What is my motivation as an artist?

Stuart Bush Studio Blog, Inclination of form, What is my motivation to be an artist?
©Stuart Bush, Inclination of form, oil on canvas

My motivation as an artist has to do with my intense need to communicate something that only I can do or say. I have a meaning to fulfil through my work, and I am declaring that as an artist that I am responsible for finding answers.

Painting is the best way for me to communicate. I believe that painting and playing with form has the potential to capture the most important kinds of expression. I see it as a foundation for thinking itself and solving life’s complexities.
 
I’m interested in expressing the physical vigour of the human body in the city landscape as a means of exercising the freedom and dynamic expressions of space.  Through my work, I am confident I can widen and broaden the visual field, thereby revealing a whole new spectrum. 
 

Links – What is my motivation as an artist?

25 Reasons Why Being an Artist is the Best - JerryArtarama.com
The outcome of my work evokes a surprise and a revelation to me in much the same way as it does to the viewer.  The finished painting is never good enough.  In order to fill this gap, I have the motivated to make another piece of work.
 
Throughout my career, I have tested things out and applied my knowledge. What I learn I will share, from practical advice to techniques and any other information l think might be useful. I will be fighting in the trenches with you, explaining and demystify how an artist can support a creative life.
 

How I see art contributing to society

Christo, The London Mastaba, Hyde Park 2018, Stuart Bush Studio Blog, painting blog
Christo, The London Mastaba, Hyde Park 2018
When I saw Christo’s new art project in Hyde Park London and read his quote, “A work of art is a scream of freedom,” I know I needed to tell you about how I see art contributing to society.
 
Every artist contributes to society in their own special way. Artists look to find ways to engage the wider pubic through their work to consider and reconsider the way they see the world. Whether it is contributing to overall health and wellbeing of our society by rethinking about what we are doing and considering in new approaches or by providing inspiration, interaction and joy to uplift the spirit.

Link to a review of Christo, The London Mastaba

Independent: Christo's latest sculpture weighs 600 tons (and it floats)
 
Being an artist for me is a licence to look deeply; to follow my curiosity, to unpick and to make new connections with what I see. We live on this small rock in a massive universe without an accurate understanding of what it is all about.  I perceive making art as a form of therapy to open up the world and open up people’s minds to a higher spectrum. To deal with and come to terms with everyday life.  
 
Stuart Bush Studio Blog, untitled sketch, in the city, How I see art contributing to society?
Stuart Bush, untitled sketch
“The first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.” Chuck Palahniuk, American novelist and journalist
 
To my eyes painting is the best way to communicate and connect with others within a collective effort. I am not trying to convey the world as I see it.  As an artist, I absorb it and try to communicate the world as it really is.
 
I have an intellectual curiosity and commitment to bring the truth to light. Through my art making, I want to be known for using my artistic creativity to widen and broaden the visual field.  Therefore, reveal a whole new range of potential meaning.
 
There are many benefits of living in an exciting contemporary culture. I see myself as part of a community whose work can make a significant contribution to society and the world today.  I want to contribute to human growth by joining into the conversation.   

 

 
“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” John F Kennedy

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I wish I could paint every day

I wish I could paint every day

Stuart Bush Studio, No bodies fault, I wish I could paint every day
©Stuart Bush, Nobodies fault detail, I wish I could paint every day

I wish I could paint every day…

Every day I paint I have an adventure into the unknown.
 
Every day I am excited by the possibilities in the work.
 
Every day I paint I enjoy the production of novelty the most.
 
Every day I paint, I decide what I want to work on the night before.  My unconscious mind thinks and contemplates it overnight. The next day I effortlessly to know where to start.
 
Every day I paint I don’t make it overly complicated.
 
Every day I paint my studio has to be free from distractions so l can get into a creative flow and stay in it. I get completely caught up and saturated in what I am doing.  The painting leads the way, my hand and brush are in control rather than my brain.  I have a deep involvement with the activity and time becomes distorted.
 
Every day I paint, it is not clear what needs to be done. The solution is elusive and an accident. Only when I am in a flow of creativity, unconscious decision making takes place. I surprise myself and produce work I am happy with.
Stuart Bush Studio, No bodies fault, I wish I could paint every day
©Stuart Bush Nobodies fault detail, I wish I could paint every day
Every day I paint, I try to be satisfied when the work is complete. If I put unnecessary pressure and stress on myself and let my perfectionist outlook win, the results are never good enough to meet my standards.
 
Every day I paint I hope something good will come, but if it doesn’t I don’t worry. Whether it is good or bad, that really doesn’t matter.  When I finish, I always turn the work towards the wall and quickly move on to the next task.
 

