Thursday, 31 January 2013

One of Those Days

I can honestly say that I have no idea if what I achieved today is of any worth or not.  Nice to have the studio tidy again though!  I struggled on with the four studies on paper; I think I was just trying too hard.

By the end of the day, and it was a longer day; I was in the studio by 11 am and left at 4.30 pm, I had virtually obliterated the text and tally marks and ended up with four pieces that once again featured the obelisk motif that refers to the four friends I lost.  

I don't think these pieces are very good, but they have served the purpose of getting me back on track with the original idea, which deals with loss, the passage of time referenced by landscape textures and colours of the seasons and the tally marks.  

I did work out how to have four large canvases on the go at once within the studio while I was working; there is just enough wall space and I think it might be better to work on them stretched, rather than stapled to the wall and then put onto their stretchers, which is my preferred method - I am not a fan of the "bounce" of the stretched canvas under the brush.  

So I suppose I should just remain calm and carry on!

Below are the developmental stages of Autumn, which illustrates the tortuous process!

all content copyright the artist, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Ideas, Too Many Ideas!

Second post of the day; you can tell I'm getting excited!

There were a few interruptions this morning, as I was preparing for my day in the studio, which resulted in a late start yet again.  I arrived at about one o'clock in the end.  Still, I had a plan of action, so I didn't waste the time:

  • Turn on the calor gas stove
  • Tidy up mess from before Christmas and organise the space
  • Evaluate works on paper made so far
  • Finish / continue with small studies





So far so good.  I have made final adjustments to the small studies that were on the wall, and I am now happy with them. (See above)   I put text onto the new studies I started yesterday and left them to dry, which is when I started to play with some small off cuts of paper and had an interesting idea for an artists' book or two!

The beginnings of 4 more studies for developing into the large paintings: Winter, Spring, Summer Autumn

I'll incorporate some text with the surface/imagery of the books when I make them.

I have been reflecting on what it is that is important to me when I make my work:
  • colour
  • gesture
  • mark making
  • landscape (I still refer to it in my work as a metaphor for the human condition)
  • Time and memory in the current body of work that I am developing.
Which is enough to be going on with!

In compiling the list I have confirmed that I am not interested in:

  • perspectival space, I prefer a more aerial, all over approach
  • figuration, I wish to allude to things rather than illustrate them
  • making work that matches people's curtains!

I am beginning to have all sorts of ideas that are developments from my original starting point and, although that is great, I need to keep focused on finishing planned work for the show. I plan to have some sketchbooks on display in a cabinet during the show, so I can include some of the new ideas in this format.  I'll spend the rest of the year working on them.

It's great to have a clearer idea of where I am heading, and know that I have the time to spend working on them.  I am hoping that some paid work will turn up too, later in the year and then I shall be really content!

all content copyright the artist, all rights reserved

First Day Back in My Stonegrave Studio

So, yesterday was my first day out in the studio proper, the snow had finally gone away.  By the time I'd got myself organised, gathered all my works on paper, sketchbooks, materials that I'd been using at home, found food and drink to take etc., plus some Ryedale ArtWorks business to attend to at the bank, it was gone midday before I actually got there.  Still, a small start is better than none . . .

I popped in to pay my rent before starting some work and had a lovely surprise - Sally Taylor was in the house, talking to Sally the landlady!  Sally T will be back on site and making work in her studio above me from next week; her busy teaching schedule has finally eased up.  All will be right with the world when I can hear her working  overhead with Lady GaGa playing.  We love to hear/guess what each other is listening to while we work.

And what did I actually achieve?  I completed (I think) 4 small studies on paper of the seasons that I am making in prep for large paintings, I started 4 more small studies of the same, oh, and I poured paint all over my foot and floor.  Sigh.  The studio is a little bit unruly, with boxes of stuff on the floor at the moment, which were under the trestle that is currently at home, so when I get out there today, the first thing I must do is organise them in a more tidy and safe way.  

What will I do today?  Finish the studies I started yesterday, ponder on them and then make some notes in my sketchbook in prep for starting the large paintings.  Before I start these large pieces, I will need to take the existing ones off the walls and store them somehow.  I don't have the stretchers for them as yet; it might be better to wait until I do before removing them from the walls.  Meanwhile, I have a couple of smaller pieces that need resolving and some small pieces of canvas waiting to be worked on, so I shall not waste time. 

