Sunday, 26 October 2008

When the grass is always more veridian

I thought i'd have a bit of a natter today about non-process related matters of art. Anyone who knows me in the real world knows I talk a lot about trying to work as an artist full-time.

Realistically, the way I spend money means that it's unlikely to happen any time soon. I'm a fritterer, I don't buy big things but I have more books in my house than I have room for, they are stacked in corners and crushed into cupboards. And because I am in a relatively well paid job and because I like it and the people I just haven't ever gotten to breaking point with working full time.

Generally speaking my thinking is always split into two on anything anyway, so I never really make any big decisions...I'm not a planner by nature, I just drift along, occassionally ranting about how i'd like to be going down the other trouser leg of time.

Every now and then though I get into a really shitty mood. I fume to myself about all kinds of things - one after the other, sometimes all mixed together.

I fume about the world at large. The odds are stacked against artists I rant. Our social and economic institutions are set up to keep us in traditional work patterns for almost our entire lives. Art institutions and grant systems have little interest in work outside of the conceptual mainstream!

Then I move onto my work, it's too nice or not nice enough, it has nothing to say about the world in which we live, it's too derivitive.

Then I move onto myself, I don't take art seriously enough, i'm a terrible planner, I don't organise myself properly, i'm not taking responsibility for my life.

My emotionally mature response to all these feelings is to try to ignore them as much as possible by going out a lot, or getting involved in a really good series of books until it goes away and stops annoying me. I never ever confront them, I never sit down and try to unravel all the tiny whingeing threads. I certainly never get out an excel spread sheet and try to figure out how I might afford to live off art.

I know that making a living from art has all it's own problems. I know that you have to seek out commissions more often, fulfill wholesale orders if you can, attend art fairs and even (gulp) answer emails in a timely fashion, you end up not really doing art for a lot of it.

But the other side is that starting on a Saturday I rush into my bedroom studio and start cutting up pieces of wood as fast as I can, gessoing, preparing, planning, drawing. I also have orders to fill out for prints and packaging and visits to the post office before mid-day. By sunday I may have gotten somewhere with a piece and then on monday I have to put it aside and wait, wait, wait until the next weekend. It's a fevered high pitched way of working which then spirals into this yearly fug of exhaustion and self recrimination.

Which is why, for the first time, i'm trying to consider what it would take to change my life. I don't think at this time I can afford to do it, perhaps not for a long time, but i'm interested in exploring the avenues and seeing in real terms how much i'd have to make and how I might do that. Even if I come out of it with a feeling of acceptance it'll be something - at least I can refer to my spreadsheets when I get into my fug.

Thursday, 23 October 2008


I ended up adding another balloon to the theatre

I've wanted to do a moustachioed balloon since Baron Munchausen.

It continues slowly but surely. It's nice to tinker about rearranging and creating new compositions.

I am listing Monsieur Fleur in the shop tonight. A paper version will be out soon!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Jumping Jack

Some quick and dirty shots of a new jumping jack - This one will be made into a paper jumping jack - I've never bothered doing that before but people have asked about it so I thought i'd give it a go :)

Scans for the paper version

Photos (bad again!)

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Theatre Update 'n some brooches

It's been another beautiful day and i've been restlessly going out and coming back in again, not doing anything fully. It's my last day off work and I feel like I should get the most out of it - that attitude usually leads me to do nothing of anything.

Anyhoo, I do have some photos of the theatre with balloons
Different position for the fish.
With symmetrical balloon arrangement

Assymetrical! And the fish now looks like he's having some kind of heart attack, sorry about that.

Some close ups, love seeing the 3 dimensions

Since i'm an endless fiddler (I have a funny story about my endless fiddling which almost always ends in disaster, especially where anything health-related is concerned, but maybe i'll leave that till everyone's had their tea) I decided I would make a different scene for the same theatre! I can't do it right now what with constantly bumping in and out of the house, but soon!

Anyway, the last of the silver brooches have been made and will go in the shop today

I think that's all for today!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

A sort of aside

The theatre is almost finished I think. The suggestions for doing an asymmetrical arrangement on the ballons were taken on board and in fact i've done it so that now it's possible to move the balloons up, down, backwards, forwards - wherever you like! There is a third balloon, those things are like catnip. I'll post some pics tomorrow!

Meanwhile I wanted to spraff about Toc Fetch. I recently bought a comic from him, I say comic but it isn't anything like other comics. It's bizarre, almost impenetrable in it's surrealness.

Have a look

Every page is like that, perfectly rendered, and the words +images have an (alarming?) otherworldliness.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Another quick update

Another set of quick photos. The weather is beautiful today so the light is perfect. Please bear in mind that everything is rigged up with blu tack and gold string but i'm hoping to use invisible wire for the balloons, so it's a bit higgledy looking. Anyway, here it is so far

I liked the wood background of the case but because it had holes in it I decided to cover it over and paint the background in a very dark blue. I am thinking to lower the two side balloons slightly and put one big balloon in the centre dissappearing into the clouds - thoughts anyone?

Other than that I think the background may have some details added, although what i'm not sure what yet :)

I managed to go out for a walk today, it's just beautiful weather here, and bought a marshmallow cake to eat later :)

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Quick update with grainy photos

Thanks for the encouraging responses! It's always the case that photos are taken last thing at night, and hence are all grainy - but today was great, I made (for me) a fair bit of progress, and i'm fairly happy with the direction it's going in, so to heck with it, i'm uploading my terrible last minute pics before I go to bed.

Briefly unsure about removing those front doors. Tried it out with the doors, and I liked something about it...mmmm,

She's not really waving, she's meant to be holding something - which will hopefully be made tomorrow.

Lovely waves

Blindfolded - yes this is the thing you see, she's meant to be asleep, dreaming :)