Sunday, 25 November 2012

Art@41: Pondering, thinking, reflecting....and lists!

Art@41: Pondering, thinking, reflecting....and lists!:  I make lists all the if trying to get some sort of order into my life ...the truth is that half the time I loose them or forget...

Pondering, thinking, reflecting....and lists!

 I make lists all the if trying to get some sort of order into my life ...the truth is that half the time I loose them or forget to take them with me!...but its the process of making the list that I find therapeutic and even rewarding (if I actually achieve doing more than two things or remember it)....I have to confess my sister is top list the extent of  writing events in order really tiny and neatly and adding tick boxes too!....mine are not quite as impressive, however I have found myself writing lists to help me decide what to do when Laine & Co "Pop-up" gallery draws to an end.

I have loved most of the time I have spent in the gallery, things like leaky windows and damp basements have been a bit of a let down (and the fact that I haven't made a million!) but if that's all then its not bad really!
2nd Year Fine Art Degree Students
"Painting & then some..."
The one thing I do know is that: my vision was to have a cluster of studios in one space that funded an outlet/gallery showcasing art etc, this little gallery is OK, but my vision it is not! I miss the camaraderie of fellow artists and also being the sole artist in the gallery has made me realise how tied I am to the shop.

Some things take time and often money....I would really like to develop myself as an artist, to do this obviously takes time and although having a gallery is a great way of promoting myself, I seem to spend a lot of time promoting the gallery and other artists....I have been sorting, storing and sourcing avenues I could go down in terms of promoting myself and the main one seems to be not necessarily laying in the Scarborough area!...aaaahhh the joy of website/blog statistics registering & collating where people are viewing work etc and what they are looking at - technology (at times) can be  a great source of help!

I've missed being able to get out and explore, go to other exhibitions, visit people and I suppose live the life I lead last year!....albeit not writing dissertations etc! I've discussed this a lot my family and friends and have given myself until 1st January to make a final decision as to where and what I do next.
Utilising space as best as possible! 
more work displayed in the studio space...
In the mean time I have been trying my hand at a variety of alternative ways of not only make money but get myself known and recognised as an artist such as: workshops - they seemed to go ok and not quite as daunting as I thought they would be! the lovely people made them sooooo much easier and pleasurable too.  
 I've also been making smaller pieces of art - in the hope of seeming more achievable and realistic in terms of selling due to the economic downfall and it being Christmas etc
My hand made, hand bound journals/books seem to be going down well too. I intend to add more of my art in a journal format (like I was doing a few years ago) but on a smaller scale.  I am practising making my own paper again, some of it's been great other attempts have been a 'tad flimsy and brittle.  I've decided to make my own deckle & mold as I normally use an old screen printing frame but struggle to get the pulp out without damaging the edge or taking an age!.....I've added a variety of books to my Christmas list  (yup, another list!) in the hope of mastering these skills in the very near future....
So as you can see, I am still hard at it and using every opportunity to keep creating and trying something new or different while all the time musing over ideas...
I confess...I absolutely love creating the window displays
for Laine & Co!

Following on from my last blog I mentioned completing my HAFNEY commission....
I've been up to the hospital with all my pieces and with the help of Sue Lawty placed the work around the outpatients room....Obviously we will be working with the ward Sister to hopefully re-arrange some of the notices etc....The ward hasn't been decorated for years and is not part of this phase of renovations, but as I was lucky enough to be allowed to put my work in a location of my choice I am very happy to be able to brighten up a normally subdued area...

so after all that...we're not sure if it needs another piece to finish it off....I'm meeting there again next week to discuss further...

I'll keep you posted.

I just wanted to share where I ended up putting my latest butler bell box....I wasn't meant to be used for the home, but I just love it and it goes so well in my newly decorated hallway!....
Anyway, I felt I've been lacking in my blogging duties so although I've not a great deal to tell, I thought I'd  keep you up to date with what I have been up to.... 
I love taking a few minutes to read other peoples blogs, they are often really inspiring and helpful, even if its just to remind me that others have the same issues as me!

Take care, happy reading x

Friday, 2 November 2012

Art@41: floundering!

Art@41: floundering!: Have you ever felt like you've lost your way?....grasping at straws....going round in circles...searching too hard for inspiration and miss...


