Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!

This is my favourite Christmas animation, possibly my favourite animation of all time. So many lovely subtle touches that I can watch it over and over.

White Christmas sung by Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters (1954)
(Bill Pinkney sings the bass lead, Clyde McPhatter sings the falsetto)
Genius animation by Joshua Held (2002)

(Click on the full screen button in the lower right corner to see it bigger.)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Christmas Craft Market at Vulpes Vulpes

Christmas Craft Market at Vulpes Vulpes, artist run gallery and project space in Hackney, in East London E5. Sat. Dec 11th 12-6.

Crafts, cards, textiles, accessories, drawings, prints, books, cakes, mulled wine and more! Support your local artists!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Selling Show

I will have some affordably-priced paintings in
The Blackhorse Lane Artists
a Christmas mini art trail

on Dec 11 and 12 2010.

It is a collaboration of Blackhorse Lane Studios and Inky Cuttlefish Studios because we are just 3 or 4 minutes walk apart on the same road in E17. There will be lots to choose from if you want to be artsy in your gift-giving. Support the artists in your community and find unique gifts at the same time!

Info will be up soon on the studios website.

Blackhorse Lane Studios
ArtWorks Project Space
114 Blackhorse Lane
E17 6AA

Remember that Blackhorse Road Station is just 15 minutes from the West End on the Victoria Line or mainline train.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chocolate Factory N16 Open Studios

My old studios - Chocolate Factory N16 will be opening its doors for the weekend.

Saturday 27th November 11-6 & Sunday 28th 12-6. Private view Friday 26th 6-9pm

Fine art, ceramics, printed design.

Monday, November 08, 2010

David Batchelor talk cancelled

The talk at Byam Shaw was cancelled. But at least my train journey there and back was relatively easy!
David, I send you huge get well wishes.
I have missed seeing you speak three times now.
My stretch of bad luck has to end, sooner or later!

But how do I find out when it will be rescheduled...

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Inspired By Morris

Some friends from my studio are in a group show at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow E17.
Jonet-Harley Peters
Neil Irons
Pauline Evans

Inspired By Morris

A group show of contemporary art and craft inspired by the life and work of William Morris. Works in all media, from textiles and ceramics to film and photography, will encourage visitors to look afresh at Morris' artistic legacy.
9th October - 24th December 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rodrigo and Gabriela in Shepherds Bush

Rodrigo and Gabriela last night were awesome!
The tube strike challenges were a small price to pay.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

CREATE - the final meeting

Just back from a week in Bristol attending the last CREATE workshop.

We had some great workshops on light and shadow, coloured light (and coloured shadow) and coloured light on coloured surfaces. Longer workshops than in the past so really good. Also colour memory and colour mixing. And inkjet printing and high dynamic range photography. And colour naming.

Was great and am sad to see it all come to an end.
Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I have been updating this page for five years!
Sometimes frequently and sometimes sporadically.
*time passes in a flash*

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Frieze is hot!

I loved the first day of Frieze! Saw Thomas Demand talk, rode one of Gavin Turk's art bikes, looked at lots of art, loved the painting best, and drank a £2 bottle of water! Didn't look at everything yet, am spreading it out over the 4 days.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'd rather have something to say and poor skills with which to say it than lots of skill but nothing to say.

A friend and I were trying to figure out why an exhibition we saw together recently at a gallery we both like had drawings that we both felt had little skill and no meaning. They were really uninteresting. Even reading the artists' statements did not help to give the work any meaning. It was slightly messy, barely bothering, low quality work. It was odd that it was where it was. (We never did figure it out.)

It made me remember some thoughts I have had when thinking about quality in relation to art and I decided to write them down:

Some people are very good at making things look nice or real or accurate or beautiful - they are, for example good drawers.
Some people have great ideas, intelligence, messages to get across, open-minds, or new ways of looking at things - they have insight and ideas.
Some people have both - good technical skills plus a reason to make work, something to say. If they also have their own unique flair then you have a really good artist.

Lots of people can draw things that look nice. But if they are not interesting, compelling, brain (or eye or soul...) activating, they are boring. I can only look at a drawing of a perfect flower or nude or bowl of apples for so long. (Perhaps in the past those things used to mean something, tell a story of religion, fable, allegory, or talk about the beauty of life and its abundant riches or the glory of nature. But most artists now do not do a nude, or still life for any particular reason and so it ends up not meaning anything to the viewer and is boring after a minute or two. I always go back to the intention of the artist. The act or process of making art can be reason enough to keep the viewer interested if the act is somehow authentic.)

