As this is my first post I thought I would try to summarise my concerns, things I now think I am likely to mention in future posts. This may also serve to give some measure of how far and how fast I progress, as time goes on. This list includes a broad range of ideas which might not actually get included in the blog in the long run but I think it’s important to be ambitious at this point and set a broad stage.

1. Is ceramics a viable art medium? I think it is – will I be able to sustain that view?

2. Is my spontaneous drawing method credible to anyone except me? What else could I do with drawing as well as or instead of this approach?

3. Can I find an audience for my work, how can I get my work to market?

4. I have been an artist all my life in various guises. I still aspire to making more of my income through my own art work. Starting with an OpenAir session I attended about three years ago, I have embarked on a sustained informal learning programme and I continue trying to learn as much as I can from fellow artists and curators in a bid to become more connected and better informed about the things that concern us individually and collectively. I will be reporting here on how this process progresses.

5. How can I create an environment to show and curate work including my own that I can develop while I continue my current work pattern?

6. Is the art world in thrall to academic and scientific approaches, looking to them as models of learning and progress at the expense of tacit, subjective, and holistic knowledge? This is me saying linear thinking is not enough in terms of understanding visually oriented minds, that the full range of ways of working things out are not covered by education systems increasingly geared to competitive capitalist models. I am making a stand for diverse ways of thinking and playful approaches to problem solving.

7. I have been a member of a men’s group for over 20 years now. This is an important part of my history and education and part of the perspective I will bring to the blog. Men’s roles have changed enormously during my lifetime as economic and cultural conditions have changed and transformed the social landscape. Many men have had to adapt to big changes in their lives largely in response to changes women have had to fight for in theirs. I am interested in maleness, what it means to be a male artist, to appreciate and understand masculinity and male roles in a diverse and complex society. How does this interest advance or distort my perception of the world and does it need to show directly in the work I do?

8. Ageing is becoming more and more of an issue as you would expect in a man of my years (I am now 58). I am finding that health issues are becoming more intense and the time it takes to recover from health problems is elongating. So this is likely to be a theme. Mortality is an issue, I don’t think I will be tackling it here but I am sure it will provide a rich backdrop.