“Did you realise No one can see inside your view? Did you realise For why this sight belongs to you?”

Strangers, Portishead.

If you create art, do you ever wonder what’s the point? Who am I making this for? I was imagining that music doesn’t have this problem – you don’t have to be able to afford ‘golden tickets’ to see a stadium band to enjoy music. When selling paintings, they take so much time, energy, and materials, you just can’t make it ‘affordable’.  If you considered the time and energy – they’re cheap as chips.

There are also some amazing musicians creating sounds on a smaller scale, cos after all talent certainly doesn’t always equate with pennies.  There are plenty of working artists producing amazing work without superstar status. Music however, can be heard, you don’t need to possess it, maybe for that reason music really is the most accessible form of art. But musicianship eludes me, , it’s just not my medium. I tried to learn the ukelele but haven’t seen my ukulele since we last moved, I think Chris has hidden it. There are many artist /musician crossovers – artists like Bowie, Stripe, Gabriel  and Byrne clearly approach their work holistically  – a crossover with art within their  personas, visuals adding depth and completing their expression.

I barely own any physical music these days. In some ways that’s a shame, no least for hours I could paw over sleeve art. Now that was a proper democratisation of art – Peter Blakes Sergent Peppers, Andrew Johnson Soul Mining, I’m sure everyone my age and older all had significant sleeve designs.  Ehhh…you youngsters don’t know what you’re missing. Accessible art sounds great, they’ve even managed to commodify street art,  but can you remember the images you liked yesterday or last week on instagram? I’m not so sure that instagram or Pinterest have democratised creativity as much as made it increasingly disposable. Musicians used to make money from record sales, and have had to adapt. Artists too have had to find new ways to make money from their work, from teaching to cards and prints. David Shrigley does a lovely set of salt and pepper pots.

All my family loves music – often the same tune, but often for vastly different reasons. I’ll talk about the lyrics, whilst the words wash over Chris – it’s the beat, the rhythm that he engages with. Hugely different experiences of the same thing. We don’t always agree on what’s good. I even have some previously hidden unpopular opinions. I reckon I might be the only person of my generation who doesn’t love The Smiths. I’m embarrassed to admit it, especially as I’m all about the lyrics. I understand it’s clever, genius I’m told, it just doesn’t speak to me. Whilst I’m losing friends and alienating people Oasis doesn’t do it for me either. I’ve used these two examples generally regarded as genius – I can even understand why, but I don’t feel it. And that’s how it should be – one mans Black Lace is another man’s Pink Floyd.

Chris and I  emphatically agree on the issue of warbling. Just cos you can, doesn’t mean you should. I feel that less is often more, back to the warbling, and can be applied to most areas of life, including art. The best I can hope is that my work will resinate with  some people, cos trying to make it to please people, will only result in elevator musak.

Music doesn’t have the same heirarchy or snobbery of art, but we don’t have feed that pretence. This is one of the reasons that Grayson Perry is a breath of fresh air, his Art Club during lockdown reached so many people, not taking himself too seriously and mostly managed to avoid condescending . Inspiring the nation to express themselves and giving an insight into processes for developing and creating art, what a wonderful shift. See lockdown wasn’t all bad!

There’s no escaping paintings is not a quick process, at least not for me. Art on the walls is pretty low down on the hierarchy of needs. Or is it far up? That’s one of the attractions of printmaking – editions make it more democratic. In someways it seems less precious – though the processes can be highly skilled, it’s the ability to create editions that keep them affordable. This parallel in thinking of music and art has been useful to me. Music doesn’t have to change the world to have an impact, I used to think that my work should be saying something. Image if all musicians were Billy Bragg – don’t get me wrong, bless his little cottons, we love Billy, but that would be overkill. I don’t need to change the world, I just have to share mine. But at the same time I need to participate in the world. To this end I’ve decided to do two things. Firstly to participate in the #artistpledgesupport scheme. For those that aren’t aware, it’s a scheme conceived by artist Matthew Burrows on Instagram, where by particiapating artists pledge to post work under this hash tag with a price no more than £200 and  to spend £200 on another artist within the scheme. Okay that’s not gonna change the world, it might give me an excuse to spend some money on art…which made me excited at the prospect of having an excuse to buy art. It also me realise how much I cherish the art I currently own and question my existential angst the beginning sentences. I will also revisit this and see if there is some meaningful contribution that I can make.

There is a definite crossover of terminology between painting and music- composition, harmony, tone, formal, structure, . That may be me shoehorning in justify this blog, but cut me some slack – it’s my first one.

It’s been something to put this website together, I’ve learned that not documenting my previous work was a huge mistake. You live and learn.  That if I wait for everything to be perfect, is. a road to nowhere.  How would I ever reach this point? I have to get on with it, down with procrastination! If George Micheal had waited until he could write songs, we’d have been deprived of Wham Rap! And actually thirteen-year-old me, loved that (still know all the lyrics). But lets be honest, it wasn’t great.

As for perfection, it’s definitely overrated and not generally what I’m aiming for elsewhere in my life or painting. A good friend told me that she found my paintings very dark, sad –  I don’t see them that way. Much like I find joy in Portishead and The Villagers, I see warmth and light within the darkness.

Many of my paintings use song words in their title. See if you can spot them – some are a bit obscure, but I’m sure several are pretty clear.

Maybe there should be a prize for anyone who spots all of them. Does listening to music impact on the work? Not quite in the way of Kandinsky, the original painter of sound and vision.  If music can affect your mood and in turn, your mood will affect your artwork – what would I produce if I listened to nothing but Slipknot in the studio? We will never know, I just wouldn’t do that to myself.  Does tempo and mood transfer onto the canvas? What I can say visually is what I don’t have the words for; I might not be the most eloquent person, but I’m hoping that I can communicate more through pigment.

 

If you can talk about it, why paint it? (Francis Bacon)

I knew all this repression would come in handy one day.

 

 

No one else around, 2021

on the kitchen floor

On the kitchen floor, 2021

Motherless Child, 2021

Gotta make way, 2021

 

 

 

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