The world loves it when you have both skills and ideas as you may be a genius.
But if they have to chose just one, most of the time they will accept ideas over draughtsmanship. So some concept driven art in exhibitions is not skillful looking, because of lack of skill. BUT you also have people who feel like if it is too pretty then you miss the idea for the eye candy. (Like some professors feel that dressing too trendily makes it appear that they are not serious of mind.) Or the naive look may be part of the concept, masquerading as a teenager, for instance. But I think the clever artists know that if your idea is wrapped in skill or beauty then it is more easily understood cos people will look longer.

But then you have the people who are trying to access their childlike essence or their primitive soul or their subconscious and come out with weird stuff that looks simplistic but symbolises big ideas. And that can be enough to keep us looking.

I'd rather have something to say and poor skills to say it with than lots of skill but nothing to say. Over the years, I'm glad to say, my work has gotten better, on both sides.

p.s. For some reason this makes me think of the Auden quote:
"If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me."

Thursday, September 09, 2010

My painting in an Etsy treasury

I had my painting "Gold Spike" chosen for an Etsy treasury!

Thanks Glenda!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Images from my studio - Open Studios 2010

Ok- this is a clockwise tour of my studio the first weekend of September at our Open Studios.

Starting at the door (note the drawing poster of me on the door at the right, by Duncan Evans):

The newest work is the 4 paintings on brown linen. The work on the easel is in progress:

Long wall, work from 2009/2010:

Long wall, work from 2009/2010:

Works on paper 2010:

Works on paper 2010:

Oils and acrylics on panels from 2010:

Monday, September 06, 2010

Open Studios - comments on my work

For the Open Studios this year I chose to show just work that I had made during the year since the last open studios. From that year's work I curated a show on the freshly painted walls of my studio.
I hung four paintings on brown linen I made in August on the short wall near my door, 10 paintings on the long wall, 5 large framed works on paper were on the tables leaned up against my shelves on the back wall, and 10 small (50x40cm) works on panel from the Elusive Memories series were hung on the side wall.

This was a good year for discussions about the work.

Vertigo was the favourite painting by leaps and bounds. Everyone loved the depth achieved in the layers. (Which I cannot seem to capture in a photograph.) I also got an unexpected response of a number of viewers doing a sort of interpretive dance in front of it. They bent forward a bit and stretched their arms wide and made big swirling motions with their fingers.

The next best liked was the newest work on brown linen.

Some comments I remember:
"The longer you look at them the more you see." (The most common comment after "Nice colours".)
"I can't buy them cos I think it needs four paintings hung together and I can't afford four." (referring to the 10 paintings from the Elusive Memories series)
"I really like your new work. Except the panels on this wall are not to my taste. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be mean, but you know they are just too hard for my liking. Well... they are better as you get closer to them aren't they. Oh... I like them much better when I can see just one of them, they are not hard at all then." (also referring to the 10 paintings from the Elusive Memories series)
"I like that you see more in them as you keep looking at them, that is what you want for a painting on your wall, isn't it."
"I like the paintings on paper best. But then I love paper."
"How do you decide on titles?" (I work in series a lot and am glad when one title gets to last for a bit. Titles for single works are hard for me.)
"The brown linen paintings are so different to the others." (Discussions about responding to the surface followed.)
"The right frame makes a painting look even better." (Started by me talking to other artists about the framed works on paper.)

In my comments book- in addition to the expected comments on my "great use of colour" I also got a "challenging work" which I think is really good.

I also had my bookworks out and had some nice discussions about some of those.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Going to the private view

Going to the private view at Blackhorse Lane Studios last night:

Later on it got too busy to take pictures. It was well attended!

It was great to see everyone!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Travel is easy for getting to the Open Studios

The tube is running the weekend of the Open Studios! YAY!
(Scheduled works are the following weekend and the planned tube strike is the day after.)

When everything is working it is easy to get to Walthamstow.
We are the stop before last on the Victoria line, just 15 minutes from the West End. (the Vicky line is speedy!) Just 5 stops from Kings Cross.
Blackhorse Road Station.
Buses and the overground go to the Blackhorse Road station as well.

