Look at the mess, beautiful, isn't it!

This is the kind of studio space I would like to have all the time!

 

I’m back from a most excellent course at West Dean College in Sussex once more.  The short courses there enable me to introduce new elements to my practice and though I can only afford to take part in very short courses at the moment – Summer School is now completely out of the question – I still find even a course of two days duration is enough to effectively act as a kind of trampoline from which I can throw myself on and bounce off into new directions.   I sometimes wonder if I need any new directions, as I hardly have time to develop the ones I am already exploring, but I trust in the knowledge,( which does seem to be the case), that because my work is based on a foundation of truth and an honesty of expression, that even in the midst of apparent chaos, of diverse experimentation and of sometimes very different “styles”, there is a constant about it which roots it into the earth and prevents it from blowing away completely.

This course “Fantastical Painting Using The Dynamics Of The Imagination” tutored by Christopher Gilvan Cartwright was very helpful to me indeed, most particularly in the respect of me understanding and developing the ability to critique my own work.  It is a great pain to me that I work in such an isolated situation most of the time, and this of course denies me the opportunity to exercise in a more conscious way the thought processes, which while they are a by product of the work, and certainly not the centre of it,  still provide much interest ,and sometimes useful pointers, when I am considering where to take a particular piece of painting or sculpture.  So this was very useful indeed, and not the usual type of input gained from very short courses, more the type of thing I would engage in on a degree course or similar.  I needed this level of input, and it was very timely indeed.  The tutor was very good at giving focused feedback and suggestions to all members on the course with  a very well differentiated approach which was much appreciated by all. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Ah yes, it is my favourite place.  West Dean College is where it all started for me in 2005 when I attended the “Sculpture with Wire”  Course tutored by David Farrer.   My sculpture “Articulation” hangs in my studio as a beautiful reminder of a kind of birth… I nearly sold it a couple of years ago, but I am quite glad I still have it for now. I may well continue working on it in the future.  That course worked as a kind of take-off pad for me I think… to suddenly have a whole week to be creative made me realise how fundamental my creativity is to my existence.  And one course turned into several more over the years, mostly involving working with metal, but two in painting.  Short but sweet.

I am playing it safe this year and attending an excellent course by John T Freeman.  I know it’s excellent because I did it a couple of years ago.  (I say “playing it safe”  because I have attended a course which just wasn’t the right kind of thing for me before, and this is a very discouraging experience.)  The painting course is only for a week,  but I just cannot wait.

Image is one taken at West Dean Gardens in the Spring.  My heart’s gone out of making photographic images right now, but I take a little time now and again to fiddle around with past images with Adobe Photoshop.   And it is a very handy skill to have as an artist.  Good for putting work up on the internet, sending it here and there, entering competitions and all that stuff.  However, I worry at times that there may be glue on the stool that I sit on in front of the computer.  You sit down, thinking you are just going to check your emails, and then look up one hour later, and realise you are still there!  So I presently work as little as I can on the computer, and as much as I can with paint.

Having said that, occasionally I am tempted to play around on screen.  Hence  “Morning River, West Dean”, which was an image originally taken in 2007.   It’s a nice little game, but I would not claim that my current photographic images are anything special in themselves.  They are an artistic product without any great craftsmanship.  Some knowledge, a limited tool in the shape of my  distinctly unprofessional camera, and the computer magic of software.  Yet there is value in it for me all the same.  But I am not a photographer, no, I am not.  The beauty of it, for me, has all drained dry.  I am pleased with what I have done in the past, and I am keen to continue some threads started in the past,  but I don’t see much future in it for me.

This type of black and white image ” Morning River, West Dean”  IS something I will continue with, and rather interestingly, it is something in the vein of which I started with. Stuck all over my “Articulation” sculpture (2005) are black and white photocopied images of the branches of a tree in my garden.   I was struck so by the patterns of the branches of different trees, by the whole system of a tree, by the relationship between the overarching pattern or design and that of each unique individual tree.  So it appears I have come full circle!

http://www.jamartlondon.com/

Take a look at my website and see some examples of my current art working.

Just put together a little video of a selection of my drawings from 2008 – 2010.  Do take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQnLHf8qlJ4

I have much to explore with drawing, and I am rather taken up with painting at present, but I am planning to use my sketchbook more, and I am hoping that over the Summer I will produce many more sketches and drawings which hopefully I will at some point put to use in a painting or two.  Drawing interests me in that it is one  way of developing visual awareness and sensitivity and it is  an extremely valuable discipline.   I learnt lots of different approaches during the time I spent life drawing, and I want to experiment with them over the Summer, out of doors, at West Dean Gardens, where I am repeating the excellent “Landscape and Figure Painting in Oils – The British Tradition” tutored by John T Freeman.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/

Take a look at my website!

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