before I begin

Life is too short to live behind lies

Sunday, 29 August 2010


Before I begin my first blog I need to say that I believe we are all capable of double standards, hypocricy , jealousy and general nonsense. I know I will probably include these traits in my own thoughts. For this I apologise in advance but hope all who read these thoughts appreciate that my intention is to say what I feel as truthfully as I can ( given that i am only human!)

today i saw a car sticker which read 'the more people i meet..the more i love my dog'! I just can relate to this so much. As time goes by I am increasingly disillusioned by people. Don't get me wrong...i like people..or should i say I TRY to like everyone. I just get disappointed at how we all seem to succum to the entanglements which we think are 'cool' or sophisticated.  This disappointment may be the reason why I have not had a human person in any of my paintings for some time! I have however featured several dogs and birds!

Amongst those of us who call ourselves 'artists' there are many who love the name 'artist' but who are in fact something else. I am now 52 ..not planning to shuffle off this mortal coil quite yet but I have been around long enough to have seen and done a few things in 'the art world'. What I have learned is that time is precious and making my art has to be about ME. it is the one thing which allows me to talk to the world.

AS artists we want to show our work to everyone..everywhere! If truth be told many of us would really like to be 'famous' and therefore have a bigger audience. However the only thing you will leave behind will be your work and if that work is not trully YOUR self expression then its like leaving behind some battered old car. I am really frustrated at the moment at the number of 'artists' who comprimise themselves and their work in order to raise their profile. Those individuals and 'artists co operatives' who make things to fit the popular politically correct projects which attract funding.

I know how difficult it is to exist as an artist. To find space to work and money to buy materials. I understand why people form collectives. The truth is that arts funding bodies will support collectives on the basis that they provide a facility and encourage art in a certain  community . Thats the theory but often in reality there are strings attached to this support. The 'artists' concerned need to agree to provide workshops, events etc for the community and as a result much of their time and energy is directed to this rather than being true to their own  art. I have been a member of a collective and felt the frustration of this. ..Its why i now work alone.

There is no point getting financial and other support if  you feel enslaved. Above all dont believe you are a great artist just because you exhibit often and are given lots of commisions! What you become is a community worker. A very valuable and worthy role of course but if thats what you become..dont call yourself an 'artist'. The truth is that graduating from art school, making things and having ideas (even good  ideas) does not make you an artist  .....

.....................  just a thought !!!

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