Monday, 26 January 2015
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
I don't mean to say I have learnt nothing from experience . I have, however, never been taught .
At Art College I hid my copy of the newly published interiors magazine under my table and whilst lusting after the beautiful and interesting rooms and other spaces I saw , wanting to be either an interior designer or at the very least a painter of images to place in such lovely spaces as those I was enjoying in the magazine . Meanwhile , I tried to please my personal tutor by making installations and performance pieces that money could not buy and could definitely not be accommodated anywhere other than in a gallery.
I graduated from an art college in 1986 .I had studied fine art for four long years. What I learnt there and was actively taught, was that impermanence was the goal of the artist. . I was encouraged ,or perhaps ,indoctrinated would be a better word, to believe that only pieces that could not be purchased by the bourgeoisie were worth making.
On graduating I had no idea what I was going to do as I had no longer got the access to the technology or manual assistance that I had at art school .... I studied interior design and ceramics but they did not satisfy all that much although I enjoyed both.
I studied interior design and ceramics after my fine art course , and although I enjoyed decorating and designing for their potential to explore my eclectic taste for folk art, ethnography,religion, poetry and everything in between , ultimately I was a (so called) fine artist and I needed a medium through which I could express my experience of being alive .
Did I say , I am shy ? Yes shy of my poetic nature , of my deep love of all sentient beings shit like that ,you know the kind of thing .. I was an EMO ,I think that means ,emotionally overwhelmed, if not, it does now as far as I'm concerned.so I taught myself HOW TO PAINT
I am in fact a SELF taught painter.
I started with Rubens . And I started with How Rubens started his paintings ie. under-drawing in red ochre/burnt sienna.
(I drew really well so that bit I had mastered) .
I got a studio and set to work .(see pic left)
I started from the heart (mine) and with the heart above on the left of the studio.. the canvas behind me in the centre is a hand copied lace mantilla and a heart . I was in mourning for lost love . and I was starting as I meant to continue , that is to say , from real emotional experience .
Saturday, 14 December 2013
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
I will be looking for a venue for tea to share with you all or I may even try it in my studio. (a work of art ? ) grandma's was a work of art "an act and art of LOVE"
"Coffee may be the power beverage that gets us revved up in the morning and fuels us when we’re burning the oil, but tea is the drink we turn to when we want to relax and be refreshed at the same time. Black, green, white, herbal, hot, or ice cold, tea is more than a soothing beverage. It can be a ritual, a cultural experience, and even a spiritual practice.
The reverence for tea has inspired ceremony in many cultures. From the spirituality of Chanoyu, the Japanese way of preparing and serving tea, to the sharing of Maté in Latin America, tea rituals are for celebration, ceremony, and relationship bonding. In China, tea rituals are part of many wedding ceremonies with the bride and groom serving their elder relatives in a show of respect and gratitude. The Chinese art of drinking and serving tea has been a source of inspiration for poetry and song. The Russian custom of chaepitie has inspired a unique style of teapots, caddies, teacups, and cozies. The samovar, a special brewing device, has become the symbol of the Russian tea ceremony and an object of art in its own right. Iced tea, popular in the U.S., as well as other parts of the world, is a modern ritual bringing cool relief on a sweltering summer day.
You can turn your own tea time with a friend into a simple ceremony by preparing your tea with the intention of offering nourishment and good wishes to the other person. When you are seated together, rather than drinking your tea right away, look at one another and express your gratitude and appreciation for your friendship. When you pour the tea, again intend it as an offering. Drink your tea slowly, savoring its flavor and aroma. Let its warmth or its coolness soothe your body. When you are finished drinking your tea, thank your friend for taking part in this nourishing ritual with you. Whether savored in the presence of another or tasted alone, the custom of drinking tea provides a soothing pause in our hectic world. Drinking tea can be a daily ritual that brings inner calm and clarity to the body, mind, and soul"by Madisyn Taylor
Saturday, 27 October 2012
back in the day when Chelsea was very traditional and had very few if any modern buildings .There were of course a few squeezed in here and there between whitepainted and illustrious semi-detatched houses .
The building that has been demolished is the Penguin Book Building ,to my immediate left. This was a landmark until it became a white elephant and has lain empty for the las ten years . Anyway that's gone now (and very quickly too ) all seven floors of it . It is to be rebuilt as social housing .
The building I live in was built originally as social housing . Local residents kicked up a right old fuss about it as they felt it would lower the tone of the neighbourhood !