Follow the signs to walk 5 minutes north on Blackhorse Lane. We are on the right as you come around the corner.

Google Map

Friday, August 20, 2010

What’s on? BHL Open Studios is!

Blackhorse Lane Open Studios is listed in the What’s on section of a-n Artists Newsletter.

Art in the Corridor website is up!

Blackhorse Lane Open Studios and Art in the Corridor
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th September, 12-6pm each day
Preview Evening: Thursday 2nd September, 6-9pm

The Art in the Corridor website with the images of the 62 works is up!

There is a nice selection of styles and range of prices for this affordable art exhibition in the corridors of the Open Studios.
Original art from £45 to £400.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

E17 Art Trail buses

E17 Art Trail buses will be stopping at Blackhorse Lane Studios!
But it looks like only on Sunday.

Barbican Arts Group Trust (no 4) (that is us!), The Page (no2), 27 Thorpe Cresecent (no24) and the William Morris Gallery (no 31) are bus stops on Sunday 5th September, and The Page (no2), and the William Morris Gallery (no 31) are bus stops in our area on Saturday 11th September.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Drawing Residency workshop exhibition

Natuka Honrubia will be showing her amazing huge drawings created during her time as the Artist in Residence at Blackhorse Lane Studios.
Her exhibition will be in the Artworks Project Space 2 – 5th Sept during the Open Studios (and 9th to 12th as well with a public talk on the 11th at 4pm).

The Drawing Studio Residency Workshops Exhibition with work by members of The African Caribbean Women’s Development Centre and Leyton Joint Community Day Services that was run by Natuka Honrubia during her residency will be held in studio UF_15 and will run during the Open Studios. There is a preview for this on Thursday 2nd September at 2pm.

Natuka Honrubia. Sin T¡tulo (untitled)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Open Studio invite is ready!

Thanks Francesco!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Countdown to Open Studios 2010

My to do list to get ready for our open studios five weeks from today!
update 10/08/10: only 23 days away!

update 16/08/10: only 17 days left!
update 19/08/10: two weeks left!
Update: It's TOMORROW!
I will be ticking things off as fast as I can. Lots to do!
(I have a feeling I will be adding a few more tasks as well.)
Is there anything I have forgotten?

For the art:
-Finish making work. Leave time for oil to dry. Pick a day to stop painting so I can start on the rest of the stuff.
update 09/08/10: Still painting!
update 15/08/10: Still painting!
update 19/08/10: last day of painting will be Sunday.
-Paint sides if needed
-Buy timber and brace wooden painting panels
-Attach hanging hardware if not framing and if needed
-Name the work and add to records
-Frame some works on paper (6 big A1) have ordered frames and measured for mounts
-Make reproduction prints? No.

For the studio:
-Take down winter draperies
-Put unfinished work in the loft to store it
-Remove old screws from walls and patch and paint
-Repair canvas storage rack
-Decide on work to hang and placement, install. Put rest in loft.
-Make labels and price list
-Package unframed works on paper and put in the print rack? -No.
-Make copies of CV, etc.
-Write statements about 2 series of work: Place and Elusive Memory
-Tidy and pack away
-Scrub floor
-Ladder and light bulbs
-Make book table display
-Prepare refreshments
-Take photos
-Chose outfits

For Art in the Corridor Sale:
-Choose 2 paintings, and replacements if those sell
-Take photos of my work
-Send photos and label info for website and labels
-Deliver for hanging

For open studio committee:
-Post hard copies of all info on bulletin board
-Write door and sales procedure signs
-Final decisions on invite and press release
-Organise prizes for Kid's Quiz

For publicity:
-Invite everyone!
-Send out press release.
-Announce/post show everywhere
-Tweet/post regularly
-Post invites to galleries
-Create Facebook event page

-No new phone to Tweet from til after Sep. :(
-Get contents insurance sorted
-Install dust filter in corner

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Open Studios is just over 5 weeks away!

