Here is another drawing. I’m working slowly these days. I enjoy making decisions slowly. The title is not important, its named after a jazz tune by the great Fats Waller. I should thank my daughter for commissioning this drawing. It meant that I actually completed it, and that inspires me to commit myself to finish at least six of the many drawings I seem to have abandoned. Leaving work unfinished is a trick that can feel like way of holding on to it’s potential. It’s also sometimes a way of waiting for a readiness to accept what is emerging, at least enough to proceed. I’m happy to sit in my studio doing nothing at all, except listening to music. This drawing has an embryonic sibling, but I wont attend to that until I have spent some time with two larger drawing which have been brought back to life. I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Photograph Rachel Dunlop
I have landed myself an excellent opportunity at the superb Celf o Gwmpass in Llandrindod Wells, Wales. In the past I have worked in the ‘care and concern’ sector, specifically as a support worker in mental health, and I remain full of admiration and respect for the work that people do, but I always felt that creativity was regarded a foreign language or something marginal. Not so here. It looks and sounds like an art centre, it walks like an art centre. It is an art centre, one with a vision, “..to achieve artistic innovation and increase recognition of the value in disability and inclusive arts practice” and a mission, “..to create the connections for equality, nurture creativity and support ambition in the arts”.
I am delighted to be facilitating a few workshops all about ‘getting it together and staying with it’, which is the perennial project for all artists, myself included. I have also been loaned a studio space (till November) which I sometimes share with Dean Warburton*. We are getting on well and cope with each others studio noise, chemicals, sawdust and other studio habits. Its a bit like returning to college which I find deeply nostalgic.
I have begun a series of reliefs and I am already deeply immersed in their making and excited to see complete.
I am very grateful to everyone at Celf for this time, especially Shân Edwards director at Celf who brought me in, and made the place what it is, and Rachel Dunlop who paints, organises and seems to be on the front line of everyone’s demands, especially mine.
Unfinished, as yet untitled, painted wood
Tragically Dean Warburton was killed in a motoring accident soon after I posted the text above. My heartfelt condolences to all his family and friends.
Gouache on watercolour paper 35 x 35 cm
‘Garden (Dead-head) (i)’ 92 x 121 cm
I have been making more of these gouache pictures.
I should be clear, Teddie and I actually made this drawing together, she started it and I finished it, quite a while later.
Although we like to work at very different speeds, we seem to broadly agree about art, about pictures anyway : A picture should have several or many parts to it, and these parts should not all be the same as one another. Pictures without parts or parts that are more or less identical, are not creative pictures in our humble opinion. We think these simple guidelines also apply to food, cinema, music, literature.