 I already have 3 large stretchers with my stuff in storage, so it is time to ring the storage company and get it all brought home - it will be better than Christmas - I'll be reunited with all my books, catalogues, tools and my plan chests that contain some of my older work.  I get excited just thinking about it!

Last night's Ryedale ArtWorks meeting was very productive, we analysed the membership survey results and prepared for a meeting to do with Cultural Commissioning in a few days.  Sad to say goodbye to our Chair, Janet Hayton; many thanks to her for all she has done for us, which is a lot!

By the time I got home it was gone eleven and so I still have not had time to do more than skim the pages of Turps Banana Journal, which brings me much joy, pleasure and stimulation!  I anticipate an absorbed couple of hours tonight. 

Off to work . . . . 

All content copyright the artist, all rights reserved

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Sharing, Designing, Thinking

It's Wednesday now, and I don't seem to have achieved a great deal so far this week although I have:
  • Set up meeting with designer to talk about my design for a cheap alternative to a catalogue for my show
  • Made a mock up for said alternative printed matter
  • Sketched out designs for client wedding invitation and made mock ups of various fold options
  • Worked on design brief for my web site
That looks better than it really is! 

We did however have a great weekend with Stef and Ian, lovely walk in the snowy wonderland, much laughter, good food and sharing of musical taste with a game that we invented called "choose a track" where we all went round in turn picking a piece of music via various on line music sites, with which to entertain the group.  Great fun!  Why was it that some of my choices didn't seem to be available?  I'm not that off the wall, really. . .    Return match much anticipated and I'll have CD's at the ready!

The winter landscape we walked through was stunning; I love the graphic quality of the stark hedgerows, grasses etc against the pristine snow.  

Last night's programme on BBC 4, Tales of Winter: The Art of Snow and Ice promised to be interesting.  What I saw of it was ok, if a little obvious, I recorded it as I was busy with other things at the time.  Always nice to see painting on the TV though and I shall watch the entire thing later tonight and see if I change my mind!  What was that man doing in and out of the sewers, and what was the relevance of it?  I look forward to finding out . . .

As for now, I'd better get on and make some work . . . 

If you'd like to view more of my work, look in photos/albums on this page:

Content copyright the artist, all rights reserved

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A Treasure in My Attic and Tweeting Fun

I forgot to mention in my last blog that, while the young guy who does the labouring for our builder was up in our attic laying the new insulation, he found a large square of real lino.  I haven't measured it, but it must be at least 15" square.  As far as treasures found in attics go, it's not much but I am quite excited and planning to make some prints from it.

Today, one of my tweets was "favourited" by Surface Gallery in Nottingham where I have 3 postcards in their International Postcard Show!  I was ridiculously pleased as I haven't been tweeting for very long.  Another thing I did was re post a photo from another source on Twitter onto Ryedale ArtWorks' page and the owner of the site commented on the page. He's in Italy and would never have heard of RAW without the tweet, which reinforces how incredibly powerful this world of social media is.

My own tweet was along the lines of wondering if any of my 3 cards would sell, and, if any did, that it would be the second thing I'd ever sold in my life, but if none of them did sell, I'd get swapsies from other artists, so either way would be exciting! Another great thing about Twitter is that I am discovering some amazing galleries all over the country, which was another target on my action plan for this year.

As far as my action plan for the year is going I am pretty much on target with my work although the last couple of days have been a bit of a struggle, I have been working on the content and structure of my new web site.  The small studies are coming along quite well and, with work already in a gallery this month, (however small the pieces are, they still count),  I have most of my targets covered.

The challenge is to keep the momentum going and not waste any time!  Oh, and it is still freezing here: -11 degrees freezing!

All content copyright the artist, all rights reserved

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Small Studies and Snowfall

Trying hard to keep up the work rate but all I want to do is doze by the fire!  It has snowed quite hard today with some heavy snow showers of beautiful big soft flakes.  The countryside all round the house looks glorious, not so much fun driving on the lanes though.

Still working on some small studies, with large paintings in mind:

Marking Time: Spring.  Study in gouache, oil pastel and coloured pencil.

Marking Time: Winter. Study, gouache, oil pastel, coloured pencil.

 Marking Time: Autumn. Study, gouache, unfinished

My work table

Marking Time: Summer.  Study, gouache, oil pastel, coloured pencil

More snowy pics can be seen on:

All content copyright Sue Gough, all rights reserved