Tuesday, 13 July 2010

making images

Then it dawned on me. Part of the reason that I'm free to do, and not doing, is because the whole 'being a painter' thing doesn't work any better now than it did then. The whole idea of 'making art' is oppressive, for me. It oppresses almost like parental or educational expectations; an externally-driven set of judgements, based on history, and fashion...
When I started painting again two years ago I wasn't thinking of 'painting'. I just started making images. Cheat images, really, images that used scans, and computer enhancement. Not clever, serious art at all.
And that's what I want to do. Make images. Trivial, frivolous images. Images that come out how they want to come out, images that somehow manage to break free of that art tutor who is STILL in my head, saying, 'don't be tight, don't be graphicky'.  Why can't I be 'graphicky' if I want to? What's with all the judgements and rules?
This is my trivial begonia. Glowing at me from a pot in a pub in the middle of a hilly Scottish wilderness. Not serious, not art. Just me in a pub, watching the light...


  1. In my experience, art tutors who say 'don't be tight, don't be graphicky' need to loosen up a little!

  2. Ahhh, what you are saying is like a breath of fresh air to me! I'm struggling with putting my creations "out there" as they're not what i would regard (or been conditioned to think!) as "proper art". But surely the whole point of art and creating is to express whatever needs to be expressed at that very point in time, regardless if "trivial and frivolous".... it still comes from us and through us so no matter what we create it is still art??!

  3. Refreshing to hear Jim's comment, from one who is, I guess, an art tutor! Perhaps, and hopefully, things have changed since 1976 at St Martins, which was pretty full of itself at the time. Or perhaps these things are all just spooks in my mind, bearing no relation to any real experience at all...

    Jenny - I was flicking through 'Psychologies' magazine at the station today (a little better than Hello, perhaps?) and reading a superficial little article on creativity. Despite the snottiness of my judgemental opinion, I find that most such things do usually have at least one thought-provoking idea... The one your comment brings to mind is that you shouldn't show anyone your stuff at the start, presumably because criticism could just send you right back into your shell. But that makes me think, in turn, of someone on Grayson Perry's recent Radio 4 programme who said that you always feel disappointed at the end of making something, and you need a reaction to get it in perspective.

    Perhaps its important to get on and do the work quietly, for our own satisfaction, so that we don't get into trying to make things that please others. If someone says, I love that blue one, will we then start doing more blue ones, to get that reaction again?

    I like what you say about expressing what needs to be expressed at the time. Seems to be something important there. Though it can be hard to find what needs to be expressed, with all those critical voices in our heads....



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