Testing lots of combinations today – ending the day half way through…
continuing with the thought of using gold leaf to create gilded landscape photos.
these are strange, and very imperfect, but I’m persevering, I feel like there may be something yet to come from it.
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.
a very short video clip to share
still turning over in my mind the sorts of things I can do with videos of hands that are making
hands have their own intelligence, in making, and this is something that is worth drawing attention to
I’ve been sitting at my desk for a lot of today, finding words about hope, and continuing with the reading that I am doing about the work of Joseph Beuys.
Sitting at my desk with my back to the large drawing I’ve started and not giving it any thought. It is behind me because I had nailed the paper to the only possible wall, right behind my desk. Charcoal dust all over the floor and the soles of my feet, all over the dog and the piles of books. Its not lovely…
And, turning around, it has to be said that overall this drawing is not pleasing to me. I am speaking about this here, in order to be honest with myself, and to express to myself, in front of you, that sometimes things look very difficult and messy, and there is no certainty at all that they will mean or be anything useful. And this is difficult. One becomes invested in a work, in a certain outcome. Or worse, having embarked on something without being able to see a way clear, one starts to lose faith that there is a way clear, or that the journey is justified at all.
I have no idea where I am going with this drawing. There are some things that are good about it, an energy and a rhythm in places. I am starting to imagine ways that it will become material that I can turn into a book, or perhaps the inside of a box. But I also feel certain that it will need more work first. More attention. And the possibility remains that it might never be useful at all.
Which reminds me that in the course of my research today, I did read Joseph Beuys in conversation on the process of creating, saying something that I found interesting about quality, and mistakes:
“So the criteria for something …. as to its quality, can again really only be discussed in direct relation to something, by circling around it a thousand times, looking at it and trying different things out. Above all, it becomes interesting when you’ve completed something and think it’s perfect; and then suddenly see that in fact it’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. And then you have to rework it, in other words, correct it, and that’s particularly difficult. But it also has the enormous advantage that only now can you draw something out of it which never occurred to you as a possibility before, because it wasn’t at all visible. The mistake one makes in the first attempt can turn out to be an extraordinary gift as far as the work is concerned….. One learns an enormous amount from mistakes in particular, as long as one doesn’t tire too easily and say: Oh no, it’s no good – I’ll leave it and start something new. If one says: This mistake is something that I’m not just going to leave as it is, but I’ll make something of this mistake, which is much better than I originally envisaged…”
(From the book ‘What is Art’, Conversation with Joseph Beuys. Edited with essays by Volker Harlan, 2004).
Working today on a folding book for my collaborative book project with Suzie Ross.
A short video, still working with the watercolour scroll forms.
I heard a palliative care doctor talking once, she said that there are four things that people very often need to say before departing.
I had many many thoughts and ideas this evening, and I wanted to write some of them down. There was nowhere to write them though, because I have reached the back cover of my beautiful electric blue sketchbook – and they are the kind of ideas that belong in there, and not in my black notebook.
I need my books and the differences between them. Lets just say because this is part of what I am like, and one of the ways that I manage to show up and work. Colour coding and indexing my notebooks (and knowing where they are at all times) is a way that I can see and keep track of what I am doing.
Running out of room in my electric blue book is a good thing and well timed, because I am certain now that I am standing at the beginning of many things.
I knew immediately what to do. I wrote a few important things down on a scrap of paper with a plum coloured felt-tip pen. Then I prepared the papers and sewed another book right away – if I glue it now, it will be dry in the morning. I have not chosen yet what colour I will use to cover it, but I have some orange book cloth, so that might work.