Related post to Every day I paint;

Drawing the creative act
Every day I paint I consider the work from previous sessions and give myself feedback. This enables me to move forward. I have to decide which ideas can be developed and which direction to take and then l know what to work on during the next session.
 
Every day I paint I am unsure if I am getting anywhere.  Often I take one step forward, two steps sideways and one backwards.  Every little while I stop and look back. Over months and years rather than days I learn something new and l know l am growing as a painter and as a person.  
 
Every day I paint I am not interested in money and fame.  It’s the pursuit that counts, not the attainment.  I always enjoy and have fun within the process.
 
Every day I paint I work towards achieving something meaningful. My lifelong ambition is to make a significant contribution to culture.  In doing so, I hope to help the human condition. 
 
Every day I paint I love what I do. I love the process of making art more than the work I produce.
 
I wish I could paint every day.
 
Stuart Bush Studio, No bodies fault, I wish I could paint every day
©Stuart Bush, Nobodies fault, oil on board 70.2 x 50.4 x 3.6cm, I wish I could paint every day

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The ideas behind, ‘Empire State of Mind’ painting

©Stuart Bush, Empire state of mind, oil and acrylic on canvas, 85 x 150cm
Any further questions about this painting please email me here.
As humans beings, we have an extraordinary ability to recognise an image and label it.  A silhouette of a person is instantly recognisable. A two-dimension shape of the figure is not human, but we can read it as an image of a person.  I am interested in using this extraordinary ability to record and to explore the structure and nature of reality.
 
My new painting, ‘Empire State of Mind,’ has a lot to do with how my mind is working on and wondering about my instincts regarding perceptual information. I am trying to show and paint what I see. I’m not inventing; I’m investigating how things look. I’m an image maker, painting the previously hidden nature of things. I receive an emotional response from an image as I discover an optical relationship and create a striking composition. I have stepped away from the conventional representation of reality in order to be competitive with it.  The deeper I go into this practice of painting, the more mysterious it becomes.
 
Installation view of my recent exhibition at Floor 1 Gallery, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum
 
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Responding to striking art

©Stuart Bush, People are less memorable than the circumstances in which they were in encountered, part 2. Acrylic on board – SOLD
As an artist, my work is an extension of me. Each painting has its own interesting story to tell and I enjoy disclosing anecdotes of how the work came into being.  A painting has its own power. When a striking artwork makes a connection and speaks to the viewer, it invokes a deeply personal relationship.
 
Everyone reads each piece of art differently.  I find it very gratifying to discover how art lovers respond to my work.   I love to hear different and engaging interpretations. I get an overwhelming feeling of happiness when I can see this connection occurring on a persons face as they light up.
 
Art is not about the potential value; what it costs or what it is worth. Art shouldn’t be seen a financial investment or a commodity.  A vibrant, bold and skilful painting should bring pleasure and make you think. It should add an extra dimension to any room it is hung in. 
 
Owning a piece of art is about looking at it and enjoying it. This emotional affinity creates a tremendous, heartwarming feeling. Once the purchase is made it becomes part of its owner’s life and integral to their home and their identity. 
 
If you would like to hear more from me about my art, my influences and my journey as an artist, please sign up for my mailing list by clicking here.

Stuart Bush’s Charity Art Sale – helping to give something back to the community

 
 
I am acutely aware of the vital role of the Air Ambulance has in getting doctors to the scene of life-threatening emergencies and airlifting people to a hospital.  I am also aware that the Air Ambulance exists only with the help and support of the local community.   I have decided to combine this art exhibition with supporting the local community    For this unique one-off exhibition l have also reduced my prices to allow more people to buy art.   This art exhibition is more than just about me and my art, it is about giving something back, about supporting the community that l live in and the people l live with.
 
 
The paintings in this exhibition are from 2006-2017.  The theme and ideas that have inspired this work are related to my emotional response as an individual to the city.  This body of work started as a realistic interpretation of street photography. It captures feelings of alienation and angst in the human-made environment. However, the snapshots of life caught something that l wasn’t expecting.  The fleeting moments of line, shapes, and space intrigued me, and I slowly became interested in this interrogation of space in the public realm.
 
 
This body of work finishes with the beginning of something new.  The artwork moves past looking at the dislocation and fragmentation in our contemporary world to the mysterious and intriguing unknown entity of space. In this new direction for my work, I want to explore the existence of the space that enables everything else to exist.  I want to draw the attention away from objects that people make, to the space around us, to create a portal to somewhere else.
 
