Friday, 26 August 2011

Stewart is away

A few days ago I arrived in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where I will be for the next two months. Consequently much of the past week and more has been spent preparing and then travelling. Art has not been on my mind all that much. Next week I expect I'll have something to report.

Friday, 19 August 2011

A morning vision

Just a kiss away
Mixed media, approx. 11x8" on 12.5x9.5" paper.
© Stewart Bremner. All rights reserved.
Less than forty-eight hours after writing my last entry, the dam slowly opened. I woke up one morning with a half-formed idea floating around my conscious. When I got up, I decided to gesso a few sheets of paper and see if I could make the idea more concrete. The first of the three pieces went really awry and has subsequently been wiped out. The other two worked out quite well, even though they were by no means the pieces that had been in my morning brain.

Silent reply
Mixed media, approx. 5.25x8.5" on 6.5x9.5" paper
© 2011 Stewart Bremner. All rights reserved.
With those two complete, I found that I was unsatisfied and so I made another four paintings. For these pieces, I discarded any notion of trying to capture some half-seen vision and made an attempt to revisit the ├ęciture automatique technique that I had some success with recently. The process and the results I found to be far more satisfying.

I have subsequently worked on eight more or these small paper pieces this week and am really quite enjoying the results. As and when they are dry, I will be selling them through my Etsy shop, where right now you can find the first six paintings mentioned above.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Crack that dam

Being an artist is a full time job and it is a full time job where much of the activity is, like an iceberg, mostly unseen. To get to the point of making a mark needs a lot of preparation, a lot of thinking and planning, even simply getting ones brain to the right place, tuned to the right frequency.

For me, at times, I feel there is inside me something that roughly equates to a reservoir, where my artistic drive is stored. Over time, it fills, with ideas, with motivation, with energy. I never know quite when it will overflow, what incident, fragment of a thought, image seen out of the corner of my eye, word from a lover, brush stroke in another's painting, or simply some random confluence of events, will cause it to crack, yet I know that it will at some point. The motivation, the ideas, the need to paint will rise and I will simply have to paint. It happens time and again and it is all I can do to ride that wave for all that it is worth.

Right now, my reservoir is filling. Whilst that happens, I think and I look and I talk and I take photographs. One day soon, I will paint again.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Friend or foe?

The progress I was making in my recent canvas paintings came to a halt this week. Given the close links between my painting and my life, it is hard to tell whether this halt was the cause of a recent downgrade in my positivity, or the result of it. Sometimes cause and effect can be too closely entwined to be separately indentified and it is not always worth the effort of trying.

The two canvases sit in my studio and I stare at them. The exciting immediacy of my recent paper paintings, which was the impetus behind these new works, has not really translated over as well as I had hoped. There could be two reasons for this.

Firstly, I may be investing too much fraught care and attention here, which is more or less the antithesis of what I had been doing with the paper paintings. Their immediacy has given way to lengthy consideration and second guessing, Secondly, I fear that the concept underpinning these pieces may simply be too thin, have been given to little consideration, to hold up.

These are just two possible reasons for my halt and they come at the end of a darker week than I have had in some time. Perhaps now that I am climbing out of that darkness, I will find a way to move forwards with these two pieces. However, my inclination is to dive back into small paper pieces and see where they take me. Next week, with luck and a tail wind, I'll have something new to show!