Who: 30 international artists

What: Blackhorse Lane Studios Open Studios - part of E17 Art Trail

Where: Blackhorse Lane Studios
114 Blackhorse Lane, London E17 6AA

When: Sep 2-5


Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's in the mail

Starting today I will be writing more letters.
I have dusted off my lovely collection of stationary.
I plan to write a letter a week to family, friends and perhaps the occasional minister.
Doing my part to support the postal service. Since many of my letters will be going to the States I will be supporting the fantastic postal service there as well, which is also threatened.
Plus, everyone loves to receive a letter! They will really know I love them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Freya Douglas-Morris

Freya Douglas-Morris makes gorgeous paintings. Dreamy landscapes created from combining partial memories of places.
She has a wonderful understanding of colour as evidenced in her painting Water Lillies.

I met her yesterday at an arts event. We hit it off right away and started talking about painters we like. We simultaneously said that Peter Doig's early work and Chris Ofili's recent work are both gorgeous and somehow related. Although our paintings are different Freya and I are on the same wavelength!

Speaking of which: does anyone know where I can see images (or the real thing) of Ofili's 2009/2010 paintings?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eleonora Schinella

Eleonora and I worked at an after school arts programme together for Rowan Arts a few years ago. Happily I just reconnected with her at an arts event today! And found her lovely website.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Artisanal Pencil Sharpening Service

David Reese offers Artisanal Pencil Sharpening Service (pencil included, and print).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My paintings at the Abbey Summer Show

Last weekend was the always amazing Abbey Summer Show in Barnet, North London. If you were there you know what I am talking about!

Work was on display in a few different places including the clock tower, open studios and workshops, and Lisa Freeman made a gallery out of the glass cases along the wall of the arcade.

My new paintings were in the 12th century barn/church.
I took these pictures without a tripod so they are a bit blurry.
You can see better pictures of the paintings on my website. The series is called Elusive Memories. As always, the main concern is the investigation of colour. The wood panels are heavy with lots of layers of paint and some are really shiny.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Two different jobs with the same name

I like this:

"It’s more that there are two different kinds of people involved in a job that has the same name. There are people who work in the arts because they want to make a lot of money, and there are people who are genuinely interested in art. They happen to be selling it, but they could have done something completely different in that field, like writing or curating."
-gallerists Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers

From an interview in The Art Newspaper.

Monday, June 28, 2010

distill a lifetime of events

I like this:

"paint's unique ability to distill a lifetime of events rather than photography's glimpse of a frozen moment".

From the essay by Charlotte Mullins at the beginning of Painting People.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Exhibition at the Abbey

I will have a few paintings in an exhibition in the old church at the Abbey Art Centre on July 17th and 18th. That is where I used to have my studio, if you recall.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


If you don’t understand what is written maybe you haven't made an effort.

If a reader doesn’t immediately understand something they are quick to blame the writer for using unnecessarily “big” words. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but most of the time if you can’t understand something easily it is because it is not easy. It is written for intelligent people who will take the time to read something complex and difficult rather than dismissing it because they didn’t understand it immediately. Much popular writing is written to be easily consumed on the train, to the reading level of a ten-year old. But that writing isn’t about big ideas or new ways of thinking.

When an artist uses the language of their profession it is often dismissed as "artspeak". Other professions are not ridiculed for using terms that relate to their work. Engineers are not accused of deliberately using difficult language when they speak about their subject. Physicists talking about complex topics are not told to simplify their language so that everyone can understand. But artists and art critics are derided for their manner of writing and speaking about art, an often difficult subject. It is commonly accepted that those writing about art try to make it “sound important” and purposefully use complicated language in an attempt to hide the fact that they have nothing to say or to be exclusionary.

Writing about a piece of visual art is a difficult thing. Do you describe it, judge it, explain it, talk about the maker or all of the above? And who are you to judge it or explain it? If a picture is worth a thousand words then what about a complex picture with ten years of build-up behind it? How do you write about a mind-mending, multi-faceted, hard-to-grasp concept, about something you understand with your eyes, not with words? Art writers are making the word-less into words. To simplify the idea I will modify the anonymous quote: Writing about art is like dancing about architecture.

If an artist works at expressing a new philosophy visually it may take ten years of making work about that set of ideas to get to a point where the artist feels the idea is well communicated. If it is a complex idea then why would someone writing about the work not need to use complex terms? If the artist took ten years to explore an idea and then shares the results with us, why would you think it could be explained in a paragraph that could be read in one minute? The artist put in the effort, the writer put in the effort, if you want to know what they are talking about you will need to put in some effort, too.

