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I have written this over the last couple of days as i have been so busy and unble to post so the first part is from the other day and the last is from today.

20th September

Frustration and other collected thoughts

Since settling down in my studio I have felt a vast expanse of fertile ground open around me metaphorically speaking and this has injected new life and vigour into what I have been doing – this is great. The influx of new ideas and directional changes have been amazing and quite unexpected. What is not is the ideas that come flowing and translate poorly onto paper, especially those that were previously thought by myself as almost a sure thing. A very naive thought I know but everyone must surely fall into this trap once in a while? Perhaps the idea is there for the taking but is in fact a slow burner in need of time, reflection and some patience and not the instant result I thought it could and should be – who knows? Perhaps this kind of idea requires a more painterly approach, or indeed a painters approach? All questions that I’d like answers to immediately please.

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I shall persevere.

In other news I have sold three more drawings this week which I am ecstatically happy about, even more so as I know that each and every piece has gone to a good home. Thank you all if you are reading this.

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On the subject of selling work I have come to learn that it can be a good gauge of how I feel about what I have been up to when faced with a potential sale, sometimes I feel good, sometimes not so much in the fact that I think I wish I could of done this or that…whatever the intuition is it seems to be an accurate gauge. Sometimes I wish it was other work leaving my possession – especially when I have a particular emotional attachment to whatever it is I am selling, it could be that I am particularly fond of a drawing, or have had it for a long time or one that I am very proud and then with the sale feel almost to not only lose ownership but part of myself.

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Anyway moving along now onto framing, much the same as photographing drawings in poor light or out of focus a bad frame can inflict terrible damage to the desirability and online life of a drawing, and lets face it artwork nowadays needs an online presence in order to promote and sell it, perhaps more accurately like a person in a suit: if a suit is badly fitting and baggy, the wrong colour, cheap looking it can take away incredibly from whoever is wearing it and ironically make the wearer look scruffy – or at very least not their best. If however a suit is sharp, well tailored and considered it can do wonders for the person wearing it. This long winded explanation is exactly how frames work, recently I had a drawing framed and whilst it looked smart because it had been neatly sanitised in a white, glazed rectangle my immediate thought was “I wish the frame was different”. Not good. Though it was another lesson learnt in not leaving the frame as an afterthought and considering what would look best: colour, style, depth…you get my point. Something I will definitely be more aware of in the future.

Thursday 22nd September

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So afterall these little drawings have grown on me a bit – still at the very early stages of experimentation but nonetheless I can see a future in them and some potential pieces. the next big project is a skateboard deck for a friend of mine on which i shall make a drawing, quite an exciting prospect. Running along side this I will begin to make some very large drawings, maybe A2 or larger, i shall see how things develop.

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Thank you as always for reading.

A few developments since my last post, mostly on a positive note.

Firstly the drawing I submitted to the ING Discerning Eye was rejected – bummer. I had to do the walk of shame and collect it on Tuesday. Whilst being disappointed it revealed questions and tested the faith I have in what I do. I can confirm my skin is extremely thick and after some very minor doubts my resolve saw off these thoughts.

I know this is a very small bump in the road – and for most a par of course occurrence but it was the first time I’d put myself out there so in my mind it was magnified somewhat, having said that the whole experience has been a great learning exercise and it has shown what I can do if I put my mind to it (in terms of meeting a deadline) and ironically given me bags of confidence, I feel although I have grown in some way as a direct result of the whole submission process. The moral of the story:

Get your work out there as much as humanly possible.

I am now the very proud inhabitant of some proper studio space. BIG WIN. It is a heated, secure, very well lit space – and I already love it. I spent a while last night moving in and tonight i have adorned the walls with a multitude of sketches, drawings and ideas that have otherwise been out of sight and therefore out of the minds eye.

After splashing my drawings all over the walls I decided I needed to “bed” into the space by starting to actually work, I made a pencil drawing over the space of about four hours (no pictures sorry). I couldn’t believe just how much I had missed working in an area in which I could see my other ideas and drawings, it definitely helps in terms of resolving ideas, pushing work to new standards and solidifying patterns of sketches and drawings that haven’t made it off of the mark. I am going to push as hard as I can now and try to accelerate my output.

Exciting times ahead.

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I’ll jump straight in I think with an update as to what I’ve been up to the last week or so since my last update.

I’ve been extremely busy which is good news and have managed to finish my drawing and submit it into the ING Discerning Eye exhibition. This is a huge leap for me and would be an utter triumph if it were to be accepted on my first time of asking. It has however highlighted some deficiencies that I guess can only be addressed by gaining more experience coupled with a healthy curiosity to learn.

Whilst getting the piece framed I came to realise that there are many types of frames and you get what you pay for in terms of tape, backings etc being acid free and the actual quality of the frame itself, this also made me think more about the materials I use in whilst drawing as well, now I’ve always been aware of the quality of what I use to an extent but think I will conduct a lot more research into this and be more choosy about how and where my work is framed.

I found the actual process of applying for exhibition quite nerve wracking as I have never really done this before, filling out the forms, making sure they are correct, making sure the piece is correct in terms of the requirements and then delivering it. I’m quite confident within myself but did wonder whether I’d stick out like a sore thumb or not – no, the reality is there are all walks of life trying to exhibit and one size certainly does not fit all. In the end I actually really enjoyed the process and feel it is an achievement just to get that far, if I’m not accepted so be it, I will keep ploughing on, luckily my skin is thick, my hunger and perseverance are at an all time high. I want this so badly and if I am denied I will keep coming back. I expect to be rejected but you simply never know, looking at some of the other work flooding in I felt good about what I do – and that alone was worth the rigmarole of applying. That pressure that can only come from your peers (when confronted by the work of others) has seemingly opened up a new and fresh train of thought and made my resolve even firmer. With every drawing that passes through my fingers I feel my hand becoming stronger and more sure. I should just say as well that the Discerning Eye application was stupidly easy and I applaud this – just one form and one label along with a £12 fee, I don’t know what other applications are like but this was a good way to start.

As I was so close to the National Gallery (I parked on Carlton House Terrace) I wandered over there after submitting my work yesterday – it would of been rude not to, and I had put 100 minutes on the meter as an insurance against the unknown quantity that is submitting work (I was there 5 minutes) so thought I’d use the time constructively and visit my old friends who have taken residence in these hallowed walls, I gorged on Cézanne, Seurat, Canaletto and many others. Whilst strolling on my own through the halls I realised that I have connections with so many of the works at the National, so many of the paintings are stitched to different times in my life, I felt a wave of nostalgic passion rush through and overcome me. My favourite room is 45, the territory of the (post) impressionist, having stood in front of my favourite painting of all time (a Cézanne landscape) for a good 10 minutes I decided to take a seat just outside that fabled room, above the main stairs I people watch for a while whist absorbing all that was flowing through me – I felt at ease and very at home. Needless to say I fizzing with new ideas and cursing myself for not having my book with me to record these – schoolboy error.

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(The incredible Paul Cézanne)

 

If you are reading this sentence thank you for taking your time to read my rambled thoughts and feelings.