Have you ever felt like you've lost your way?....grasping at straws....going round in circles...searching too hard for inspiration and missing the point?....that's me at the moment!
Our "Beach project" from quite a few years ago! (see Sue Lawty info below)
...and then not only that but also, how do you connect and communicate with other artists and art professionals? As someone said to me while wandering around the gallery..." There are fewer galleries now than ever before...It's so hard to get your work out there...and there are less opportunities in the creative sector...."sad fact but true! 

I've realised how over the last few months I have hardly done any of my own art, you know, the type of art that consumes you and drives you to get up early and go to bed late exhausted but equally excited of the possibilities and the outcomes....something that I was feeling 6 months ago!

I've decided that I need to go back to the drawing board, stop fretting about making "something" and find the missing element that can re-fuel the fire ....I'm hoping to get out over the next few weeks and go exploring. My faithful companion of a camera had a miss-hap at Leeds Festival so I am going to have to get use to taking our larger camera out....great camera but doesn't fit in may pocket!....I need to  find a subject, connect with it again and look at the realistic options of working with it and just get on and stop dilly dallying...get sketching and just enjoy the freedom of no deadlines, no boundaries and the freedom of experimenting and playing!

Do I carry on with my pebbles and work more into them?...I think so....there's elements I have thought about but not tried out yet...I need to experiment and push myself.....go back, re-visit, re-evaluate and re-make...

On a good note...
...I've just received my last piece back from the framers for my HAFNEY commission,  I now have 6 pieces ready to deliver to Scarborough Hospital...I'm looking forward to seeing the response from the nurses, doctors and patients ....lets hope its positive and they go down OK.
"Pebble traces" relief framed piece.
laser cut pebble marks
on linen maps, handmade paper and art paper
coloured with acrylic inks

 I  also created 4 smaller, similar pieces along with the two larger ones for my commission. I wanted to be able to add continuity to the pieces and offer art that could be placed within an environment that could be seen throughout the area....elements of... yet all slightly different....

Most of the visiting patients at hospitals are all there to seek medical help and advice but not many of them are there for the same reason or symptoms...Ahhh they joy of being unique and individual...just like a pebble on a beach, they have travelled and gathered but each one is "one of a kind"... similar... but never the same.

 I was really pleased when my artist mentor popped in unexpectedly to see me the other day...Sue Lawty (website under construction at the moment) Sue's work is so detailed and really interesting... and the fact that I took part and also encouraged my family and the school I was working with at the time to take part in her Beach project she was running while a resident artist at the V&A... just made the opportunity to be mentored by her even more appealing....and what a wonderful coincidence that she often uses stone and textiles is an additional bonus considering my line of work at the's always great to see her, I find her advice and help so valuable.
Calculus 2009 by Sue Lawty 2x3m Natural stone on gesso
 John   Coombes)

 John Coombes)

 John   Coombes)

Here's a small statement about Sue & her work...
The work is rooted in an emotional, spiritual and physical engagement with the land, drawing on direct experiences of remote, raw and edgy landscape.

Constructed pieces and drawings in two and three dimensions are abstract and minimal. They explore repetition and interval; investigating territories of expression in raphia, hemp, linen, lead, tiny stones or shadow.

Lawty says of her work… 'I seek an understated restraint, balance, tension, rhythm. I seek to produce work that is essentially still'.

An ongoing association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and an enduring interest in links between art and science, led to Lawty devising the World Beach Project. Open to anyone, anywhere, this global project is hosted by V&A Online. It celebrates the human desire to make pattern and speaks of time, place, geology and the base instinct of touch.

One of my ideas is to use thread to create more pebbles....I really want to try and incorporate ceramics and thread together, glass would be really exciting too....the fragility of porcelain, glass and fine threads interwoven especially using light to create shadows....(I wanted to use light for my final degree show but wasn't able to do so!)  I'm also interested in trying out more with water soluble  paper, I've used it a lot in the past but never as a free standing piece....artists such as 
Amanda McCavour and her clever way of using suspended creations fascinate me...

There's something about suspending art that intrigues me, Cornelia Parker influenced but with more delicate materials.

While I remember, I went to see a small exhibition the other day by an artist called Iona Calvert

One small installation that is really quite beautiful and clever. Small porcelain fish hung delicately from precious metal, suspended from a net...the lighting reflects the glazes giving an ephemeral and fleeting glimpse of fish like silhouettes.
Well worth a trip if you can make it.

so, no time to flounder....It seems I've got work to do!
Have a good weekend and if you've got any tips or advice as mentioned earlier feel free to let me know
bye for now