I had a gentle afternoon with a fairly newish but very lovely friend Sarah Goudie.
We had about two hours of earnest conversation over pots of tea and assorted things to eat.
We have enough in common to understand each other, and enough differences to make life interesting.
Being Earnest is a good thing. I like the word earnest. It implies trust, honesty, seriousness, but not stuffiness I think.
We had a few laughs, certainly. We talked about studios, work, earning a living, students and teaching, and what we would like to get out of this artistic life we both lead. We didn’t talk of ambition, but the ambition was implied. We are both striving for something. The something might be fairly modest in the scheme of things, but it is there nonetheless. We discussed mutual support, crits, outings, and generally making time to let other people into the processes. It is important to share, to express, to hear myself saying things out loud is vital to discovering what the work is about, and what I am about.
I’m hoping, as I mull over this conversation, that I didn’t totally monopolise it… I can remember talking about Sarah’s work too (which is beautiful by the way, do go and look) Sorry if you feel harangued, Sarah!
We talked quite a lot about my impending lack of studio, and how this state can be “handled” so that I can feel positive about it. I also talked about the stage that my work is at and how that can easily be done at home. Until voicing my concerns out loud to another artist, I hadn’t actually realised that I have quite a lot to do with these chairs before I need a studio. I’ve been going on about how I need to spread them out in a line, together, in a real space… but actually, I’m a way off that yet… I will need it… but that need isn’t imminent! Once I had actually said these words, another little weight lifted, another bit of sensible calmness settled upon me.
My previous post talked of the danger of containing the work within the sketchbook. Little drawings, with notes and plans of installation is one thing, but taking the drawing out of the book and into the larger space is another…
My intention, as I did initially with the bras, is to document the chairs as they are. I will perform a sort of archaeological dig on them. I will draw, using a similar method to the bras, on translucent papers, layering up details and different views. Gathering the information. Record them as they are, as they came to me. I can’t do this within the confines of the sketchbook. it’s different:
As I spoke to Sarah, I came to understand more deeply the importance this part of the process holds for me. My relationship with these found objects, be they garments or furniture, starts with this. This close observation establishes my position as care-giver. Call it arty-bollocks if you like, but I feel it is part of my responsibility to do this before I begin working on them.
I have four chairs. That’s a lot of drawing. So these first couple of months of the year I can spend at home in the warm, drawing. Meanwhile, looking for the right studio space, for the right amount of money, in the right place… without the mad panic.
My afternoon of earnestness was joyful. I’ve talked before about certain people who charge my batteries, enthuse me, inspire me, challenge me, but also reassure me… Sarah is one of those.
Merry Christmas, thank you for reading.