Friday, January 16, 2015

Welcome 2015

Fairly regularly I think I'm going to stick to some new regime or idea, like this one. 2015, I'm going to try to write proper blog posts about subjects that get in my brain a bit. Ideas I usually bore my friends and family with...Let's see how I go.

In this blog, I have from time to time talked about copying and also about research. More knowledgeable folks than me can articulate these better than I can...I did do my Masters and wrote piles of pages, but, I'm afraid it was so hard, I'd always find myself nodding off.
The gist of my thinking today is, that the two subjects are heavily linked together, for better or worse.

Firstly, let's think about research, and what that really means in terms of the creative person. To me, it's about finding out- finding out about the "thing". Which usually means some reading, from a book, from a library or through an online purchase, which is happily delivered to my door. I rarely look to a Youtube tutorial as a first port of call, and, I'll talk about that in a tick*.
The next part of research is, trying things out either by drawing or making the "thing". Not just once. Over and over, this is where process and practise come into play. Also, this is where discovery and change can happen. This is also where you can become the best at doing the "thing"...therefore creating something with a starting point, and an unknowable end.

What's the link to copying?

In art school, and other academic places of learning, PLAGIARISM, is so looked down upon, that the student can be excluded - thrown out. The threat of this is so real, that usually the student is forced into researching their line of study so thoroughly that this will not be a reality for them.

So, coming back to today, and the overwhelming event of social media and the outrageous trawled picture collecting sites...For folks who have not had the benefit of academic training, how or why would they even know or bother pursuing the model that I just described?
In a time where just about anything is available to -kind of learn- for free, why would any of it seem valuable or precious? When ideas are flung about (as everybody wants to be noticed) freely why would a 'new comer' even know they are copying? When they say they have been "inspired" by someones work, what are they really saying?
The newbie cannot be expected to be able to differentiate between a tutorial, for free, and an achievable finished object made by an artist or designer. If well regarded and fashionable makers do it, how is the newbie to know any better?
While I'm writing this, the last thing I want to do is to discourage anyone from being creative and expressing themselves. Mostly, I guess, one should be wary of starting that new online business, playing with the big girls and banging on about your "inspiration" and originality...if you haven't done your homework. There is always someone who's been around longer than you have. Read more books, done more travel etc.

The solution?

Hopefully, I haven't lost you.
Find your own path. Find a real life expert. Find a book written by an expert. Email people, have real conversations. Work out of a journal, DRAW, record thoughts, names, things to look up later. Enrol in an art course. Learn from every single person who wants to teach you. Look out of your specific medium for a background of research for yourself, so you can stand proud, and completely know that what you are doing is your own.

*Youtube tutorials will show you how to do the "thing" they are you'll be able to do that...handy for learning how to cast on stitches in a fancy way for knitting...not so great for 'ideas'.
Upclose detail of a work shown at Boom Gallery

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Ho ho hmmm

Excuse my lack of enthusiasm for Christmas this year, but the last month has done me in.
Unexpectedly, our little son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and has really turned everything upsy down town (as our kids say). So now the life I thought we were going to have has been changed a bit, actually quite a lot. We've been told how he will  be able to do everything as always, but I don't really buy it. Me, or some other adult will have to swoop in pretty regularly for the next couple of years (at least) and test his blood glucose, give him jabs...not eat too much...not go berserk at parties....not sneek biscuits...and at the other end of the scale, not try and run around oval as many times as possible, play and play in the pool for hours...what I'm getting at it's not a carefree childhood any more. I'd be really happy to here of anyone who can honestly tell me otherwise.
So as you can tell, it's taken the wheels off my momentum a wee bit.

On the more positive side, he is really well now and his zoom is amazing. We got our boy back. We didn't even know he was going...the T1D crept up very slowly.

Hey, and have a look at this
My daughter's first tapestry, how good is it!! She's just turned 8.
I will get back to my own up dates soon.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What's going on in the studio??

Firstly many apologies for not updating weeks ago. Now I have the studio, I am always in there when I have less noodling about on the internet, which, is a very good thing.
I finally finished the big tapestry I started months ago, all my instagram followers are probably sick to death of seeing updates, but it was quite an achievement for me, mainly because it's the biggest thing I've woven since uni.
The tapestry is still on the loom, and that's why it looks a little bit skewd, it's actually pretty straight on the sides.
The studio is starting to look really lived in, which is great for me. I don't seem to get comfy unless there is a bit of muddle about.
I've been trying out a lot of different ways of doing things. It started back when I started putting the warp on differently. That's why the big octopus tapestry is still on the loads of warp left.
The studio is part of a converted wool coincidental.
That little red string is reminding me where the middle is.
When I was a bit stuck a couple of weeks ago I started with collages again. An old trick from uni...when in doubt, make a collage. Works a treat for creative block...or brain re-jig.
I just have to say so many thanks to the kind folk on Instagram for all the nice comments and all.
I know from time to time I have been very vocal about my concerns about tapestry as a medium, and especially at the moment, when it's so popular as an activity...rather than an expressive, narrative artform, (as I see it).
If anyone is interested in what those concerns may be, please feel free to email me and I'll tell you all about them!! : D

I guess because of these concerns, I had set myself the task of compiling my  "how to" notes from uni, and making them into a little book (75pages!?!). This plan was going great until I got that dumb bug (cough, temperature, headaches...Blah) a couple of months ago. The plan is still on, but later now, because of all the lead up till Christmas. So, for anyone who's hanging out for it, it's coming.

PS: (Because of the Troll who went berserk at me, I do not air these concerns anymore...I can tell you right now, Texan teacher, I'm glad you don't teach my children! At least I speak it how I think it, and not veil my ideas behind a wall of chic, retro, nicey nice speak...while secretly leaving negative, uninformed opinions on people's personal blogs.) 
It feels good to get that off my chest...I've been seathing about that for months.
That's it, no more bitching about that.