Monday, 19 September 2016

Georgia O'Keefe

I went to see the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition the other day, at the Tate Modern. I didn't think I got a massive amount out of it, but my recent painting has made me think differently. Maybe a little bit of Georgia, got through to my soul after all.

Let me explain....

If you know anything about Georgia O'Keefe, you probably know that she painted flowers, it is what she is most famous for; Large, sensual, magnified flowers. I was expecting to see a lot of these at the exhibition, but there were only a few examples. There were far more pieces of her landscape work - both of the US and of New Mexico and her preoccupation with painting bleached animal skulls. These were interesting, in fact I saw some parallels in our work, presumably because I have also been captivated by the colours and the landscapes of the United States National Parks. But there is something about her work that I find difficult to get into. I feel like the door is there in front of me, and I can see it, but I can't open it. I seem to find it difficult to connect with her work. I don't know whether it is because it is too smooth, too perfect, too diluted, or whether the colours don't speak to me. It could simply be that I can't see the artist in the work. You can easily get a feel for some people - Miro was playful and bold, about expressing movement and joy, Klee - order, painful meticulousness, elaborate colour palettes and precision. I just don't get what Georgia O'Keefe is trying to show me.  But that is fine, she doesn't need to speak to me. Ironically, O'Keefe was an intensely private, self confessed loner, so maybe I am getting her personality exactly through her work. It was for her, and more fool the people that think her flowers are representations of female genitalia. The woman just wanted to paint a flower.

Or did she?

I think in this regard, this was why I thought the exhibition was a little disappointing. It seemed disjointed and needed more of her work - definitely more flowers. How can you understand someone, when the largest and most controversial body of her work is not present? That said, some of her work is right up my street. Some of the more serene landscapes and the city work especially. I just needed more.

When you don't understand something you need more information.

But anyway, after thinking the exhibition passed me by slightly. I just painted this:

That looks like a big flower - right in the middle and not what I intended to paint. I was meant to be painting the tree canopy from a birds eye view, leaves, tendrils, twigs and branches, but not a flower. It looks like she may have spoken to me, far more emphatically than I would have imagined.

One thing is for sure, I definitely do not know enough about Georgia O'Keefe.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Sinking Ship.

My blog post hits are falling faster than the leaves off a tree in autumn. I really need to get back on track and back on the consistent blogging horse (I am sure that is the name of a runner at Ascot) Easier said than done when I have other priorities to sort out, but I am getting there. Every weekend, I tick another few things off, add a few more bits and pieces to the website, write a potentially boring post.

:-P *blows massive raspberry*

More exciting posts are coming - about my work, about exhibitions I have visited, art inspiration I have found, but maybe not just yet. I guess that was the point of this blog anyway - to see where the art journey takes me and how it evolves. Turns out if you don't consistently work on everything, it all falls behind, and then you have to do a massive, gaffer tape job and temporarily tape a few things together, whilst you plug the massive hole that is sinking your ship.

The only plus point is that with experience comes wisdom. Having previously written many posts where I don't know what I am doing, for once I have a plan. I know what I need to do. What needs to be mended, what needs to be changed and what needs to be started. The only thing lacking is time (and sleep this week).

So I laugh in the face of falling popularity and a slow sales month, knowing that it really is, just a matter of time......Apparently, it takes ten years to become an overnight success, so I still have 4 years left to go....

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Once Upon a time...

What's this? Two blog posts in the same month? Suits you sir!


Somehow I have had a productive week this week. Work is complete (for the moment), my Friday deadline met, my Saturday chores demolished, my fridge stocked and my website worked upon. My high resolution files have also been skewed, tweaked and are waiting to be uploaded where required.

So this is better. A little more focused and a little less headless chicken. I have a time plan to finish my website and then work on the painting version. I don't know how to finish one section of the new photography website but I will sort that out when I get there. I am still working on the print shop at the moment.

Much, much better.

And then one day, my blog will be up to date and I can start working through my post list.

And outside the birds will be singing, and it will be sunny everyday, and Prince Charming will knock on my door, and I will sell all my paintings, and live happily ever after in a Castle, and I'll be able to eat copious amounts of chocolate and wine and not put on weight.

