Saturday, December 22, 2007
My mind, like that of other art bloggers, turns to introspection this time of year. A review of what I have accomplished, what succeeded, what didn't, all come in for scrutiny. And I'll write a more in-depth post about that once I've had more time to sit back, relax and consider it for awhile.
I know I've broken new ground this year and will continue to push myself forward into 2008. I, like most artists, find it difficult to be the marketer of my own work. Is it fear of rejection, or the uncomfortable feeling that comes with putting a personal part of my visual expression out for judgement? Perhaps its a bit of both, but I know I hate doing it, but it is an integral part of an artist's life if sales or recognition is wanted.
In reality, I am an introvert. I hate crowds of people and being engaged in meaningless conversation with total strangers, no matter who they may be. Oh, I can hold my own in conversation in these situations but the 'fight or flight' instinct is kicking in big time all the while as I look for an escape route.
Creativity mean I need to spend time away from people and with people. I can't produce well if I have a crowd of people around me. I do draw around people when I do demonstrations. I find it easy to tune out people to some degree in that situation until someone asks me a question and brings me back down to earth.
So marketing always feels strange to me and I do everything I can to avoid it. I would simply like a manager to deal with all the one on one negotiations with buyers and exhibitions etc to let me just produce.
I'm sure I'm not alone in this feeling and others find it odd that I don't want to be busom buddies with the world. Its part of my makeup and what I need to create. However, I don't have a manager, so I still need to deal with the world to market my art and believe me, its a painful process at times for me.
Friday, December 21, 2007
I find it difficult to allot time for my blog these days and feel guilty if I haven't made an entry for a day or two, so I try to get at least three entries a week. I remind myself of why I created the blog initially. It was to make myself accountable and in that accountability, productive. Well the latter works, but often interrupts the accountability process in that I don't have time to write down thoughts or share processes all the time.
In a couple of weeks it will be my blog's 2nd birthday. That's a lot of writing and drawing and photographs - more than I ever thought I had in me. Its interesting to go back over entries and see life events unfold - illustrated life.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Twenty three years ago in London Do They Know It's Christmas was created and performed to draw attention to world hunger. And it still has the same impact today as it did in 1983, at least to me. I was living in England at the time and remember the concept, the music, the musicians and the flurry it caused with the press and the government at the time when they insisted that the VAT be paid on any sales of this record. Bob Geldof went head to head with Margaret Thatcher's government and won. The government allowed VAT to be donated to aid the cause.
Wikipedia has a lot of information on the event and the players involved:
The original 1984 Feed The World logo was based on a pencil sketch by Bob Geldof after watching a BBC television news report by Michael Buerk from famine-stricken Ethiopia, was so moved by the plight of starving children that he decided to try and raise money using his contacts in pop music. The news report itself has become famous, being voted among the greatest television moments of the century, and it remains Buerk's definitive work, even though most of his career was spent as an anchorman.I did a quick sketch of Bob Geldof, just for fun. Office pen and grid paper aren't the ideal mediums, but art is art. I tweaked it a little to remove the grid lines - or most of them. For those old enough to remember the original music and the original players, have a look at the video for some memories. See who you recognize now.
The name 'Band Aid' was chosen as a pun on the name of a well known brand of adhesive bandage, also referring to musicians working as a band to provide aid and alluding to the fact that any help stemming from their efforts is likened to a band-aid on a very serious wound.
The group has reformed on three occasions, each time from the most successful British and Irish pop music performers of the time, to record the same song at the same time of year. Co-writer Midge Ure once commented: 'Every generation should have its own version'.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I've decided to tackle a serious oil painting in the form of a self portrait. Its been awhile since I've done much in oils though I have completed a few small ones and even sold one of my new efforts recently.
I have always loved oils and used to work a lot with them. There was then a lean time when I didn't produce much with oils as there was nowhere to keep them out, small children wanting to get involved, fumes, etc etc. But now I want to revitalize my skills with them but in a looser form perhaps, a more painterly form.
I have completed a line drawing and will enlarge this onto a gallery canvas I think and see what I can come up with.
Wish me luck!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I've been working on a commission lately as well as teaching so haven't had a lot of time to make any new starts on major drawings or paintings. I've done a few sketches this weekend, trying to fit them into small time slots where possible. These will be the basis of future, more elaborate drawings and I want to try my hand at a portrait in oil. I'll likely try a self portrait first, then I don't have to apologize to anyone for screwing it up.
Early this morning I did a little pen and ink sketch and added some colour to it. It was from the Weekend Drawing Event at WetCanvas and took me about an hour to complete. Its whimsical and could hold the potential for a Christmas card. I used a Nexus pen in sepia with touches of coloured pencil. I like mixing media and the results are always interesting.
This afternoon I taught a drawing to some children. Its amazing sometimes just how quickly the time goes by when we all engage in something that captures their attention. That happened today and its wonderful to see the concentration and those 'aha' moments when they understand a concept or technique. Teaching children always held a bit of fear for me, but the more I understand how to keep their attention and with what, the more fun it becomes.