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Practice really does mean PRACTICE

December 10, 2014
A collaged image using different colours and lines on a greyboard background

The second of my collaged line experiments, focusing on colour

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about my work and it’s left me feeling stuck. I am at a point now where I have started to pick apart my practice and really begin to understand what my artistic concerns are and where I want to take my work, but I’m struggling with moving it forward.

After some great chats at MDP and a mentoring session with Mark as well as a few coaching sessions with Beth Creedon I realised that I’m just not making enough work and I’m stopping before I’ve even really begun. And trying to ‘think things through’ instead of ‘working it out through making’ is keeping me stuck. A big theme in my life it seems.

I’ve always been uncomfortable with uncertainty and being an artist is probably one of the most uncertain paths I could take. But it’s also the one that I need to be doing, the thing that I’ve been dreaming about and putting off for all of my adult life and the thing that makes me excited and terrified at the same time!

All through my life I’ve been seeking approval, not sharing what I’ve done for fear of failure and rejection. This all seemed to click into place after my last session with Beth, even though I knew I’d been doing it, I hadn’t really realised just how much it was stopping me from doing the stuff that makes me feel alive.

It’s time to GET TO WORK and to take it seriously, not for anyone but myself. To make, share and consider, then make, share and consider some more more. To put myself out there and let myself get used to handling rejection. To see that some people love my work, some people hate it and most people are indifferent and to keep making it anyway. And to follow those little sparks of excitement and see where they take me.

Connecting the threads

I have a couple of projects that I’m keen to develop to see where they lead, and I also want to expand my studio practice, to experiment and examine the connecting themes of my work. Over the next few months I’m going to  to test materials and to explore what it is about certain things that draws me in, experimenting with texture, line and materials, perhaps incorporating more sculptural elements into my work. Yesterday I began, I’m looking at ‘line’ this week and playing with collage and different compositions.

I will be posting an update weekly on here and will also be blogging over at A-N as a way for me to document and catalogue my experimentation. I will be posting daily on Instagram too, so join me over there if that’s your thing.

Mainly I will be sharing what I do, wherever I can, with whoever I can, in the hope that it will expose me to critique to help me to move my work forward, and by risking criticism, it will hopefully help me to flex my ‘I don’t care’ muscle and keep doing the work.

So don’t forget to tell me what you think, and be honest!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Evie permalink
    December 10, 2014 10:25 pm

    Wow – you summed up my same concerns very well. Your post has reminded me to GET TO WORK to! Look forward to what you come up with.

    • December 10, 2014 11:32 pm

      Hey Evie, it seems like something that a lot of people struggle with. Glad it’s helped you in some way! You’ll have to share what you’ve been up to as well.

  2. December 13, 2014 3:31 pm

    “There is a sort of incompatibility between our scholarly thinking and this strange thing that practice is. To apply to practice a more of thinking which presupposes the bracketing of practical necessity and the use of instruments of thoughts constructed against practice… Is to forbid ourselves from understanding practice as such.” Bourdieu, 1990. Bit convoluted but essentially your point that practice means practice. Whoop! X

    • December 15, 2014 6:41 pm

      Yes this! I need to remind myself constantly to learn by doing as well as thinking.

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