Monday, 21 March 2016

And Sunday was a play day with my friend David. We had found a ruined church on the internet that looked interesting, and it was close by Winterton which is a pretty stretch of beach on the east coast. So we went first to Winterton and walked to Hemsby and back. And then to the church which is a little tucked away at East Somerton. And finished the day at Horsey which was beautiful in the sea mist but cold, cold, cold.
I'm struggling to string my words together sensibly today, so I'm going to let the photos tell the story. It was a good day's roaming.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

I am still very much at the collecting and collating ideas stage, there is an urge to rush at this point,  but I am conscious of needing to be still, of needing to quietly own my space. 
Just writing this blog post has thrown up half a dozen directional pulls, written then deleted, so that I can hold them until I know more surely where I am going. So although I have many thoughts I will limit myself to the photos that came from my walk. Images that may seem to have little connection but that felt good yesterday.

Today was the first artist's meeting for the River Waveney Sculpture Trail 2016, a chance to view the site again, and meet the other participants. 
My connection to the site has held over from last year, as I have visited quite regularly, to see how Bigods Way 2 has aged over the winter, and also to see my friend Andy who works as one of the site wardens/managers. Walking the trail with people who did not know it gave me new eyes and ears which was welcome as I have felt run down this week and lacking in wonder. Maybe because it's been cold in England since the beginning of February. We have had one or two days of sunshine but the chill has felt particularly penetrating of late perhaps because it coincides with a longing for spring and warmth.  
It's good to meet other artists, simultaneously reassuring and stimulating, and I was pleased to re-encounter Mike Dodd, who was also on the trail last year. He is a thoughtful and interesting artist. I like his mind and open manner.
He and his similarly interesting son in law very kindly gave me a lift home which made my day shorter and easier. Buses are great, but they make travelling long-winded.
The exhibition has a different curator this year and so has a different feel, although some of that may be because it is more familiar territory to me now. It's exciting to be working with her because she and her partner and friend own and run one of my favourite galleries in Norwich, the Fairhurst Gallery If you are in Norwich I highly recommend a visit.
My day began quite early with the same bus ride from Norwich to Bungay as the year before and then the half-hour walk from Bungay to Earsham. It's the same views and I never tire of them although my relationship to the pathway has changed. It's a landscape embedded in my psyche but change is inevitable. Witness; the long bridge over the river has broken in half and that way, for now, is impassable. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

Hmm, and then I step away from my great long pompous blog post about failure and I think actually sometimes, often, failure does matter. I'm an artist, if I splash some paint on a piece of paper and it only looks so-so it's not a big deal, it doesn't impact on anyone else. But if my mistakes cause suffering or damage to another then the ability to acknowledge failure is imperative. It is a mark of intelligence and understanding.
I think I'm having a muddled day because for me the reality is rarely so stark as black and white and I am constantly riddled by doubt but I felt a need to add a postscript because play and responsibility are a dynamic that needs constant adjustment, too much play and we end up with what we've got, a horrible imbalance between the rich and poor that really isn't o.k. The ability to fail is a part  of play. But responsibility and ownership of what we put out comes into play too. 
I guess there isn't a hard and fast answer to my meandering musings but being fair, being honourable, seems like a good idea.

It's half way through March, my heavens where does time go ? I'll admit to a fair amount of drifting recently. My proposal for the River Waveney Sculpture Trail 2016 has been accepted. And my application for a textiles symposium in Latvia was not, which is how it goes. Oddly whatever the result it always feels like it is the outcome that was meant to happen. Working on applications that get rejected is quite lovely in way, because in my head I will have already started in to the work that I am considering making, ideas begin to push their way forward like spring seeds pushing through the earth. And there are connections to this, to that and the flow of energy feeds new life into idea that had maybe been shelved. And then marrying one thing to another creates new pathways and new notions. 
So, now, within my drifting space, I have one definite point of focus which is a strong draw forward and simultaneously lots of lovely space to play with the ideas that arose from my rejected application. 
As a starting point I have been playing with colour. I have a bit of a fear of colour and I tend to default to white and neutrals. But, colour is gorgeous and I love dyeing and so some of my thoughts are moving in that direction. And in the meantime I decided I'd get my tubes of water-colour out. 
A year or so back my mother gave me a pad of good water-colour paper which I had been saving until the day that I was miraculously brilliant at painting. What is it about saving things for best ? I realised that I wasn't suddenly going to be good at painting so I might as well use it, so I have, and it's been lovely. 
I am a terrible painter, I don't know one brush from another and I am definitely not producing works of art, but, I am having a lot of fun which is just what I have been needing. 
It is so easy to get all determined about things, trying to be perfect, perfect, perfect, but so often for me it's the moments when or where I break or fail that teach me the most. 
The awful thing with growing up is that we learn that there is a right and a wrong. Is there a right and a wrong ? This is such a subjective judgement. Subjective and yet maintained or authorised by the collective. I guess it's all about balance. About knowing when to push and when to yield, taking the space to be great sometimes requires the grace to be not great. 
I suppose what I'm documenting for myself here is how joyful it is to make bad art. I can feel myself expanding and growing and letting myself be and not answering to other people because I am making just for me, just for pleasure. And this is the stuff that my art is rooted in,  the things that work that are fit for exhibition don't come out of thin air, they are the embodiment of whole heap of work, that may be fair, middling or dreadful, all part of the journey that is life. 
I am wittering but  in the spirit of sharing I'm going to post some pictures of bits of the paintings I've been doing because although they do not work as wholes and were always sort-of samples, there are tiny threads where one colour has met another that I think are very lovely. And I am not ashamed of my ugly "children" because they all have value, we all have value.