Sometimes understanding a work of art is easy but writing about it might be difficult and reading that writing might be difficult but will probably be fascinating. Sometimes understanding a work of art is hard so reading what someone has written about it will probably be hard, too. It is fashionable to bash “artspeak”. But, the next time you hear someone doing it think for a minute about how hard the artist and writer worked and ask the speaker if they actually tried to understand it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh I Do Like to Be...Beside the Lee!

Oh I Do Like to Be...Beside the Lee!

Exhibition of artwork themed around the Lee Valley Nature Reserve and Lee River.

In the Lee Valley the city jostles with nature. This beauty, variety and contradiction have inspired artists from the Waltham Forest Arts Club to create and exhibit their work at the WaterWorks Nature Reserve and Golf Centre.

6-26 June 2010
Launch Party 6th June, 3:30 - 5:00pm

at the WaterWorks Nature Reserve Golf Course Cafe in Lee Valley Park.
Lammas Road, London E10 7NU. Off Lea Bridge Road near Rig Approach.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

ArtWorks Open 2010

ArtWorks Project Space Exhibition
at Blackhorse Lane Studios in Walthamstow (a 5-minute walk from Blackhorse Road Station on the Victoria line.)

11th to 25th June 2010. Check site for opening hours.

Selected by Graham Crowley and Timothy Hyman.

This is a small work exhibition: all work will be 50x50cm or less.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lisa Peachey - A vestige, ghosted - exhibition

Lisa Peachey will be at the ArtWorks Project Space at Blackhorse Lane Studios May 27 to 30.
Her work is really beautiful.

Open times: Friday 28 to Sunday 30 May 12-6pm.
Private view: Thursday 27 May, 7-10pm.

A vestige, ghosted

Ideas are to objects as constellations are to stars.
Walter Benjamin.

A silent thing. Enjoyed only because it is, and continues to be, there. But what is it for? It has no purpose. It is a remnant of a previous place, where things made meant something, signified something: something shared. When figurines dancing on weary shoulders hushed a city. When god was seen in a block of marble. When things were worth their weight in gold.

It endures. And it is cherished, sometimes. Sentiment, ritual, habit (or market force, for some). Beyond a lifetime, perhaps. Or in a timeless minute of unrecognised care, like being carried by my father in moonlight.

What’s yours is definitely not mine. But you will persist in dusting it. I just hope that it at least ends up at the Salvation Army, instead of being put out with the bins at night.

The object’s tender silence leaves me dumbfounded. Yet from it I gain a sense of identity, and identify with it – despite, or because of, its immutable inaccessibility, its dissolubility, its seemingness only to warm momentarily to my palm. As if in an anechoic chamber, the absence of any murmur of response only focuses and reverberates internal conversations until it appears to whisper volumes, greater than its infinitely empty core.

The works exhibited have one small, domestic thing in common: I made them. They are of me, over time. That is all. They mimic those things that I live with: that sticky brown care of a chair over-varnished and over-polished day after day; the light and shadow of a winter, spent looking for meaning for them in the only place I can – the place where they are. They have a familiar presence. They cannot claim a purpose, or a meaning, except that unspoken and insular lament that objects often conceal – that we chose them and loved them and they couldn’t love us back.

Lisa Peachey studied at De Montfort University, Leicester (1996), and The Slade, London (2006). Previous exhibitions include Olympolis Project, Litohoro, Greece (2008), and the Jerwood Drawing Prize, London (2006). In 2008 she was shortlisted for the MaxMara art prize, in association with the Whitechapel Art Gallery. She has also curated projects, including ‘In its wake’, at Elevator Gallery, London, and has written texts for Moot, Nottingham and Site Gallery, Sheffield. She lives and works in London.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Beyond Words

I will have two paintings in Beyond Words - an exhibition of art relating to the word, in its broadest form, from the printed word to its most abstract representation, taking in artists books, paintings, prints, installations and sculpture. This show of work by artists of the Waltham Forest Arts Club in timed to coincide with Literacy Week and aims to show that communication goes beyond words.

The exhibition will run from the 15th to the 23rd of May, 2010. The opening hours are Saturday and Sunday from 12 till 9 and weekdays from 5 till 9. Opening event on Saturday the 15th from 6pm.

Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre Pub, 53 Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 4SA . A five minute walk from Walthamstow Central on the Victoria line. The exhibition is in The Red Room in the rear of the pub.

