This week has been another busy one; I finished my regular job so I can concentrate more fully on our Social Enterprise organization. I’m signed on with an education agency so I can get flexible work as I need it for cash flow, but essentially I am now a freelancer. I have a nervous knot in my stomach, wondering if I am going to be able to survive and pay the rent; at the same time I know I have to at least give it a shot.
I seem to have been exploring lots of different media recently; last weekend I made clay houses with the 4MAT UK artist teacher group on the Birmingham canal; and this week I had the opportunity to participate in workshops and an interview for a CPD opportunity with a regional arts and health organization. Sadly I wasn’t selected to take part, but it gave me the opportunity to meet and work with some really interesting people working in lots of different media; drawing, ceramics, photography, performance; sculpture, weaving, collage. I used to do a lot of collage work, and have books filled with it (my own work) on my shelves in my studio corner; however, my practice at the moment seems to revolve around drawing and mark-making. I love to draw; I have spent hours drawing things – portraits, objects, and more recently I have begun to draw in a much more abstract way, inspired by such artists as Cy Twombly, and by books such as Steven Aimone’s excellent Expressive Drawing. I love water-soluble media, particularly graphite, which responds in such intense yet delicate ways to different ways of applying water.
Today I have worked on some old packing card, combining gesso, water and soluble graphite. I like the freedom that keeping the work wet gives me; I can move the paint and graphite around until it pleases me, block out parts I don’t like so much and do something else. Assertion and obliteration. I also like the idea that a piece of work is an organic, living thing, and that it’s OK for it to change. I never have a fixed idea of what I’m trying to achieve in mind; I find that if I do, I feel tense and I am rarely pleased with the outcome. I prefer to work in a more process-oriented way, and leave the outcome to be what it is.
I have also been adding bits and pieces to Ben’s sketchbook ready to return to him this week; my contributions have largely arisen from a continuation of his circle theme, which happily fit in with my own work as I was cutting circles out of my drawings prior to making them into tubes. I’ve also added in some interesting bits of masking tape, rescued from the edges of some larger pieces I am working on at the moment to further explore 3D drawing, and spotted by my eagle-eyed daughter.
My emergency blanket piece, made for and through the Sketchbook Circle, was featured in this month’s newsletter, which you can view here. I made a post about it too, which you can visit here. I await Louise’s responses to my sketchbook with anticipation; in the meantime, I will continue to write, and draw, and think, and find new ways to share my inner thoughts and ideas about what it means to be me.