Every now and then I metaphorically hit a brick wall or start to doubt myself, but I don’t consider it a weakness, on the contrary, its at these times that I seem to dig deep and as long as I don’t let my feelings overwhelm me then I can do my best work.
BUT sometimes the hole is just too deep and you need someone to say, no nonsense and straight up, just do it! My mentor told me just that earlier in the year when I was balancing on the cusp of mediocrity and it knocked me back for a few seconds while I digested his challenge, I was being self defeating and settling because I believed I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. Once I got over that (about 30 seconds) I agreed and went on to produce a piece of work that I was extremely proud of, not mediocre, special.
So what I’m getting to eventually is, while researching the artist Eva Hesse (1936-1970) I came across a letter that her mentor had sent her when in a similar situation, it’s bloody marvellous and I wanted to share it because it is cruel and honest and something only a person who truly cares about you would dare say to you…
Date letter written: April 14 1966
Writer: Sol LeWitt
Recipient: Eva Hesse
Excerpt taken from:
This week I’m continuing my exploration into the language of paint through the process of painting, the physical act of applying paint with squeegees to a surface.
Narrowing my palette to black and white allows me to concentrate on the material qualities of paint without having to consider the complexities of colour, however you may see some small touches of colour crept into the frame, used sparingly.
I don’t disregard colour, I instead want to challenge my understanding by paring everything back to the minimal. And the dangers of using certain colours together is to potentially become a cliche and or decorative, producing ‘nice’ paintings that ‘go’ with stuff, a fine line many abstract artists must confront.
The following are works started last week, which have moved in different directions but have a connectivity through the language of paint, the compulsive making of marks, repetition and deconstruction.
Last week (three weeks into the final project) I had a mini crisis when I started to doubt my direction, not uncommon for me but a well needed wakeup call. And that led to me asking some hard questions, from there I went back to the basics and…
when in doubt, draw…
Simply put, I will exhibit a series of 2D abstract paintings (on canvas and/or board using acrylic and/or oil paint), that may be shown with 3D paintings.
Honest and constructive comments most welcome,
PS, I made my squeegee tools today! very excited to try them out and will post a ‘how I did it’ in the next few days. :-).
As a painter I have spent the majority of my time in my studio throwing paint around but for a while now I have had the urge to try moving image, and with this project I had the opportunity to dive in at the deep end. Don’t get me wrong, the idea to use video was secondary to my concept, I never think that far ahead I’m afraid. The idea comes first then I worry about how I’m going to make it happen.
In this case the project ‘Ideas of the Year’, meant writing a personal manifesto and then creating a graphic representation of said manifesto, to be presented to the class at the end of the project.
The written manifesto got off to a rocky start but after making several drafts I decided on a written statement of intent which I feel accurately describes my position and interests as an artist. The graphic image flowed on naturally from the written form, paint moving backwards, towards the beginning, an artist is always beginning, while key words from the written manifesto appear and then fade out, the end is the beginning a blank canvas.
This was my very first attempt at creating a moving image and I was very surprised at how the video turned out, it’s not perfect but I was really happy with the outcome. And in a way the imperfections suit my notion of the unique quality of painting, humanity and the human touch, therefore I decided not to change anything about it but to take what I have learnt through making it onto the next video project.
I found the creative process challenging but very rewarding and it has given me the bug to create more videos, stay tuned.
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