Residents here,some of my neighbours, who csme here as social housing tennants but have since bought thier leases are not at all happy about the building next door becoming social housing , amazing really when you think that fifty years ago the entire block was a brewery ........You've got to laugh !Or you might weep at mans foolishness , greed vanity and selective memory .
Yes I have developed the art of just shaking my head and having a little laugh .
meanwhile here is the building I would like to see next door
Thursday, 19 April 2012
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
- Anais Nin
" Namaste "and thus that day came upon me also .and now I am freeI give thanks that I have lived long enough to feel itand the thanks are thanks for every breaththere is no going backupon my wordmy word is"namaste"(my spirit within greets your spirit)there is no masterof this spiritonlylovecouragewisdomcompassionguide
Friday, 13 April 2012
When we practice we are being artists
The more we practice the better artists we become.
Everything can be an art if we practice .
Artists are practitioners of awareness and mindfulness.
when we have put in lots of practice we can be artists .
There is an art to everything .
and then there is just doing stuff .
An artist is one who practices .
be it cooking ,gardening,mothering,caring,shopping,spending,entertaining, playng football,looking,seeing,dancing ,meditating etc.
practice whatever you choose in life and become an artist .
You will not fail .
What are the qualities of the artist ?
actually its not like that what it is is once you find your inner artist everything you do becomes an art . It is something that permeates your entire life . Choosing a medium like paint ink or clay is just that ..its just choosing to do that or rather to employ your artist to work through that medium but every rule of life ,of living as an enlightened human being applies also to your artwork . The artwork is really no more than a metaphor for life and living .
just want to share this with you ... my loves
may you be content, be well and fulfilled
and if that link dosent work try this one
Monday, 19 March 2012
I mean I really knew , knew that what I wanted was to have that unconscious uncontrolled little mess of pink and green with my name on it . This I would be proud of .
Does that seem strange ? Previously ,I had been working away making monumental detailed oil paintings of little tricky challenging bits plucked from nature and making ever such a good job of it and a fair amount of income too.But I did not like it ... I did not like the eye-strain or the brain- strain . It was art as a kind of tortuous display of observation skill . Almost a "showing off" of my" amazing" skills developed over years of assiduous practise but you know what ? anyone can do that with the will and practise !That's what I used to teach and I've seen it proved over and over again . Some people have more of a leaning towards it and a bit of a head start ,that would be the more left-brained ones (like myself) but believe me anyone and everyone can draw and paint what they see.
I needed to learn a little so went off to St. Ives ,the home of British Abstraction .. attended a two day workshop which got me going and I have not stopped since. I am liberated at last . Free to enjoy colour line and form for their own sake . Free to dance . I'm having a great time .
http://thedivineworkshop.com/section508928.html to see work in progress ... and give me feedback ta .. love you all ... be happy !!
Currently I am preparing for a solo show in a hospital .Which is just the best thing possible for me right now. I Am going to do something sooooo cheerful and uplifting! I'm going to make 'em "smile all OVER"
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
.Im crazy about these beautiful handmade artifacts . Im hooked Im broke but I cannot resist .
The first Kilim I ever bought was in a small village in Sparta and it came from "Asia Minor"I am absoloutly captivated by the magic of these carpets .
Studio and therefore home overwhelmed by canvases .
I am engaged totally with abstraction ,colour ,line and form and
am really only interested in experimenting with breaking up the surface and designing that space.
It is a spiritual practice that involves a letting go of all thought and control having faith in the muse and the years of gathered skills, creating the work .
This is a liberated time for me .
Bless you all throughout this coming year and always ..... May your juices flow .....its a thirsty world thats on the turn .
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
I’m growing rather fond of the big bird on my block
Monday, 13 September 2010
How to Be Alone: Tanya Davis offers advice on dealing with alone time in this quirky video — YES! Magazine
I like this I hope you do too . It makes me SMILE ALL OVER .
Its a bit of poetry and some art .... of film making and the art of living (philosophy)
all my favoutites !!!!
Soon I"ll have something worth writing about .
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Thursday, 3 June 2010
I have been planning a trip to India for a couple of years now ... to find a place where I can spend the winter: that’s one reason..physical comfort.
Above and beyond the physical, I feel I can no and longer live comfortably in this disgraceful and disgraced society.
Yes I am very upset about the BP oil spillage it has just pushed me over an edge and given me , like many others a very loud wake-up call.
I'm not saying that I cant live here ,in this location although that is debatable , there is much to commend London and above all the people are by and large tolerant which is saying a lot.
Having lived in the depths of the English countryside in the wilderness that is Dartmoor for five years or so , the experience of the divine that I had there was awesome , it was an idyll , but the people , I found to be very disconnected from the outside ,”outsiders” and each other ,rather bigoted in their views and lacking in any desire to connect . They were very materialistic, fought over literally millimetres of land and all sought to compete to have more “stuff” than the other.
