Blog 1. Inside the Fishtank

This can be the beginning, a blog about my artwork, what I think not so much about art in general but more so about art as a process. I mean why bother? How to bother if you really can't stop yourself? Where does it come from this art stuff?

I'm compelled to create, to make stuff, to get better at it (yes that's subjective I suppose, so technically I mean). It's swimming about in my head and I want to get it out. It's two-fold or multi-folded maybe, there's the abstract stuff which comes from the unconscious or the sub-conscious (must look up the difference between those two) and then the art that I'll loosely term as fine art; figurative, portraiture, scenic. Something I'm trying to convey or a story that I'm trying to tell. Here is where I strive for my technical development, I see visions of what I want to paint, in my mind they're complex, detailed, beautiful and then my hands which I see as clumsy, unrefined tools, barely trained ; those hands is what I have to try to create the fine vision in my mind, big pads of flesh threading the tiniest of needles. But I make them do it and the more I do that, the more able they become and by some crazy stroke of luck the needle gets threaded. Well most of the time it does.

Not everything succeeds. Often someone who has "succeeded" in their field, whatever it may be, when they talk about their journey to where they've got to, they inevitably mention failure because without failure there is no learning. Strength and development comes from falling down and getting back up again. So yeah paintings go wrong, projects get abandoned but I'm trying hard not to see them as wasted time and effort, it's disappointing for sure when a piece of art doesn't go the way I wanted it to and no-one else is ever going to see it if I'm not happy with it. I'm fighting harder to bring stuff back from the brink, I find, as I go on with this art journey though, but sometimes, sometimes an idea needs pushing to the side and maybe returning to later.

I baulk at the difficult, it's battle sometimes but through that battle a greater satisfaction is reached. Each painting I do has a point where I think "oh shit, I messed this up now", but then I persevere and a small miracle seems to happen. Especially with the portraits, because if a portrait isn't right then who the hell is it? It might look like an alright portrait but if you've lost the likeness then you either have to invent a story as to who it is or take a step back and find out where you've gone astray. Taking time to step away from the painting for a few days is good, you come back to it and think "hey that's not too bad" or "what was i thinking, that's awful". As soon as I take a photo of whoever I'm painting I see all the faults, my eyes try to placate me but a photo pulls no punches. I'm getting better all the time, I do hate mucking it up though.