Life's Essence is Creativity
Do you always follow rules, say, a recipe or a fashion? Or do you insist on reinventing the wheel? Learning the rules, then going off piste is probably the most sensible method but, being a bit of a rebel, I often just jump - win some, loose some.
However, as a youngster I wasn't enough of a rebel and didn't contest the argument that art college was forbidden because of the connection to 'drugs, sex and rock and roll'! So my formal artistic education is minimal. As a teenager, I taught myself to make clothes, develop black and white photos, cut hair - all creative skills, but... So, trial and error was how I became a self taught artist.
In the past few years I have indulged in the luxury of courses in sculpture and painting.
When in Buenos Aires I learnt how to model clay, make casts and carve aircrete - in Spanish! I also spent a month carving stone in a quarry in Portland, where Portland Stone comes from, the very same lovely stone that was used to build St Pauls in London.
I did an art foundation course with Adam King in Scarborough, and most recently I have completed an Oil Painting diploma course with Martin Kinnear at the Norfolk Painting School.
Time is now on my side, - a wonderful advantage of getting old, and I spend my days learning and experimenting with a certain amount of unexpected discipline. I'm getting older, a little wiser and a lot better at it.
Art is Looking and Seeing
We are all blasted with an excess of stimuli.
We watch BBC News, the presenter talks in a quiet studio, then the image jumps to a journalist with backdrop of the gruesome devastation in Ukraine. The image then splits back and forth depending on who is speaking in the interview. During this cacophony the audience has flashing urgent news bulletins at the bottom of the page which must be absorbed now, now, now!
We then travel through the city and are exposed to people, lights, adverts - distractions.
Our brains are jangled. Simplicity and understanding are wrenched away by the sheer force of the torrent, we lose our grip on the here and now.
My message is:
Allow yourself to look at one thing, to read just one message, to have just one thought. I may photograph a single chair or a quince with its beauty and form. I may sculpt the glorious movement of a twirling dancer, or paint the fascinating wonder of a hip joint. The medium doesn't matter, the focus does.
I'm trying to say:
Look at the trees not the jungle.