing at the moment.

Moving on now to another thought on my mind. How to price work?  Now I’m as unknown and obscure as they come but spend many, many working days – usually weeks on a single drawing – clearly a far more expensive way to produce work than say an expressive, gestural drawing that takes an hour – or even a day or two (so the facility of very low prices just will not cut it against the amount of time I spend). With these factors in mind how can I set reasonable prices on something that has taken so long? Any comment on this would be incredibly helpful.

Thank you as always for reading.


So things are progressing rapidly within my work at present. My working habits are on the verge of changing and all feels good in the world right now. A caveat- things in my drawing world usually operate at a glacial speed due to continued breaking of routines and working flows, long working hours and various other commitments, so this brings me up to somewhere near a respectable speed in terms of productivity (relative to the sort of work I do). I’ll take that as a massive step forward. (Please see the above works in progress).

I have recently been stealing hours where before I wasn’t for some unknown reason? You see I am an annoyingly early riser and often spend hours not doing too much before the household wakes up…an obscene waste of time to anyone thinking about it now, but even more so to an artist short on time (what artist isn’t?). Now every Saturday and Sunday morning now I am up early, out of the door and in the studio before anyone has even begun to stir, I usually get a couple of hours intense working time – which has proved amazingly productive. All this in time to get back and resume family duties. Only to often return later in the day for round two. (I always remember reading about Jenny Saville talking about getting the kids to bed and then returning to the studio late at night – I like it and stealing this time works). I’m not sure if it is a psychosomatic feeling of heightened commitment to my work, that it is going well right now or that I just am actually getting more done. Whatever the cause I am very settled and happy in what I am doing and know “it” is working and my time efficiency has been through the roof.

Things I’ve been considering recently:

– The feeling of finding the single path in which to follow as opposed to constantly wondering where to go next…security I guess…in what I am doing and knowing it’s worthwhile – a very important personal point for anyone…you may agree? The thought of deeply exploring a niche that I have formed through genuine application of time, developing ideas and hard work is incredibly exciting and my anticipation for the future is at a fever pitch.
– Pride in the fact that against overwhelmingly massive…no seemingly insurmountable and impossible odds I have doggedly clung onto the dream, the passion and have managed to carve a half decent practice and working ethic out basically on my own, moreover the feeling that what I am doing is bloody valuable – to me at least. This thought sprung to mind whilst taking a very quick break and sitting back in the black chair in the studio a couple of days ago ( I have an ancient black, leather swivel chair on casters that I liberated from an undignified premature ending – it’s perfect) looking around at older work pinned up, working drawings and drawings scrawled with permanent marker as a physical reminder to the mind “don’t forget this successful part of a drawing/ sketch/ note…also don’t forget to USE IT”. The plan chest brimming with work, good and bad, old and new, then my strange habits that have developed over many long hours which have become the ecosystem in terms of ritual within the confines of the studio walls. The space is completely mine, nothing happens without me, no one enters unless invited…I love it.

I apologise for the for the extremely self indulgent nature of this post (even by procrastination standards) but to be fair, this is what helps me work things out, focus, validate ideas and make sense of what is going on in my work, perhaps akin to stretching to remove lactic acid from tired muscles, anyway if this was 30 years ago this stuff would be in a journal and not online for all to see, unfortunately for anyone reading I do not have anything else of more interest to write about…such as lifestyle, flashy cars or the latest celebrity couples.

Thank you as always for reading.

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