Church attendance was down to an average of five per service over a year and that includes Xmas etc. where I was.
Whilst farmers traditionally help each other out with harvesting etc it was reciprocal and whilst that’s no bad thing it’s not giving that’s just a “deal”.
I gave all I could of my time skills joy running projects etc... and that’s another thing ... they seemed to think that all incomers were wealthy !!
India is still steeped in the religious belief and practice of "oneness" of connectedness the Vedic notion that there is no “other”
I have also been dreaming all my life of living in a morally and ergo, ecologically, sustainable community.
The ashram beckons .
I know it is a cop-out in many ways but truly I am tired of compromising my own better judgement as I conform and fit into modern western culture. (which, though I say so myself, I make a fairly good job of, but it is taking its toll. I long to move on to develop, to grow .I feel I have outgrown this western world or that perhaps it has outgrown me and would enloy life on a more human local scale .
Perhaps, I am thinking “at least half the year away living a wholesome contemplative life of spiritual devotion will see me through six months of mammon”
Yes I am deeply and tiresomely (to myself at least) sensitive to humanities destructive tendencies. For every wonderful human-being who has transcended his or her wretched ego there seem to be at least two or three who are caught up in the drama of "who they are" or at least who and what they believe they are.
Caught up in their desire for status , for power over others and dominion over the natural world and its resources .Yes I have been deeply saddened by the current oil leakage I have wept tears of frustration and anger.
Here I am speaking my MIND ,the mind of emotions ... I can and do rise above this mind and exercise my intellectual ,contemplative mind that does not have any preference for the secular or religious ,East or West, here or there,
But emotions arise have to be embraced processed and dealt with and the fact is I am angry and sad.
I guess this is my little drama.
My contemplative mind, the drama to one side, requires that I weigh up the environmental pros and cons of long-haul flight don’t I? ..........don't WE all?
to watch Marylin Monroe in a clip from THE MISFITS click here I first saw this film as a very young person Enjoythe clip enjoy living whetever you are and lets all get sensitive
Thursday, 22 April 2010
“Probably the difference between man and the monkeys is that the monkeys are merely bored, while man has boredom plus imagination” Lin Yutang “
Sunday, 28 March 2010
oil, canvas ,wood laminate
I am to undergo arthroplasty(commonly known as a “hip replacement” )
10 things about osteoarthritis that I have learned1 It can affect anyone at any age
2 Never “work through “ pain in the joints ( I have been misguidedly doing so in yoga for a years .)
3 To have absolutely no cartilage in a joint is agony if aggravated (by movement )
4You don’t have to take painkillers if one manages the pain by not aggravating the joint
5The less one does (,as in my case) the less one feels like doing . Aerobic fitness can decline with this approach
6 It would be good to keep up ones fitness level by doing something non-aggravating
7 Pilates is good and I find it doesn't hurt or affect the hip joint adversely if done correctly.
8After the surgery there is no longer arthritic pain as the joint has been re-lined
9The wound will be somewhere between 6 and 10 inches and will be painful
10Preparing my home for my return and convalescence has been hard but essential .
...................So this is just a quickie to get me started on sharing my experience of “disability” pain and the art of change .
There are some areas that I feel duty-bound to share especially around my creative output and my making and “not-making” . I have done no art work other than the above for many months now
A necessity to simplify my environment and activities set me wandering down a zen garden path and it has led me to a happy place in many ways and seems to have (not surprisingly)filtered throough to my aesthetic and art practice.
I have had to identify what was ESENTIAL in every physical aspect of my life and eliminate the rest.
Less activity has meant more comfort (as in freedom from the discomfort of pain )
Less stuff has equalled more space
Less rushing about “shopping” has meant more money in my pocket (shopping with two crutches is the biggest bore and no pleasure at all
having less pain free mobility and more spare cash has meant more time sampling local cafe fare, service and ambiance.
Purchases I make now are on the web carefully considered and guess what “ESSENTIAL” .... I do enjoy the deliveries.
Today however I have rushed about the place until I was stumbling ,limping and dropping things. But everything is in place for my return home from the hospital in three to ten days
1.Knowledge of where everything is (I don’t want and will be unable to be hunt for stuff in the early days of recovery)
2. things I might need are off the floor
3.organized my bed so that what I need is at hand (one must only lie on the back although there is a debate as to which of the other sides may be a short time option)
4.Have a chair in place that is the correct height (from the floor to the bend at back of knee)Knee must never be higher than the hip for ........ a few weeks
5 All my essentials(addictions and predilections )are in stock . In my case Brown rice, Cocoa, Green tea, Soya Milk.
So hope you are in good spirits and enjoying all that life has to offer whatever your physical state.
