08 Jun What to do when you are bursting at the seams with “unblogged Blog” – let it all out!
I ended my last post several months ago stating I would not be blogging for a couple of weeks whilst my new website was being developed. The reason I thought it would take a Couple of weeks before it would all be up and running was based on a lack of understanding of the amount of work involved in building a website from scratch. My goodness the design considerations alone are endless before you even begin to consider content and intent and then you have to deal with all the possibilities and opportunities that exist and the choices out there are immense.
However, the last two months have been extraordinarily helpful in clarifying what my new website will need to show and how we wanted to show it but equally important it has been useful almost chronologically mapping my own development and appreciating the need to archive your work over time. So much to think about and so much to learn but the process has finally begun and I look forward to developing this window in to both my work as an artist and my interpretations and insights that cause this need in me to paint, create and write. I hope over time to ensure the website and its content remains relevant, helpful and useful to both visitors and also myself. This will require some discipline on my part and some patience on the part of visitors who kindly take the time to log in to my site and read my blogs.
Before I re-join where I left off I would like to take the time to fill some gaps in what I now consider to be the jigsaw that maps my artistic endeavours. For example, Blogging is just one piece in the jigsaw. However, I have discovered that for me it is a welcome piece that predominantly supports me to clarify and sometimes justify and definitely map my day to day, week to week and month to month tasks and responsibilities. That said I also have come to realise it has to be controlled as it is both time consuming and a little bit addictive. I need it to be purposeful not rambling, informative not too much procrastinating nonsense. I know myself too well!
A review of the last two months.
There has been considerable painting. There have been commissions to fulfil by capturing local scenes for local folk for special birthdays and occasions. Many thanks to you all!
In this time, I have also tried to develop an ‘Affordable Art’ series for visitors to ‘Crafts by the Sea’ Craft Shop, Ogmore by sea. This has consisted of small pieces of work either on canvas or small framed pieces capturing the heritage coastline. This has been quite interesting as a concept but it is not without misunderstandings and difficulties. By producing a selection of small pieces it has lead to customers enquiring about other specific scenes they would like painted and then as the artist you are left to consider the difference between a commissioned piece and an artist led piece.
The key to this endeavour is the concept of time since that is the main issue if I continue to develop this series of artwork. Furthermore, it has required me to question whether I should explore Prints as an avenue for affordable art instead. But on further reflection even that is not without conundrums and requires at least some consideration in to the value of limited editions and or unlimited print runs. So much head space is required to process the way forward with this and no doubt a bit of trial and error. Please get in touch is you have any ideas you have regarding this subject and if you would be interested in prints of my artwork.
Over the last few months I have been working with another fantastic Photographer, Anthony Barber (info@Anteaphotography.com) capturing professional images of as much art work as I have available to go on my new website. This is always exciting work as it shows paintings in their best light to a wider audience as possible. It also opens up the opportunity to develop Professional Prints from my work as the quality of the photographic images allow me to work with Gemini Print (email@example.com) to explore my earlier suggestion of Artist Quality Prints. Those that I have explored so far will be available on the website in the Shop. Many thanks Anthony, Dom and Matt!
I was invited to back to the Evan James BNI meeting at Nantgarw College at the end of April by member Phill Anstice (Phill@myntmedia.co.uk) . It was a chance to thank The Evan James BNI Chapter for all their support and to acknowledge how vast my network had become thanks to to their welcome. I was able to show them some of the work coming out of the Iceland Project and look forward to the chance of working with them in the future. I am soon to be working with Phill Anstice of Mynt Media to bring a new dimension to my blogs and website through videos. I will be blogging again about this in the future.
The last few months have involved lots of development on my part and this involves a lot of time outside my comfort zones as I learn more about what it takes to become more business like in my artistic life. Whether you consider it developing in confidence or whether it has more to do with the Rhys Rubery Mantra -“Why not? Why aren’t you doing it?” I am noticing that the more opportunities you experience the easier things get. Once you have an experience of an activity or a situation you stop living inside your head and you begin to base your ideas more and more on experience than imagined fears and hang-ups. Thus, I have started to take up opportunities that have arisen and started to see them for what they are- opportunities!
Interestingly, on Radio Four they have been running a series on Wednesdays entitled “Only Artists”. It featured this week (23rd May 2018 at 9am) a discussion between Sadie Clayton, an up and coming Fashion Artist and Ron Arad, Architect, Designer, Artist etc. etc.… It was a fascinating conversation between one fully established artist and another developing artist. The innate confidence in Ron Arad was comforting as he described how he had followed his artistic, creative mind, need and passions to enable him to live as authentically in his life as possible as a creative soul. The things that stood out for me were not just his visionary ideas, I understood all that since having my own creative mind I too, just can’t help seeing things in things and wanting to make things. What gave me more comfort was his quiet confidence in himself. Not an arrogant confidence but a gentle certainty that he was just doing what he needed to do and it was less about choices and more about raison d’etre. The younger artist Sadie Clayton perfectly indicated where many of us less high profile creative souls find ourselves- feeling two or three steps behind the leader all the while and running almost out of breath simply trying to be what and where we think we need to be.
I heard in Sadie Clayton’s words the feeling of awe, gratitude and also frustration as we try to stand up and get our work noticed. It was interestingly hearing Ron Arad’s responses to any of her questions as he highlighted this is not a privileged position he has because he is a man or successful but a privileged position he has given him self permission to accept as inevitable. Ron Arad inspired me on Wednesday though the air waves as he kept urging the younger Sadie Clayton to stop questioning and analysing her work but rather to let her work simply guide her towards opportunities and not allow her experiences to influence her creativity but let her creativity influence her experience. Well I think that’s what he meant! That’s how it came across and it felt relevant to where I am at the moment in my artistic endeavours. Furthermore, it took away some of my angst at what I should be doing right now and who I was answerable to. Is it Myself, My Patrons, My family, The World at Large, Those who we have lost? And so on. The answer is now simple I am answerable to my creativity and the creative process that is my life and I shall continue to listen to it as I progress from here on in.
I have tried in this latest blog to fill the gaps over the last few months. So far I have explained how I have taken opportunities to develop the business side of my work but in this final section I will briefly explain how the most important part of my work comes from the following activities:
Thinking Walking Caring Sharing
Making Writing Painting Talking
Clarifying Trying Failing And……..
(oops! I forgot RANTING!!!)
Over the coming weeks I will unveil more of the creative process that all these activities have led too. I will tell you about the latest Og Story, The Iceland series, The Art Below Summer Show, London and much much more.
Thank you for reading,