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May 25, 2004

Individual expression – a high risk occupation

We live in a random, chaotic, universe. Mostly we try to make sense of it.

Some do so by forcing large amounts of natural materials into complex machines and combining them in subtle ways [from cars to computers] to try to keep the chaos out. But these often just serve to complicate matters more, and indeed more machines are required to explain the first machines.

Others do so by looking at the way we are and commenting on it. Sometimes explaining, sometimes merely observing. These people try to let the chaos in, and find the light coming through. These are the artists, the painters and poets and musicians.

Chaos is the stuff of creativity, there are no machines, yet, that can harness the random events of chaos and illuminate the world we live in, the way an artist can.

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May 23, 2004

all right, okay let's go [again]

The studio has expanded. That is: I have expanded the studio. The big unstuck panels now don’t get stuck in the small space but have room to breathe.

And I’ve been away painting abstracts. Away, that is, in the land of colours.

Now, as the abstract panels come to an abstract conclusion, I must get back to the unstuck panels. Several are complete, several more need to be completed, a few need to be started.

On ward and up ward

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May 20, 2004

Creativity and the recognition of the product

To be an artist is to be creative.

To live is to sell work, but to sell work is to produce a consistency which itself precludes creativity.

So to live we need consistency not creativity.

But to live without creativity we starve ourselves as artists.

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May 12, 2004

two houses

It is hard to stretch yourself. It is hard, at the beginning of the 21st century, to justify an uneconomical pursuit. So much of life is geared to material gain, that even in the art world the questions are asked as to the commercial viability of the undertaking.

It’s hard to stick your neck out and do what you want to do. But in the end, at the gates, it isn’t what you’ve got in the bank that matters, I guess.

Have you tried they will ask. Have you been as far as you can? Have you pushed out the vessel for transport by water, constructed to provide buoyancy by excluding water and shaped to give stability and permit propulsion?

Have you, then, been true to yourself? Or do you live in another’s house?

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May 05, 2004

the physical act of painting

To cover a panel 1200mm x 1800mm [4’ x 6’ for those still living with the old units] is a daunting task. Household wall paint is designed to cover large areas with ease. Artists' oil paints are not formulated to paint walls, as you can imagine. They are spectacularly thick and, with addition of linseed oil, can get gloriously gloopy, but not such that covering over 2 square metres of panel is an easy task.

Then there are the brush strokes to consider, again household paint, unlike oil paint, is made to minimise brush strokes. Now don’t get me wrong I like brush strokes, they signify the presence of the artist, but, when filling in a large area, the way the brush strokes are applied can affect the end result; too sloppy and it looks a mess, too ordered and it looks flat. The size of the brush and consistency of the paint affects the finish of the surface. [In a painting a great deal rests on the treatment of the surface.]

And that’s just the under-painting which will in all probability be completely covered over by the end, but it might not be, so it has to be right. Every level of the painting has to be right

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