Friday, February 13, 2015

The time is now

I try to avoid being too arty farty or making precious statements about being an artist.  I hate the phrase 'in the zone'; it sounds pretentious and I think can be easily misused.  "The time is now", however, goes some way to pinpoint that same area of an artist's experience.

Creative work has a place in time not only when it is finished, but in the making.  If it isn't the right time, the work won't happen.

Plenty of obvious things affect whether it's the right time.  You have to be in the right place mentally.  For some, stress is a boost to their creativity and they can channel anger into their best work.  For others, the mind needs to be completely clear of other distractions.  I'm probably somewhere in between but definitely towards the calm and stress-free end.  You also need to have the right physical conditions.  I don't function well if I'm not really warm, nor can I do close-up work or choose colours without at least a little daylight of the real kind rather than a daylight bulb. 

There is a more important side to 'the time is now', though, which is what I'm conscious of at the moment: every piece of work has its own right time to be made.  There are external factors; the zeitgeist must surely inform our work at least unconsciously if not consciously and for those of us who make our living from our art, market forces have to be a consideration. But these are minor considerations.  The most important thing is about sitting here making this exact piece of work at this exact moment in time because it's the right time to be doing it.

You have an idea.  You have the necessary the resources.  You put them together...  and create ... often without having to think anything through because everything just falls into place.  At the end,  something arrives which has worked and which may even be good.  It wouldn't have been last year, or ten years ago or possibly not a year or two in the future. 

So, many years after having the original idea, I have made some work using photographs, printing on silk and paper, and stitching.

The time was right.  The time is now.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The clues are there

I know I'm lucky to have a large workspace but there are times when I really need it.  There is another table behind the ironing board with spray mount, waterproofing spray, random paper and fabric and you can see in this photo and the one below that there are many different types of things out on the two big tables and the ironing board.  All of them are being used in developing my newest work. 

The work is progressing much slower than I'd like because of the weather.  By about 3 in the afternoon there just isn't enough natural light to work effectively and I keep making mistakes in measuring and cutting.  I'm learning to walk away but it's frustrating and up till now I have wasted more time than I have used profitably because it has happened that my mornings have been taken up with other things. 

Eventually I will have enough to show you, although I am already anticipating that this work is going to be very difficult to show in a photograph.  Till then, as I say, the clues are there.