Because it is word oriented and will have artists' books you'd naturally think I would have books in this exhibition. But my paintings have story/word-focussed titles: Once Upon A Time and Secret Word.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vote for policies not personalities

This great website lets you compare policies from the six major UK political parties on a range of key issues: Health/NHS, Economy, Immigration, Europe, Welfare, Democracy, Environment, Education, and Crime. Pick the ones that matter the most to you.

Since you do it without knowing who wrote the policy you can be unbiased. It looks like a lot of people are surprised by their results.

It takes a few minutes if you want to read the policies properly, because some of them sound similar at first. But it is worth the time.

Take the survey
at Vote For Policies to find out who you should be voting for.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

There are people trying to fix things.

Really great discussion/interview on Art:21- Must art be ethical? I am so glad to hear there are good, intelligent people working on this stuff.

Jennifer Dalton says:

"Here’s a sampling of the ethical concerns that have been raised and discussed at #class:
* Do different ethics apply to the art world than to the rest of the world?
* Is individual artistic ambition compatible with collective artistic activism?
* Is the commercial art system elevating the best art and artists? If not, should we try to change it?
* Should we work to expand access to art beyond the wealthy/well-educated/big-city-residing elite?
* What can be done about commercial galleries who don’t pay their artists?
* What can/should be done about gender inequities in the art industry?
* Should galleries be regulated? Licensed? Would this ensure better business practices?
* How does one define success in art? Is it reasonable that even “successful” artists have day jobs?
* Does anyone benefit from the proliferation of artists getting MFA/BFA degrees aside from the schools?
* Should artists work for free?"

Go read the rest.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

E17 Art Trail - Save the date

The dates have been announced for the E17 Art Trail.
The 3rd-12th September 2010.

There will a a launch party on the first evening.

Blackhorse Lane Studios
(where I am based) will be participating with a 3-day Open Studios Sep 3rd to 5th. Our launch party will be on the Thursday before: Sept 2nd.

More announcements to come!

I am started to get excited already!

Friday, March 12, 2010

We should have been able to have it all: science and jena se qua.

A few weeks ago I heard some announcers on Radio 4 (didn't notice who) showing their ignorance by laughing at Prince Charles (for whom personally my feelings are ambivalent) because he said in a speech that he was not in favour of the Enlightenment or we should take another look at it. They said he was waaay behind the times and essentially wanted to go back to the Dark Ages. Although its name makes it sound like all that went before it was darkness, it is a name the supporters chose and could be seen as a propaganda tool. It is foolish to believe that because they named their movement The Enlightenment that the ideals espoused by the leaders of the movement have to be correct and superior. Fascists have given the name "Freedom" to their movements and we didn't believe them. The remarks of the announcers show how accepted the values of the Enlightenment have become.

I have been thinking about this for a few weeks. Everything I hear seems at the moment to relate to this idea. This blog is what finally spurred me to write this post. "Art for Life’s Sake: The Necessity of Making and Viewing Art" In this blog post they ask "Why should contemporary humankind, which operates in a culture that prizes left-brain competencies, care about fostering right-”brainedness”?"
Prizing these "left-brain competencies" is directly related to the Enlightenment values being accept wholeheartedly as the correct structure of our society.

Most bookkeeping uses the values of the Enlightenment and so you only see actions and assets that can be measured in a concrete way. That is never the whole story. Many other things happen in a business but because they cannot be measured in a "scientific way" they are not counted, are invisible.

In Tacita Dean's book Place we learn that the word "place" was a hot topic of concern for the ancient Greek philosophers as it meant many things that were hard to grasp like "sense of place" and "place in society and the world". They said it was the fundamental thing to think about, because if you didn't solve the problem of "place" you couldn't go on to anything else. Everything started with "place". (The word was rich enough to write a whole book about.) It is nearly impossible for us to understand this now as the meaning of the word was changed completely by the Enlightenment. Valuing only that which could easily be measured they robbed the word of all its richness and meaning and replaced it with the easily defined and measured meaning of "location". The other parts were left out because the inflated egos of the Enlightenment fathers were insufficient to the task of measuring it completely. So they left out what they were not capable of, what was too hard. To leave out that which is inconvenient to your theory seems a bit like cheating, doesn't it. If they were really good we should have been able to have it all: science and jena se qua.

