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artists books painting

Folding books

Testing concertina and pamphlet book forms today. I wanted to see how the different forms work for these paintings that I’m making. The scrolls are still the most direct, but these have nice rhythm. I pasted card covers on a few concertina books. It changes them so much to cover them, even open like this, turns them into something altogether different.

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artists books painting

Evening Desk

Testing lots of combinations today – ending the day half way through…

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artists books painting

more mountain scrolls

I’ve been working on drawings and paintings today.

These are a group of eight small scrolls I made in watercolour and mixed media, based on my walks at Mynydd Llangyndeyrn:

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artists books painting

night desk

Just spending a moment tonight looking through what I have made earier today, and wondering where to start next tomorrow. (Answer – one thing at a time, one day at a time, start with colour mixing.)

Aims for tomorrow and the week:

To explore. To step outside of comfortable. To not be precious. To not hold on to things. To step towards my audience. To begin. To carry through. To immerse myself in the work. To enjoy the process.

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artists books painting

two paintings

The windows in my room face west, and today the sun streamed in, just at five o’clock, lighting up the chair where I was propping up some test paintings.

These paintings are done with watercolour, coffee and ink. I like the coffee because it half resists, half mixes with the paints, but its mucky, especially on absorbent paper like this, so I’m not sure what to do about that. I’ll do some colour testing next – to try and refine things.

I am playing in my mind with different book forms, and am thinking of folding the second of these into a concertina folding book to see whether that is a good move.

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art painting

mixed media studies

I trimmed down the torn and yucky edges of all the small studies today – to look at them more easily, and without unintentional distractions. Looking at the thing I have made is part of the work – is work. Although it doesn’t look like I’m doing much.

The idea is to unfocussedly look, letting my mind wander into possibilities and into seeing them as if I don’t know them, and also to look in a more analytical mode at what I have got – to see what I want to take forward for the next batch.

Tomorrow’s work is to try and learn something and write down what it is that I have learned. Write some things I want to try next. After that, to start again, do some more on better pieces of paper.

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art painting

mixed-media experiments

working towards creating a language of marks – for small scroll paintings I want to make. using a mixture of strange and beautiful materials – many failed experiments today

(teaching me humility, and all about the ways not to paint with sachets of double choc mocha, watercolour, instant coffee, ink, meths, wax, and varnish)

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art painting

mixed-media experiments

A little more playing today inspired by a chat with artist Angela James and her experimental and open approach.

I have made a very tiny test piece this evening – introducing some unusual (unstable) elements: watercolour, plus oil-based materials – safflower oil and turps, a little oil paint, sanding sealer, varnish. I have written down what I used, in the hope that I will remember what I have used…

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art painting

playing with watercolours

Starting today to play with making sky houses

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art painting

make your own damn art

Today, a very quick look at a painting and a painter to cheer us up. Click the link to see the painting, which is called ‘make your own damn art’.

The artist is Bob and Roberta Smith (one person). He has painted this using sign-painting techniques, and I love it that he is sending us out of the gallery (in this case the Royal Academy in London), and packing us off home to make our own art using wood recycled from out of a skip. Or anything else we feel like using.

By telling us to ‘make your own damn art’, Bob and Roberta Smith is very succinctly saying that our personal creativity is the route to our empowerment – and it seems that ultimately he has in mind that it is also the route to radical political change. In his film of the same name, he points out the social inequality in our culture ‘sector’. Saying that in his view our culture is being made by ‘a sort of gentry in disguise’, which means that ordinary people’s stories are always getting written out of history, or maybe not getting written in, and that ‘I think art should be made by everybody.’