Wednesday, 25 May 2016

a private sketchbook

A thing that helped me a great deal over this period was the decision to start working in a series of private sketchbooks. I needed somewhere to experiment that I knew only I had access to. Somewhere to make images that didn't always have the unconscious intention of being a step on the way to somewhere, or a breakthrough, or the thing I was waiting for. Somewhere to just play with the things that interested me.

And then one morning, very quietly, while I was looking the other way, the dancers came through.


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

make the paintings you want to look at

'My interest in making music has been to create something that does not exist that I would like to listen to. I wanted to hear music that had not yet happened, by putting together things that suggested a new thing which did not yet exist'

Brian Eno

'The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use - do the work you want to see done.


Monday, 23 May 2016

'Examine where you fall short'. Or not.

 'So, copy your heroes. Examine where you fall short. What's in there that makes you different? That's what you should amplify and transform into your own work.'

Actually that wouldn't work for me. If I started looking for 'what made me different' I would go up into my head again and lose whatever comes through working.


Sunday, 22 May 2016

'Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We learn by copying'

'Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don't come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying.

We're talking about practice here, not plagiarism... copying is about reverse-engineering. It's like taking apart a car to see how it works.... We learnt to write by copying down the alphabet. Musicians learn to play by practising scales.... Remember: Even the Beatles started out as a cover band

First, you have to figure out who to copy. Second, you have to figure out what to copy.

The songwriter Nick Lowe says, 'You start out by rewriting your hero's catalogue. And you don't just steal from one of your heroes, you steal from all of them.... If you copy from one author, it's plagiarism. If you copy from many, it's research.

What to copy is a little bit trickier. Don't just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don't want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes. The reason to copy your heroes and their style is so that you might somehow get a glimpse into their minds.

A wonderful flaw about human beings is that we're incapable of making perfect copies. Our failure to copy our heroes is where we discover where our own thing lives. That is how we evolve.'

I had no idea that this was how it worked. I knew I had to 'do something' with what I felt when I looked at these images, but I no idea how to start, or why. I knew I didn't want to just copy them, but I couldn't think how else to start.

So I started.

I was totally frustrated. What am I doing, just copying these images?

After a while, I started to notice something. As I was drawing I was asking myself, how do these bits of stone manage to feel so alive? The answer was the tribhanga; a principle of Indian aesthetics which is the three planes that make up a figure with its weight on one leg, the hip jutting out.


Saturday, 21 May 2016

'the earth was born...' and the mirror appears....

'The mirror becomes a widely used metaphor for expressing the Sankhya philosophy of dualism, and the nature of cognition...'


'The earth was born from her who crouched with legs spread..'

Post from  19th August, 2012.

'When you gods took your places there in the water with your hands joined together, a thick cloud of mist arose from you like dust from dancers....'

Four years later the image below appeared (the earth is the goddess is the earth is the human is you).

'...if you allow yourself to be ensnared by its curving white sands and the bright turquoise and emerald green of the shallows, you'll forever be a haunter-of-edges. If you don't watch yourself you'll turn to stone down on that beach, a sea-smoothed rock-creature with eyes that are holes where the sky shines through....'

Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted, 2016


Thursday, 19 May 2016

the body adorned

A second post from the breadcrumbs taking me back to the origins of my stealing....