This leads me back to Prince Charles. Radio 4 announcers: your ignorance, lack of philosophical education, and assumption that the way things are done/thought now is the only way they should be done/thought, is a disappointment. A world made of only bare-bones, measurable, concrete ideas with no room for nuance, colour or flavour should sadden us all.

The Prince Charles story, the post on the Venetian Red blog, the accounting series on Radio 4 and the book Place are all causing me to think about this recently. But for some time I have been thinking about it in relation to the great colour scientists of the past. They left out the mysterious part of measuring and describing colour and made it seem simple. But everyone today still has a really hard time with it. Because their systems are insufficient. Science alone is not good enough. How do you measure my feelings about ultramarine blue or compare them to your feelings about crimson?

If I wanted to change the world, have everything be based upon my values, get rid of that pesky Romantic way of seeing the world, simplify things (by getting rid of the interesting parts), it sure would be clever of me to call my philosophy "The Enlightenment", wouldn't it? That would set everyone straight!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

you know this is where you belong

Quote from Jackie Battenfield: "Let's face it, no one chooses to be an artist for the money...you keep at it because you are driven to create and can't imagine doing anything else with your life. For better or worse, you know this is where you belong."

The Dying of the Light, 2005, Julie Caves, 40x40 inches, acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

get more creative

10 Benefits of a Recession

* It causes you to get more creative.
* It forces you to make the tough decisions.
* It thins out the competition.
* It makes you realize you can’t take anything for granted.
* It reminds you that real wealth isn’t about the stuff you own.
* It fosters out-of-the-box thinking.
* It makes it easier to abandon business-as-usual.
* It brings you back to the basics.
* It accelerates change.
* It causes you to be less wasteful.

From the Howie's Brainfood blog.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Victoria Lucas video about Collect

Victoria Lucas curated the Collect exhibit.
Axis Arts interviewed her for Artist Stories and here is the video.

It is an exhibition of works using paper, including my artists' books. The video shows Petulant = Pouty about halfway through.

Collect runs until 10 February 2010 at the Westgate Studios, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, WF1 1BW.

Monday, February 01, 2010

a-n Interface: Collect Exhibition

More coverage of the exhibit I am in in Wakefield.

a-n Interface: Collect Exhibition

Friday, January 22, 2010

'Collect' Sneak Preview

'Collect', the exhibit I am in, is featured on Sneak Previews on Axis! How exciting!

Collect exhibition

I have been invited to put three bookworks in a show at Westgate Studios called 'Collect'. It is a paper based exhibition featuring artists from around the UK. The exhibition runs from 27/01/10 - 10/02/10. The opening night (27th January 5-9pm) also coincides with Wakefield's bi-monthly Artwalk.


Louise Atkinson
Julie Caves
Katherine Johnson and Stacey Allen
Steffan Jones- Hughes
Simon Lewandowski
Victoria Lucas
Andy Singleton

Collect is an exhibition that features the loved object created using paper based materials. The artists selected are all concerned with the passionate interest we have for personal possessions, and the objects of the everyday.

Collections are extraordinary instruments that allow us to learn about the civilisations we live in, past and present. They allow us to rationalise the passage of time, putting our fears surrounding the constant loss time demands temporarily at rest. Most of all they tell us something about ourselves, allowing us to place ourselves in the real, to remember, and to make ourselves feel more alive.

Text by Victoria Lucas, exhibition curator.

COLLECT is a free exhibition. It opens on 27th January 2010 from 5-9pm.

More on the Westgate Studios blog.
On Arts News
There is a Facebook Event page for this show.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pieces out in the world

I have been thinking about my work that is no longer with me, that has gone out into the world. If I really like a painting, if it is really good, it is hard to let it go. But I have these photos left. And I really am glad that people liked these paintings enough to take them home and live with them. These mixed feelings could be a definition of bittersweet.
This painting is Calligraphy 1. 50x70cm, acrylic on fine texture linen canvas, painted in 2006. It was my most popular painting that year. Everyone loved it! It now lives in a home in North London. My first proper, fine-art-price sale in London. The picture is rather poor, I'm afraid. Now I take better pictures. A bit better.

This untitled painting is approximately 30x40cm, acrylic and oil pastel on watercolour paper, painted Aug 2007. It sold in December 2008.

This small painting sold Dec 2007. Acrylic on canvas, 12x16 inches.