I’ve been scratching my head trying to think what to write about this month. When I review the art I have been working on it all seems rather paltry, although I know I have been busy. This has led me to review more in detail, what actually have I been doing in respect to art this last month?
The truth of the matter is that the everyday tasks of an artist contain many things and not just the making of art.
It does involve doing a fair amount of admin. I realised that it has been a while since I had updated my website. This is something I believe is important to do. I needed to photograph all completed works for 2018 so far and then load those up. To be honest, I don’t include everything, only those I am happy with. I’m contemplating having a ‘work-in-progress’ tab on my website as my work tends to take a long time to make and maybe this might be something that other people may find interesting. I also needed to update both my ‘News’ and ‘Exhibitions’ sections. Also I think it’s important to review the whole site periodically and give it a bit of a prune. I ask myself the question – ‘is it reflective of the art that I make and clear as to why I make it?’
I’ve been entering a few open calls. This is always a time consuming task and very often it feels like I’m putting together a job application. It usually involves some research so that the piece I’m entering is a good fit. I don’t see the point in entering a large piece of art if the sponsors have a history of selecting small works or if the space that the exhibition will be in is tiny.
I have recently been involved in an exhibition in The Biscuit Tin Factory in Bermondsey so I was busy sprucing up the work involved for that to make sure it was ready to display. In March I had moved to a new studio and hadn’t quite got myself organised so I have been doing a bit of that – tidying, packaging art pieces carefully, labelling and so on. We are having ‘Open studios’ in June so there will be a certain amount of prep for that across the whole building so I wanted to ensure my own studio is near enough ready.
I have recently joined an artist’s group which essentially means once a month I walk around with some other artists looking at art exhibitions in London and then discuss the work. This is something I do by myself quite frequently but it’s good to do this periodically with other artists to get alternative input and opinions.
I’ve just got involved in interviewing another artist in my studio and writing the interview up which hopefully will be published and disseminated soon. I am very keen to do more of these interviews. I have been saying for quite some time I wanted to include writing as part of my art practice and I see this as one way of doing this. I like it as the attention is focused on someone else and their art. I suppose I would be acting as a kind of conduit and facilitator. I am interested in asking quite detailed questions about someone’s art and their practice and am hoping to avoid art-speak. I initially want to interview people in my studio complex as I’m conscious of the fact that buried away in the studios are all these artists, working intently and passionately on their art but ultimately little is known about them. I think in the vague plan in my head I would like eventually to extend this to other artists I encounter as I do meet some interesting and committed people who would be great to interview.
I have to always think about my next plan of work and what I would need to do to get this started. There does always seem to be quite a long lead up to before I put brush to canvas. It involves researching, photographing, writing, deciding on sizes and materials, bringing in supplies and then preparing my surfaces (which can take ages).
All these things are time-consuming. In the meantime I am still working slowly but surely on my current art pieces. I’m at the stage where I am not sure whether I like quite a few of the pieces I’m working on, but I find this can be a helpful place to be. It allows me to step back and see what else I would like to achieve and re-evaluate what is it I am actually trying to do. The piece I display here is work in progress. I’ve been through a range of stages with it and I have now passed the ‘don’t like it’ stage and on to the ‘oh…I know what I want to try now’ stage. The art piece is called ‘Colour flash’.