 
I hope that by raising funds for the charity through selling my paintings, I can bring even more meaning to life through my art.  Every £5 raised could pay for pressure dressings to control a patients bleeding.  Every £10 raised could pay for enough fuel to fly 11 miles towards the nearest major trauma centre.
Stuart Bush’s Charity Art Sale @ Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

I hope you can help me support the local air ambulance charity.

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Why do I paint?

With consumerism at the forefront of western society and seen as the purpose of life, we live to work, to earn and to consume, this is a significant part of our lives. However, I find myself drawn to expressing an alternative view of life through my art. Why do I paint..? I want to communicate what I see.

Although many people see painting as being based on traditional values and having a limitation to address contemporary issues, I believe that painting offers the challenge of finding new meanings. I see it as a way to create new insight and uniquely capture people’s imagination. Some people might see this view of painting as naive, that nothing is truly original anymore in this postmodern society.

But for me, other forms of communication don’t compare with the excitement of art. They don’t come close to allowing me the opportunity to look in detail at the interesting and unexplained things l see about me in this world of ours. I am interested in the position that a painter has in relation to the world. I discover things through painting. When I paint, I am looking at the history of art, the present and the future by painting myself and the world.

Through painting, I have a chance to investigate something that is evasive. I continually have to ask myself what it is that I see. I try hard to identify what it is, as it continuously slips. I never get a chance to see what it would be like if l did something else while painting because, what I love about painting is that you can’t undo the last mark. It is utterly instinctive, for me this makes the process of painting is addictive. I’m always hoping for improvement, but realising that grasping a frightening clarity by showing my true soul and that of the world is unattainable. But I keep coming back to try again. The question nearly always arises; do I risk spoiling it by continuing or do I start a new painting? I am a risk taker and painting suits my way of working and what I want to communicate. I love taking risks as l try to unlock the world about me.

I have a deep down urge to try to master a form of expression where I can communicate my unique view, where I am part of the painting. When I feel this, I feel like I am doing what I am here for. I get deep joy and despair, anxiety and confidence. I feel more alive.

©Stuart Bush A pocket full of dreams 2010 oil on canvas, 120.4 cm x 160.4 cm

This painting titled ‘A pocket full of dreams’. Take a moment to stop and think what this painting says to you. Pull back the curtain, to consider what it means to be human. In my view, people rely too much on words.

Exploring through making

©Stuart Bush, The Quality of Absence, oil on aluminium panel, 80 x 112 cm

Taking on the history of art and making something new or original is very challenging. Everything seems to have been done before. Picasso said, “good artist copy, great artist steal.” Banksy crossed Picasso’s name out and stole what he said. “The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal.” Pablo Picasso Banksy.

Advertising was stripped and cleansed by Warhole as he took and re-aligned it’s image, colour and details. Pop art mirrored the overload of capitalism by using the tasteless and repetition of consumerism itself. The minimalist through their dislike for capitalism made no attempt to represent the outside, they approached art making differently, by focusing on materials and order, the form of the work became their reality. They accumulated objects and striped them bare. The supermarket stack became a careful composed stack of bricks reflecting the coldness and emptiness. The minimalists, like the pop artists before, wanted to say wake up and smell the coffee, capitalist and consumerist objects are empty and without meaning. No matter how much you buy there is still no hope of transcendence or ascendancy.

I strove to create a dialogue with what came before, Pop art, minimalism and Koons amongst others. However, my work has developed over time, and through setting up my own system of working, my thoughts have moved on. I am no longer focused on creating a dialogue about consumerism even though that’s where I started. My work has deepen and expanded through the process of making. My painting ‘the quality of absence’ allows the viewer to indulge in their own taste and expectations.

I now experiment with and explore a visual grammar. I take shapes and forms with colours and look for the underlining beauty beyond the emptiness of the surface culture. This work is extremely hand crafted with physical man made marks made through painting. By exploring pictorial convention I have developed an interest in the language of space; the space between art and life.

This new work certainly seems to have struck the right note, ‘the quality of absence’ has gone to a new home. The home of one of my customers.

Stuart Bush, The Quality of Absence

Review – Transient Space at the Parafin Gallery, London

No Omega, Sentry and Superstrasse by Mike Ballard and Tracer video by Melanie Manchot. Photo courtesy of Parafin Gallery, London
I often walk the streets of London and wonder about the space I am looking at and the transient passing of time.  I wonder what I should take from my short lived fleeting moments.  This is the subject of a group show at Parafin Gallery in London titled the ‘Transient Space’ as artists Mike Ballard, Nathan Coley, Keith Coventry, Tim Head, Melanie Manchat and Abigail Reynolds explore the space in the city.
 