I am really afraid of the post operative stuff and the healing time . But Ill be going in with the gorgeous Barefoot Doctor by my side (well in my ears anyway via my MP3 player)
Link to Stephen Russell the Barefoot Doctor this man is a true healer filled with love and wisdom, a generous witty shaman whos column in the sunday times is greatly missed.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
One of those grey days when the sky is an n ever-changing grey or should I say an ever-lightening grey.
On a grey day there is no pressure to be gay, to be bright or to be doing anything spectacular.
Monday, 1 February 2010
Theoretical Priciples of De-aestheticized Art this is a very dense article only read it if you have a question about the relevance or irrellevance of aesthetics that bugs you sometimes as it does me .... a lot
Monday, 18 January 2010
• he pulls it off !!!!
• he brightens up the world with his creative energetic play
• his work is controversial (I doubt Prince Charles rates him very highly.. although you never know........he liked Spike Milligan a lot and there is a resemblance)
• is a buddy of ‘80s artist luvy Bruce McClean (they paint together ,how very charming and unconventional)
Stephen Bayley said (affectionately) in the Observer
“Alsop has a ludic approach to building designs”
what a wonderful word “ludic”is and how often we misuse it in its protracted form i.e.” ludicrous”
Ludic means light and playful .......nothing ludicrous about that is there?
You can get a sense of his work and learn more about Will Alsop here its a good place to start anyway
Enjoy the trip ... I know Will does and I do too! let me know if you do or not ..wont you xxx
an associated link to Wills painting buddy Bruce McLean should old aquaintance be forgot !
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
transforming ,editing, creating
space to imagine peace
LATENT ABUNDANCE” (under the snow)
Oil & marble dust on canvas © 2009
"It is the stillness that will save and transform the world."
Peace ,quiet and stillness are synonamous .
Many people are “still” today due to the snow and ice .
When we stop rushing about mentally and or physically; when we become “still”, we learn to live in the present, still, moment . Thus we become peaceful.
Stopping internal chatter, we become "still"; quiet ,able to to reflect and meditate on our inner wisdom and receive answers
Is this not a change we would like to see in the world ?.
We love to look on a snow-scape .
It reconnects us with our potential and desire for peace and to become that change we wish to see
Monday, 21 December 2009
but there are two birds on the tree
In the cold wet falling sleet.
I can never see birds in the tree outside my window without thinking of the
Here are some of his prints of birds in trees
I empathize with his work
No not really his “work” but his “ being” his energy.
Poetic , erotic, committed to celebrating life.
But I want more............. more simplicity............... more metaphor , “more of less” more to ponder
I love the way he takes complex scenes and simplifies them ;transforms them from the complicated experience of human life and the natural world into to the innocenct perception of childhood.
This is largely a function of the medium of printmaking itself .
He said “ I want my body and my soul to become totally united with my work...I want to reach a state where there is no boundary between self and other or between body and soul, and everything is absorbed into the print itself” This was made when he had transcended the “ego of the artist” as part of his Buddhist practice.
Google to see more of Shiko Munakata
Monday, 14 December 2009
I bought it and fell in love with it. That was in 1984/5.
I was a “fine-art” student and therefore hid it under my desk but looked at it over and over again … I knew there was something relevant about environments on every level and in every case. There was an art to creating them and a mystery too as to why they communicated so strongly and their effect was so powerful.
My previous background had been in the performing arts and I was, aware of energy and its impact on a performance and the performance space.
I began creating environments a.k.a. installations in a spirit of enquiry.
· I wanted to know what made them “art”.
· What was the relationship between art and energy …
· was there an art of energy?
I created an environment comprising two huge wall- hung canvases one of a water jug and the other an enormous doorway using only linseed oil and charcoal. A line of black objects made of clay, modelled on something I owned because I felt that they held some symbolic meaning for me, that they stood for something, lay along the floor.
The line created by the objects was as black and as wide as the lines on the canvases. The objects were all made from the same amount of clay which meant that their scale was changed in every case, some were larger and others smaller than the original.
When the artist Paul Neagu came as a visiting tutor to critique the work he said of this installation “I don’t know why I like being in this space but I do…I can’t say any more I just like being here”. Paul had responded to the energy within the space. The energy was created by what was in that space and the “negative”(empty) space that existed between things.which is of course not empty at all but alive with energy.
