There are many reasons why l wanted to be an artist. But the main attraction is the creative process. As an artist l can take an idea or a hunch and using my creativity and skill, which has grown over many years, bring the concept to life. The process of turning an idea from a thought to something of significance takes a set of unique skills mainly involving play and experimenting with what works best. The whole process and journey is a stimulating challenge. Once the idea if finally completed, once l am finally satisfied, it becomes an object and an initiator of further ideas for both myself and the viewer. Completing a project gives me an enormous sense of achievement which even overcomes any of the exhilarating ups and downs along the way.
Karl Marx talked about the problems of consumerism and the alienation of labour. He states that if you are cut off from the fruits of your labour, then you are cut off from your creativity and you lose your sense of self. I think this is one of the main problems with the Western consumeristic society. People are not in touch with the output they make or the completion of the tasks they carry out. I believe this causes many psychological problems with our individual purpose. During the process of making art l get closer to my deeper self, the artwork becomes an extension of me, my purpose stretches out before me. No-one else can make another exactly the same, no-one else has my thoughts.
This is an interesting thought provoking short video on Karl Marz on Alienation and about what makes us human.
Being an artist and being creative connects us directly with being human, and that is the main reason I love being an artist.
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Eric Fischl was born in 1948 in New York City, his suburban upbringing and career as an internationally acclaimed American artist is presented in his book ‘Bad Boy’.
Fischl shares his deep wounds when discussing his personal relationships, especially with his depressed and alcoholic mother. These troubling experiences made their way into his artwork creating a dialogue about his personal wounds and ironically they ultimately lead to him getting into trouble.
The death of Fischl’s mother inspired the work he became famous for. It is interesting that after his first solo show in New York at the Edward Thorp Gallery in 1979 and the following success lead to him ‘going off the rails’ as the book title suggests and he enjoyed success a little too much.
Fischl’s book is informative and helpful to other artists. There is interesting advice and tips about how to deal with the process of being a successful artist and he discusses the issues and ideas in his work.
Eric Fischl says in the book, “Painting. Is a process that guides me back through complex experiences that I didn’t have words to describe or understand. It relieves feelings and memories and brings them forward with clarity and resolution. Each one of my paintings is like a journey, a process to excavate nuggets of emotion, artefacts of memory, the treasures buried in my unconscious. My imagery evokes feelings that were once too painful to ephemeral or too embarrassing to articulate or even to remember.”
Eric Fischl’s ideas are well developed and considered as you would expect from someone who has had international success as an artist. He uses clear, convincing and honest language. I think the book is a good read and has lots of information and advice about dealing with life an artist. I enjoyed reading it and strongly recommend it.
In my painting ‘The Pursuit of Truth,’ I was interested in exploring the composition of an image. A composition is usually referred to the arrangement of elements within a work of art. An artist arranges the different elements into satisfactory relationships creating a sense of balance and pictorial harmony, while exploring rhythm, scale and movement. The composition of an image is instinctive; when it is done well it has remarkable power and originality. It can make you feel alive, and question; What is this?
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Preparation days are all about doing the planning, groundwork and laying the foundations in place for your best result days. Preparation days are the days when you carry out the not-so-important tasks but ones that still need to be completed to make sure that your best result days are extremely productive
Best results days
The book proposes spending more days on best result days. These days are when you do the most important work which will give you the highest payoff for the time you invest. If you schedule more of these days and hold yourself obligated to having these days you can produce better results.
This method of working is definitely a good way to obtain a better balance between work and rest days.
With consumerism at the forefront of western society as a purpose to live, we live to work, to earn, to consume, is all a major part of our lives. I find myself drawn to expressing an alternative view through my art.
Although some see painting as being based on traditional values as a limitation to address contemporary issues, I believe that it offers me the challenge of finding new meaning, creating new insight and capturing people’s imagination in a unique way. Even though some might see this as naive, as nothing is truly original anymore in this postmodern society.
Another reason why I paint is when I am painting l would never get a chance to see what it would be like if l did something else because I can not undo the last mark. The process of painting is addictive. I’m always hoping for improvement and possibly perfection, but always realising that it is unattainable. The question nearly always arises; do I risk spoiling it 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 think this is why Francis Bacon destroyed so much of his work, he liked risk.
This painting titled ‘A pocket full of dreams’ is intended for us to just for a moment to stop and think, pulling back the curtain, to consider what it means to be human. By reviewing the influences we allow in our minds our bodies, like the clothes we wear, all creates the consuming lifestyles we choose.
I am going to try to answer these question in this post
To start with I am going to give you a whistle stop tour of the changes in my art to show how it has evolved. In 2004 I started considering ways to deal with the negative effects of consumerism through art.
I immediately knew I didn’t want to celebrate its over bright, flashy and showy side, the way Pop Art mirrored consumerism, for example the 57 varieties of Campbell Soup. Warhol’s pop art mimics the production line by using repetition. He was trying to tell us about the times in which we live. Campbell’s tomato soup, is available to everyone and you can have this too but it is a trap, it’s a prison.
I went through a period of considering whether creating edgy work would be a good way to create a new body of work.
It took me a long time to realise that the minimalist artists also had disdain for consumerism. Minimalist artists presents a contrary and opposing view in the way their art deals with consumerism. Art works like Carl Andre, Equivalent V, mimics the emotionless and blankness of consumerism. Life has become dominated by consumerism and we are its submissive servants.
As I worked to find a subtle way to deal with consumerism in my work I considered this as a response to minimalism.
What are the common threads? What has stayed the same? What has changed little?
The common thread throughout the work have been how I have started each work. They have all started with street photography. From there they have also always had a relationship back the original photograph they came from.
And my final question was what has changed a lot?
What has changed a lot is my understanding of art. I think the explanations of Andy Warhole and Minimalism highlights that.
‘A study for being normal 1’ (2006) ‘Blind boy’ (2007) and ‘The Kingdom’ (2009), are currently available for sale.
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