Parafin Gallery just off Bond Street has been open for three years and shows emerging and established artists.  While I was there, I felt that l had the two floors to myself in the slender venue with plenty of time to browse and enjoy the fascinating show.
Tracing the city with their feet, a free runner on top of the Sage Gateshead in Melanie Manchots, Mesmerising, video installation, Tracer, 2013. Photograph Melanie Manchot; courtesy Parafin, London
Trying to make sense of transient space for many would seem futile.  I’m sure the general public would ask why would you want to make sense of the space.  Isn’t space just space, what possibly could be said about it?  However, focusing on similarly unimportant and the overlooked is the role of the artist.
Tracing the city with their feet, a free runner on top of the Sage Gateshead in Melanie Manchots, Mesmerising, video installation, Tracer, 2013. Photograph Melanie Manchot; courtesy Parafin, London
These artists are like particle physicists, interested in the basic elements of space and mass, and how are they created.  Instead of trying to understand the world through science and maths they are creating a springboard to express ideas and emotions through art.  By doing so, they capture the symphony of the city and together they fill the exhibition space, using their art to prompt a response and to allow the viewer to develop a better understanding of what has previously been overlooked.  The French composer Claude Debussy said, “Music is the space between the notes.”  This group of artists are focusing on just that, the space between the notes.
 
Parade Sculptures, 2015 by Nathan Coley; courtesy Parafin, London
Many works caught my attention starting with Nathan’s Coley’s, Firas, Ido, Rere, Ruth and Rima from 2015 made out of aluminium and perspex and approximately 130 x 35 x 35cm each.  Nathan Coley studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1985 to 1989, and in 2007 he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize.  Before I knew that Coley has said his sculptures, ‘refer to a state of being, architectures subjected to a physical shift and partially destroyed due to an act of conflict,’  I was enjoying the way the models were presented as simple constructions of architecture made in aluminium and perspex.  This extra layer of information and with the handles on the sculptures it gives a protester the opportunity to raise the base of the pieces of sculptures aloft, elevating them, making the architecture into political statements. Nathan Coley believes these places have weight and value and he encourages the viewer to see the world from his perspective.  These architectural placards instil belief, belief in the importance of humanised spaces and the visible landscape of architecture.  It is a a declaration of sentiment that these places should be cherished and these precious spaces not blown up through conflicts.   
 
Installation shot, The past is always present, Buckingham Palace by Abigail Reynolds. Sharing Smoke, Neighbourhood Watch Mike Ballard 2017 – Photograph by Abigail Reynolds, cortesy of Parafin Gallery
 
Meanwhile, Mike Ballard’s work is interested in the grainy side of the city, his interest clearly comes from his time as a graffiti artist before studying at art Central Saint Martins.  Through a fascination of his abstract marks in forgotten places, Mike turns the overlooked into a beautiful language and abstract art form.  Not as a painter of original abstractions but by using the city as a readymade, balancing surfaces of concrete, wood and street signs with partly removed stickers and images into a visual noise of the spaces.  They capture decisive abstract moments turning them into things of beauty.  Mike’s work encourages you to focus on the fabric of the city, so you never see it the same again.  After seeing his work, l feel encouraged to further my own understanding of taking a slice of the city in search of the poetry of the city.  The show continues until 16th September.

Why am I interested in these moments?

 

©Stuart Bush, Strange Heart Sings, oil on board 30 x 40 cm
 
In my artwork, I am interested in these moments to give myself a better appreciation of the world. I am interested in considering the world anew from a fresh perspective.  We often overlook the familiar, and I want to explore its depths.  I want to become more aware of the humble things we ignore like volume, form and space.  I want to pursue a direction where I take note of and record the visual information from the beauty of nature and the material world that is right in front of me.  
 
My intention to create a re-enchantment with what is unnoticed and to appreciate ordinary moments. Abstract shapes and imperfect forms have no obvious signs of importance and are seen as unimportant. I want to draw attention to their overlooked beauty and their aesthetic qualities.   
 
The paintings are not an exact transcript of the scene but a perceiving of the scene.  They focus on simple forms.  Creating space for silence and thought in a world where everything is constantly moving and unfixed.  The paintings are a window of reality, telling no lies, reinventing nothing, just recording, a reworking of the spatial chaos of the visible world.  
 
In the paintings, the flat images are to help us deal with the complexity of our perception. Our minds automatically make connections with the shapes.  There is a lack of perspective, there is no direction of light, and they have different rules of composition.  The shapes and forms are like the pleasurable moments of seeing an elephant in the clouds; the forms slip between representational and abstract pattern.  At this point forms and content merge into together like a beautiful poem.
 
This painting is on show at Leyden Gallery, 9/9a Leyden Street, London E1 7LE.  There is a private viewing between 6:30 – 9 pm in 18 July 2017, please come along.

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