I had breathed life and energy of the most honest authentic sort into the elements of the piece and together in a space they communicated at the deep level from which I had resourced them ; my authentic spiritual emotional and physical life . I had been been true also to the materials I had used . The work had integrity and it vibrated with love, resonating poeticaly across time and cultures . It was a mixed media drawing that spoke of many things … things I could not talk or write about but that had to be experienced ,felt.
What I knew in answer to the question I had been asking at the start of that project was. “What makes a space you want to be in, or not be in , for that matter. And the other big question …what is art?.
I’m not going to bang on too long on this philosophic vein but please do comment or ask questions if it interests you as it does me and we can converse ,dialogue, share.
Twenty-five years and a few rented studios later , I make paintings and drawings
working and living in an environment that is far from how I would like it to be but I do know that it is a reflection of where I am at the energetic level. It is not an unpleasant place to be and it has a certain beauty for all the paints that are spread over tables, canvasses stacked against walls and the paintbrushes that are forever drying by the kitchen sink and standing bouquet–like in the studio.
There is an order to the “chaos” and I rarely lose anything .
I have been in very many environments over the years domestic, institutional, corporate and sacred. The atmosphere in all of these is varied .
I have been in churches that I just want to get out of as fast as possible and one or two where I want to be for hours, and little sitting rooms that are a lovely place to be .It is the quality of the energy, how it feels, that which has gone into the creating of it that makes the difference.
ALL ruins regardless of their original purpose have a certain resonance in common as Simon Sharma testifies to in his wonderful book about landscape.
I can only take so much of palaces, though that said, different rooms communicate differently. A lot depends on what is in the spaces, the objects, the relationships between objects and of course colours which all have their own energy.
Paintings have a tremendous impact on interiors because of the nature of the vibrations of energy invested in the piece by its creator .I can sit for hours in some art galleries and others I find overwhelming depending on the energy of the work on show. This has nothing to do necessarily with any judgement of taste, ie: whether I like it or not. I am an admirer of Picasso and his work, yet I had to visit the Picasso Museum in Barcelona daily for some weeks, flying around very quickly on each visit .
The energy in the work was so powerful ,I felt exhausted and over stimulated at the same time in that space.
Feng Shui has become popular as a concept and a helpful one too in my view. Feng Shui is about moving the energy through and about space and creating a flow and balancing energy in order to affect the energy of the individual..
The quality of that energy however is everything. is it AUTHENTIC? Authentic energy will be felt and experienced at an authentic level. Is it pretending? To be …. Anything … clever… tasteful…interesting…..beautiful….. Is it just plain “soul-less”?
Interiors Magazine has recently changed editors and there are those who agree with me ,that it had done all its best shoots a long time ago. Whilst the rooms are still ...mmmm whatever.... the energy overall has definitely waned over the years
Rooms homes etc, like clothes and accessories are all aspirational. They are a potential expression of our internal being (our emotional psychological and spiritual energy)
My favourite ever Interiors feature was of the inside of house maids rooms in South Africa (where I spent formative adolescent years) .
I remember those rooms at the back of the house... spotless with pristine starched linen on the high raised iron bed; the clean scalloped newspaper hanging over the narrow dresser type shelf the enamel basin and jug and a couple of wall hooks with a change of clothes hanging there.
Yes these things are aspirational, clothes and homes ….. I aspired to this simplicity that was akin to the philosophy and practice of Shakers, Corbusier and William Morris .
Picassos, studio/home at Vaullaris is iconic, as was the man himself (of course as it was a reflection of his particular energy) Picasso said ” be wealthy and live a simple life”
My space is simple and it reflects my energy at all times. It is very light. It is always clean. Often though it is very untidy, I have trouble putting stuff away or getting rid of it. This is in conflict with my aspiration as “less stuff = more space” is definitely my preferred philosophy and I need space to dance. I don’t have a lot of personal “stuff” just a lot of art/work “stuff” and insufficient space to accommodate it satisfactorily.
Living and having a working studio in a three room apartment is tricky but I can manage with skill …. Yes there is an art to it . I just have to keep practising that art until I find myself in a different place, vibrating with a different energy (perhaps aspiring to something larger whilst remaining simple )..................... there is definitely an art of energy I am just slow to decide how much I NEED if anything....I mean what is ESSENTIAL
My living /work environment reflects my inner space and energy: creative; ordered; flexible;rich in many ways.
I would like however to expand my inner space beyond making and teaching ,to make room for friend & family meetings, fun ,games ,music and of course…. dancing (just as soon as I can walk again that is!)