Final Pieces

I’m really on the last few pieces now and am nearing completion of my Beaded Lace artwork. I don’t usually put a name and title on the front of my work because my work is usually so small that this would interrupt the flow of the piece. In this case though I feel it is needed. I’ve really gained confidence in doing this lately and I think this style of writing on my work will be a regular feature whilst I’m creating these larger 16″ x 16″ artworks.

I’m being cautious in the speed that I’m going here. I spent a long time yesterday individually applying beads and my eyesight has suffered because of it. I spent a long time with my eyes closed in a dark room with a huge headache yesterday evening after working on such minute detail. I need to sort out a long term solution to this. I’ve resisted using a magnifier up until now but this is something that I may have to consider.

 

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Now Showing in Strasbourg France

I’m trying, and failing, to keep on top of all the exhibitions that I’ve got going on at the moment. I never intended 2014 to be so busy but the opportunities have been too good to pass up on and I’m really pleased that I’ve finally managed to get into an exhibition in France.

The 1st International Mail ART+ Exhibition is currently taking place in Central Station,  Strasbourg, France. I love doing postal exhibitions like these. The concept is so simple and easy and it gives a universality to art. The fact that the exhibition venue is at Central Station tickles me even more. Exhibitions such as these are about social inclusivity and equality of the audience as well as also maximizing my exposure. My little 6″ x 4″ piece Fog on the Horizon is in the 3rd column from the right and 2nd from bottom. If you happen to be in Strasbourg then you have until July 1st to see the exhibition which features hundreds of participants from across the world. You can see the whole exhibition and find out more on the ART PL+S Facebook page here.

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France 1 Jun – 1 Jul

New Links

I’ve updated this blog a little over the last weekend to install some handy social media widgets so that you can find all the other places that I frequent. The buttons are on the right hand side bar and there’s also a handy links button which will take you to some interesting places.

I’ve been meaning to include this for a while. It’s good to include links to organisations within my posts but these can easily be lost over time so it makes sense to have them in one handy place. It’s useful for me because I can find things easily but I hope it’s also useful for you too to find out more about why, who, and what influences me.

I’ve also mentioned my old blog so that you can read all about my earlier artistic adventures from 2011 to 2014.

Enjoy!

LINKS

Now Available at Rochester Contemporary Art Center

I’ve been so busy I completely forgot to mention the wonderful show that I’m in at Rochester Contemporary Art Center in NY. This exhibition features thousands of artworks donated by people from all over the world. All the art is 6″ x 6″ and is auctioned first at the exhibition opening and then online to raise much needed funds for the Art Center. This is one of six of my pieces that are exhibiting until July 13th.

The original photograph is of my nephew Ben was taken in 2006 on the edge of a field here in the UK. I was so lucky that the weather and the harvest coincided with a family visit and this really was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We spent all afternoon waiting for the harvester to reach the right spot in the field. I was working on E6 slide film and only had 3 shots left on the roll  to get the photograph I wanted. I was very lucky that day.

If you’re hoping to own this piece then you’re out of luck. Unsurprisingly it has been snapped up by a lucky buyer. There are plenty of others available. Have a look at the online auction and take your pick from some wonderful and affordable art.

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Ben’s Harvest

 

 

Please Discipline Me

I’m desperate now to get this finished but I still have an 8″ x 6″ section to do. When I started this artwork I thought I’d be finished by the end of May or the first week of June at the absolute latest. As Beaded Lace evolved I realised that this was unobtainable and I revised this deadline to be this weekend. Now this deadline is slipping away fast.
I need to make sure I rest my eyes, and my hands, and have some sort of social life on the weekend where possible. All this means I’m shifting the deadline once more and giving myself an extra week.  I’m not allowing myself to make any new appointments for next week, no new meetings or briefings for potential work. If I stick to just honouring my existing commitments then I should be easily be finished by next Saturday. If I’m not then somebody please discipline me. I’m not sure how you discipline a self-employed person other than by telling them that they’re a piece of crap but I’m trusting you’ll think of something.

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Oooh look…. a brown bit.

Exploring my Photential

I’m a renegade arts experimentalist on a visual adventure through the landscape of life and one of my routes is taking me through a project called Photential.

Here we deliver photography courses designed to make participants consider their own feelings and emotions and to explore their own surroundings in a more positive way. It’s an interesting idea since it turns a lot of what people believe about photography on its head. At Photential the mystery of the technical and scientific is a long way down the list and instead participants are encouraged to explore and experiment with what they feel works for them.

It’s a wonderful way of working and it is the way I have been working in my personal photographic practice for many years. I still find myself catching special little moments with my camera that remind me how wonderful the world can be. Even this boring sign in the car park across the road from my house has the potential to be something beautiful if you consider it with the right frame of mind.

The world is an exciting and interesting place and the potential for brightening your own day using photography are limitless. Maybe its time for you to harness your own Photential?

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Natural Defence Mechanisms

I’m chopping lots of little lines of pink paper today for the final section of my Beaded Lace artwork. Some people think that I’m mad in being so thorough in my methods but there is a logic to it all.

From an early age I realised that if you go that extra mile then people remember you for all the right reasons. It also staves off bullies and so has become a natural defence mechanism of mine. If I work my absolute hardest at making something unique and fantastic (either for myself or for others) then nobody can criticise me. I’m not very good with criticism. No. That’s wrong. Of course I can take criticism. I welcome people looking at what I’m doing and questioning my reasons. Please be a critic to my work. Analyse and respond. Tell me what you think.

I think what I’m trying to say is that I’m not very good at coping when people attack or attempt to bully me. I’m a very sensitive little soul and I don’t like anger or negativity. So I give everything 100% and push everything a little further and with a little more thoroughness than most people so that even if you don’t like what I do then at least I will get maximum respect for my efforts.

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16000 pieces of paper later…

My artwork Beaded Lace is coming along nicely. This is a response to my ideas on cloth and textiles and how people used these materials to create something other.

I’m five sixths of the way there now I’ve caught up with yesterday’s backlog. This artwork is 16″ x 16″ (40cm x 40cm) and is created using only paper and beads. Each little piece is hand cut from Kodak Xtralife glossy paper using a 10A scalpel and individually applied using tweezers and a whole heap of patience. The gloss from the paper makes it look like it’s made of glass which makes it very difficult to photograph since the camera lens is always struggling for focus.

Here’s the full thing zoomed in so you can see the full detail. I reckon I’ve glued in place around 16000 little 2mm pieces of paper and a few thousand beads to make the picture so far.

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Chasing the Imaginary Deadline

In my head this orange section would be finished today. I’m most of the way through but I just haven’t been able to sink my teeth into it. I set myself deadlines because it gives me motivation just as I write this blog because it gives me feedback. This not only leaves me behind on my designated target but it also leaves questions:

Are my targets realistic? If so, who is to discipline me when I don’t hit them?

Beaded Lace is being created with a specific exhibition in mind which takes place early September. The deadline is there but how I reach that final mark is always up for debate. I really want to finish this whole artwork by mid-June but with that deadline fast approaching maybe I’m being unrealistic with this ambition. If I rethink this to be the end of June then I am left with less time to make additional artworks ready for September.

This in turn leaves pressures and dilemmas in my head that are very real even if they are self-made. Do I have the time to reschedule the work I want to make? Perhaps I need to start working 12 hour days again…

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‘Beaded Lace’ work in progress

Sad Day

In my head were all sorts of thoughts about art and stuff. I had them at the front of my mind all ready to write down today. But then I heard the news that actor Rik Mayall had died so now I’m left chopping little lines of orange and all my words are now lost.

I have no reasoning. I have no thoughts. Today is a sad day.

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