What is that? Unrealistic you say? Well yes. I will settle for selling some paintings and the birds singing outside. Hopefully I'll sell some photography prints as well otherwise this website reshuffle will be a bit disappointing.....

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Train now Approaching platform 4....

I have got to that stage where I can see how much art stuff I need to do and how much I am not doing. My sensibilities are currently probably just pulling into heart palpitation station, before heading off to heart attack central.

On a side note, I do need to say palpitation station again, as it has a nice ring to it.

But yes, I am not stressed per se, but I could be. I think it is important to remember the bigger picture here, but not look at how to get there, as then I will end up on a direct route to Shutdown Street.

I think it would help if I could finish some things off rather than my current status which is half doing lots of things. My photography website is almost complete, but isn't, my new high resolution art photos are half sorted, but not finished, my Instagram account is set up but not used. The same goes for Twitter. My ideas are mostly written down on paper but not really formalised.

'We are very sorry the delay this may cause to your journey'

I kind of wish I hadn't started thinking about this! I am excited though, if I can, or once I do, get through all of this, I think it will be a massive improvement. I should be more usable, work on Apple, be more searchable, more available, more noticeable. I currently do feel like I need a sabbatical to get there though, or at least a very good railcard.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

No Doubt

So, having been very positive about all the art stuff I need to do, today I am less so. I carried on working up my photography website today which was a bit frustrating. I have over 200 photos to put online, and a slightly unresponsive template to work with. I can't quite get things how I would like, and having so many photos to upload is going to take forever. I managed 25 today which is about a ninth of the total. Normally I am very good at working through things and looking at the bigger picture. At the moment though, I really could do with an artistic pick me up; Either selling a painting, winning a competition, getting some compliments or something generically positive to happen.

Sometimes being self motivated and working on your own all the time is tough. More to the point it is tiring. I am my own worst enemy though and I am sure when I next look at my website I will be pleased with what I have achieved today. It doesn't mean that I don't sometimes need some help to battle through the doubt.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Not a Charity Case

It still looks as though I am not really doing any art. But, AHA! This is not true, I have managed to do a lot more than usual in the last week or so, but as yet, that hasn't involved focusing on my blog. I wrote a list of things I needed and wanted to get up to date and altered, a list that initially completely scared me as it was SO LONG. Scared me so much in fact, that I had to go to the gym and dance my worries away in Zumba and think about something else.

In order to tackle this list, that currently stretches to the moon and back, I have had to focus on each section of work that I need to do. i.e. make a photographic website, make some more calendars, take new high resolution photographs of my work, update all society 6 items etc, etc. Each section has a list associated with it, including one for this blog, but as yet it is not a priority. High resolution photographs are the first port of call, after updating my artwork tracker to work out what I need to photograph and update and re-upload. Next will be the photography website, or possibly Society 6. Then possibly redoing my art website. I am not sure, I will take the list as it comes depending on what I am in the mood to tackle.

I am excited to finally focus on getting my art life back on track though. I feel like my life is mine and heading in the right direction for the first time in about a hundred years.

In the meantime, I did support a local charity concert by placing an advert in their music programme. The concert was for the Thames Hospice and Nordoff Robbins. I was very happy to be asked to help, and the advert looked pretty good too!

Thanks Grimm Players, for sending me a copy of the programme (and for sending an extra one for my Mum!)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

*and wake up*

Blogging and updating my website in the day! How unnatural.

I am feeling excited for getting on top of some art things in the not to distant future. For once in my life, I am kind of on top of my architecture work so I am anticipating having a bit more art time. This will initially probably all be admin related but it still needs to be done. I have almost finished my new photography website so I have high hopes for sorting that out soon, and then beginning to work on my art one. Theoretically, I will be coming to an Apple device near you. Possibly also coming to you on Instagram as well if I can get my head around that.

Either way, I think it is time to knuckle down!!

Let's do this.

I sold a painting last week as well, so that seems very much like an invigorating way to make a new start.