The benefits of adversity

 
Stuart Bush, You don't understand me, series of 4 works gouache on paper, the benefits of adversity post
©Stuart Bush, You don’t understand me, part 1-4, gouache on paper
Many children spend a lot of their time with their peers.  In my childhood, I changed schools five times. This meant l had to learn to start over again and again.  At the time I couldn’t see the benefits of adversity. I could only see the challenges of the upheavals.  Making friends and building strong relationships was a continual challenge.  It felt like before I knew it, I was moving again.  
 
As I didn’t have easy and regular access to friends, I naturally was drawn to the easy path of finding things to do on my own. I didn’t spend my time playing sports.  I was shy and it took me a long time to get to know people and trust them. 
 
Like most kids, I enjoyed watching television. For me, it was mainly the A-Team, the Fall Guy and Airwolf. My childhood dream was to become a stuntman.  The main activities I found myself doing were building models, drawing, playing lego and riding my bike.
 
By spending time drawing and making things I become quite good at these activities. l remember that l stood out in my class and was noted for my drawing abilities.  This made me feel good about myself and it gave me more encouragement to continue drawing.
 
As I got older I started dreaming about becoming an architect. The impossible concept of becoming an artist never entered my thoughts for a moment. However, I stumbled into an art degree without a plan. Then I stumbled out looking for a job. When I graduated the thought of making a living as an artist still appeared impossible.   
 
As I look back to where I started I have the benefits of adversity to thank for being an artist. And of course, the Internet has helped me to have a career as an artist.  I still would have continued to draw, paint and make things but few people would see them without the Internet.  Art is what I love doing, and I wouldn’t change my experiences and path for anything now. 
 
I would love to hear from you if your adversity had a positive impact on your life.

Recommended reading on the benefits of adversity;

 

Related blog posts;

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Drawing, The creative act

©Stuart Bush, I’m not mad at all, oil paint on paper

Allowing freedom in the studio for creative exploration is essential. When I work on a plain sheet of paper or in my sketchbook, I seek to have an openness in my drawings that allows and embraces a large number of directions and options that can be pursued. A chain of evolution takes place in my pictures over an extended period of time and patience is essential. Working on and towards a finished piece too early can make the outcome contrived and often can leave me frustrated.

This explorative phase is more like a problem-creation stage than a problem-solving stage. I am looking to generate new ideas to stimulate my visual imagination and leaving space for creativity and ambiguity. I have often found that without this freeness, the development and exploratory of my thoughts are restricted, and the work comes to a dead end.

With creative freedom in my drawings, my insight and intuition give me an inkling of what to do next allowing me to focus on specific issues and open questions. I can then remove certain details and concentrate on the whole by copying and repeating to expand conceptual ideas and structures by following a hunch.  

Inspiration is an essential ingredient and can come from chaotic and imprecise work made with an open mind or by viewing another artist’s work or for me, by being inspired by the city. Accidents and chance can lead to seeing embedded ideas in a different way. The freeness leaves space to suggest moods and emotions and enhancing abstract concepts. I often feel the need to revisit unresolved ideas and expanding on them. Sometimes this leads to radical changes and often, exciting new artwork.

It is always important to remember that overworking can remove the essence, spirit, the actual original thoughts, and potential. The outcome is successful when the liberty and pleasure are still visible. After all seemingly effortless art signifies greatness and shows the way forward for an artist who can then capture what is immaterial into the material.

Related blog posts:

My favourite paints

Taking risks with oil bars

When the need to be creative gets inside you

The search for originality in the studio

An artist’s complicated journey to generate ideas and new artwork

©Stuart Bush, No exit, pen on paper 43 x 61 cm

A dialogue between me and my work

©Stuart Bush, Strange Heart Sings, oil on board 30 x 40 cm

I have an inherent need to communicate and express something. I am constantly looking for a new way to read the world to understand the physicality of forms. I see my practice as an exercise of being a painter/curator of moments of our lives; reclaiming a more agreeable melody, restoring, reordering and decluttering to focus on what is truly important.

By focusing on the space and the possibilities of structure and composition, I hope to emphasise the beauty and harmony from the chaos in the city, to invoke a new reading of its noise, movement and pattern. By revealing things through a slow open process, my work uncovers the importance of the positive and negative space. Where rhythm, colour and form play off each other, and each shape takes it configuration and meaning from the next, as a metaphor for the qualities of a seductive poem or an intriguing piece of music.

There is truth in the paintings as I try to deal with the present tense and how these ephemeral junctures were for me. A situation and context where discoveries and revelations happen. There is a layered time as I grapple with evidence of awkward moments, aspects of failure and changes of direction. Leaving the physical traces of responding to mistakes, that relate to intrinsic qualities of being human.

Related links;

A painting has to stand up by itself

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

What do I love about being an artist?

©Stuart Bush, The will to live part 1, mixed media on paper 43 x 61 cm
©Stuart Bush, The will to live part 2, mixed media on paper 43 x 61 cm
©Stuart Bush, The will to live part 3, mixed media on paper 43 x 61 cm
©Stuart Bush, The will to live part 4, mixed media on paper 43 x 61 cm

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.

The drawings above are for sale, if you have any questions please inquire or join my mailing list to keep up to date.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave