Tag Archives: artist

Perceiving art wrong

Since the dawn of this blogs existence I had intended for this blog to be a journey about my life and progress as a writer as well as an artist; it is quite obvious that I get distracted from this aspect of the blog a lot.

The update for today is that I have decided to take my artist-self more seriously in a less serious manner than before; I have grown in confidence regarding my place in the creative world in general because I have had a huge epiphany and that epiphany slapped me in the face and left me in awe of how simple it all really is.  I used to believe that in writing as well as art that there are certain rules you must follow in order to be a creative person, especially a creative person who is to be taken seriously by the world – but it can’t be further from the truth.  The moment you start to become serious in your creative field, it is the moment you start killing your creative self. 

How did I learn this?

As a means to start learning about art so that I could take it more seriously, I decided that my art looked a lot like three particular genres in the art world, abstract, impressionism and abstract expressionism.  But I wasn’t confident I understood abstract art well enough to dare call myself an artist in that field – perhaps I need to evaluate everything and see a deeper meaning in everything in everybody else’s work in order to appreciate my own and have other people appreciate it first.  In other words, I felt like my lack of knowledge of the art world and lack of experience meant that I felt like a fraud.

So I got reading and researching online a lot about art, particularly abstract art and abstract expressionism to help me to understand it more and perhaps even help me to understand myself more and why I might like that art.  The thing is – I learned that the best way to appreciate this genre of art is to give up all cognitive reasoning and see what you want to see, art is what you like.  Art is what you see.  Art is not about trying to imprint an impression on the observer, it is literally purely about aesthetic and your own feeling toward the art as an individual.  It is an act of freedom, which helped me understand a core thing about art and society’s opinion regarding art and that is that art is seen as an act of rebellion to some cultures.

Learning that one thing about abstract art “give up cognitive reasoning” felt so freeing that it bought about euphoria so to speak.  I understand now that there really are no bounds in art and that means the same for writing and anything else which may be considered creative.

People, who try to define art, assess it and or dissect it, kill it.  They kill it for themselves and not only that, but they unwillingly become a sort of fascist regarding it.  They can’t help it, they haven’t learned that fundamental rule that creative expression in all forms, painting, writing, music, sculpting etc., is all about freedom and your own personal feeling about the piece whatever it is.  They haven’t learned that art means you can be free and express yourself, that you don’t need a meaning, it can just simply be pretty, but usually everything a creator does, does have meaning, because we are all creatures of our subconscious and our dreams or nightmares even.

A simple little thing like this, can keep millions of people both stumped and afraid of the art world.  I believe it is why many people do not go to art galleries, they feel that art is beyond them and yet everybody in this world has indulged themselves in art daily and buy art regularly, they just don’t see those kinds of arts as important as those from the big fancy galleries such as The Tate Modern.

They don’t see the art on a can of beans or on their favourite CD album, they don’t see that they had paid for that art in some way and that some artist somewhere thanks them for their purchases, because all they are interested in is eating those beans and hearing their favourite singer on the stereo.

They see a beautiful painting mass produced at some major store and take it home with them as it is nice above the fireplace and they do not realise the process that that piece of art had undergone, they might not know the name of the artist even – yet there it is, seen by them every day without a thought about it other than “isn’t it pretty”?  These same people sit there drinking their beverages unaware of just how involved they have been throughout their life in art, how you don’t need a degree to understand or appreciate it.  There is no reason to be intimidated by art when you are literally drowning in it everywhere you go.

I think for many – I know this to be true in my family.  We have people, who are great artists in our family, but they are afraid to do it as a living because they believe that in order to be a good artist who can sell their work, they need to have a certain amount of intelligence and understanding for it.  I thought this myself ten years ago and still to a certain extent yesterday, before I read that post.  Wrong.  We are all so wrong.  If you can make shapes on a piece of paper, if you can write words or play a piece of music on an instrument, you are engaging in an art form.  When you daydream and you wish, you are engaging in an art form.  When you shoot photographs from your mobile and duckface with your friends, you are engaging in an art form.  Yes, art can be silly, because it can be anything!

I understand today that mocking art is a form of social suppression; it is an act of coercive bullying to keep someone from expressing themselves in the manner that they wish to express themselves.  The point of art is freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of speech and much more.

Some abstract art can look as though a toddler did it, but so-what?  The best forms of mental health therapy are those which involved releasing your inner child and nurturing it via self-parenting; I should know, I have been there and because no therapist can help me with my mental health I have learned to parent myself and I have learned to play with my inner child a lot.  This has got me through some tough times.  Not only that but random nonsensical splashes of paint on a canvas can be very beautiful and encapsulating.  I remember last year, I spilled rose gold ink on my sketch pad and I dabbed at the spillage with a tissue and when I pulled it off the paper I noticed by sheer dumb luck that the tissue had made a pattern that looked like a bunch of roses, so I dabbed around the whole paper and made a beautiful rose sheet of writing paper.  A happy accident, but art is formed as simply as this.

In fact, a lot of my art never started as a plan, it started as accidents or deliberate accidents.  For example, I will take a spoon of paint and let it drip or splash onto the paper for a couple of seconds, sit back and think about its shape and I let the paint tell me what it is going to be that day, then I select further colours for the piece.  I like to play, I never grew up and it is something I pride myself on.  I will do the strangest things in art and writing in order to come to the conclusions that I do; such as taking a pencil and putting it between my toes and try to draw a decided shape, such as a line or a circle or a triangle, just one thing.  I will say to myself that after ten seconds of trying this, I will stop and see what I have got and then work with it.  I do this with a pencil between the teeth, with my non-dominant hand, with splashes of paint, with a tissue or some other item dipped into paint and the result is always astounding.

I once decided I would create a picture of an ocean with a yacht and I accidentally spilled too much paint onto the ocean and dabbed it away, again with tissue, this time it left a big white imprint on the paper which was shaped like a cosmos flower and to me, all the picture then needed was a green stalk to the flower head and the picture was done.  I never did the picture with the yacht after all.

Little games like this can do wonders for your creativity.  I often play games of hypothetical situations regarding a theme I am interesting in at the time and this often gives me ideas for new projects in writing – the problem is, I do this daily and for hours sometimes and I am more full of ideas than I am actual work!

I am one of these people who can make a picture of a story out of any idea, but I seldom sit down and do it because I enjoy the process of thinking too much!

I often joke that when the technology comes where we can record our imagination and dreams and show it to others, then and only then I will be the hardest worker in the creative world!

Thank you for reading and please remember, art isn’t complicated your perception of it, is.

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Learning about prose, poetry and verse

I am an almost entirely self-taught writer and artist, I have never received proper formal training in my creative endeavours; the closest I believe would be the English Literature GCSE I did in distance learning college when I was twenty one; I am never sure if my grammar or punctuation is correct and I have little confidence in how professional I come across.  I am confounded when I hear that many writers will edit and reedit their work even before they blog it, to me, every blog post, every blog poem and story is a first draft – is this really so bad to confess?

I never really had proper schooling as a child either; my time within the educational system was sparse with long bouts of home education where my very dyslexic and sheltered mother would be my only teacher.  Even as a home educated child, I was mostly self-taught via books from the library or videos and magazines – I never got my hands on the internet until my seventeenth birthday and I only got it because my mother was pushed into it by both my brother and society as a whole – because when I reached college age, most things I needed were online and hard to find offline.  My pleads with my mum for the internet were only heard when several times we entered stores inquiring about college books and other things I needed for my studies and was told to go to the web – which for several weeks my mother thought was some new brand of shop and she kept looking for it everywhere, until my teacher explained to us both the web was actually the internet.

I never learned, even to this day the difference between poetry, prose, rhyme, haiku and song.  But I am starting to learn – better late than never, eh?

Rhyme and poetry, are they the same?  I don’t know yet – but it is prose that throws me.

Haiku explanation is the simplest of the lot – but what makes a song?  Is a song really a long poem that repeats itself?  I think it is, but not clear.

This is why I lump all those things together in tags – most of my things are rhyme or poetry I believe, though I am not sure I quite understand how to create a stanza – what is a stanza?  Is it just a paragraph?  I don’t know, I am still learning.

This blog is as much about my learning of the craft as it is my doing of the craft.

I must admit, other than just doing the craft, I don’t do much learning of it.  I never actually went out of my way to read books about how to hone my craft and understand the terminologies – the only exception to the rule are the books I read on how to write fiction and how to write generally – such as Stephen King’s On Writing and Julia Cameron’s the artist way and that sort of thing.

It is only recently that I learned to try and not to write numbers down like this, I was 21yrs old and I ate 5 mouthful of peas – instead I know that I should write I was twenty one years old and ate five mouthful of peas – it seems rather basic, but they are important things to learn.

I consider myself an artist, though I have never sold a piece of work purely on the base that I never know if my work is finished properly enough to sell – for example, do I have to varnish a painting or preserve it in some way and if so how and what do I do?  I have researched this online and I don’t find the kind of help I need.

So this post is just letting you know that I am still on a learning curve about what a poem is and what is prose?

 

 

 

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Art, Life, Goals and Disability

It is not just writing that has gripped me as a creative person; over the years I have tried to practise art, but never seriously and I also have an interest in wildlife photography – again, I have never taken this seriously. 

I am a self-taught artist who practises a few days every few months, so I do not practise daily and I have been doing this for the first time in my adult life since around 2012.  I have decided to change this.

I have decided after watching a video on YouTube by Love Life Drawing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzhVOU47aSo  to practise art daily for just one hour per day because it is said that if you practise doing something for 1000 hours you will become quite good at it, so an hour a day will make it approximately 3yrs before I become a much better artist and to me that is enough to prompt me into action.  Three years is really such a little time.

I have never stopped learning something daily, so therefore I have the ability to continue learning new skills, some people when they get to a certain age give up learning altogether as they feel it is not necessary for them to be learning new things or because they feel that they are too old to change radically which I personally think is (excuse the language) bullshit; I am going to be thirty seven on my next birthday and I am already making radical changes in my life.

The changes are to learn how to become a better writer, learning grammar and punctuation, something ironically I have never bothered to learn before, shocking I know!  Learning math, because I was mostly home-educated and math was a weak point for my main teacher (mum) so therefore after the age of eight I hardly learned math at all.  Practising art, which is something my adult self never took seriously as well as wildlife photography – Paul is a former photographer so he is thrilled I want to take this up!  Also I have a life-long goal that I have never taken seriously and that is to learn five languages before I die, I know enough French and Japanese to survive as a tourist in those countries if I ever go on holiday abroad, but I also started to learn Italian last November.  So my five chosen languages to learn in life fluently are French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and German.  I am on the cusp of level 2 Italian right now. 

So those are my goals, also my goal is to try and find some way in defeating my auto-immune problem or at least trying to work my way around it so I can actually get a life, a life I want as I am tired of merely existing to keep doctors in their jobs. 

I am also determined to offer myself up to medical science whilst still alive, to find a way in repairing lost hearing, because I am nearly completely deaf and I am scared of losing the tiny bit of hearing I currently have.  Recently I have lost enough hearing that I no longer hear certain beats and rhythms in music that I knew existed before and it really makes me depressed as I lived my life in music before the left ear started to fade away too.  I learned the piano by ear (no pun intended) I can’t read music; I started to learn the guitar just months before my left ear started to play up.  Music composure is another goal I always had and I have done some composing in the past; but when I learned I could be completely deaf by the time I am fifty and I was told I should learn British sign language, I decided to give up music and I don’t care about how Beethoven did just fine with his hearing loss, to me, I love hearing, I love language, I love music and it is hard for me to know I will hear less and less over the years.

I should really add a sixth language goal, to learn British Sign Language but I am afraid that the universe will take this as a resolution that I will go deaf and would make it happen faster.  Stupid I know, I suppose I should give up Italian to learn BSL but I am denying things will get that bad… idiotically no doubt.

So I have decided to post up some art whenever I make it, I will try daily, but you know me, Procrastinator Extraordinaire.  Well here is what I have done today and I want to tell you quite honestly, this is my second attempt at drawing a hand, my hand.  Paul says that hands are notoriously difficult for artists to draw and he insists I have a natural talent for hands, I don’t know what to think about that, but O-K that’s amazing!  I think my hand looks hideous on paper drawn by me, but the hand in itself is deformed slightly, my left hand has a tendon problems that leads up through the forearm and it is twisting more than just my baby finger these days and its becoming painful, something the doctor needs to be alerted on soon as Paul is terrified that if I fall over or support myself the wrong way the baby finger is just going to snap, seriously it is getting that bad!

Sorry for being so graphically cringe worthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TASKS AND PASTS

I have this book called “365 Ways to get you writing daily, inspiration and advice for creative writers” by Jane Cooper.  I have been thinking about what to post on my blog to keep it active, I am not sure I want to post up my snippets for actual things I am planning as I find it a bit personal, but I thought that perhaps these tasks would help me show you my creative writing so you can critique me, thus help improve my style or enhance my work. 

I don’t lack confidence in my writing, because each to their own and I understand that not everyone is going to like my stuff, but I do want to be more involved with my blog and I do want to know if my writing does need more improvement.

I don’t want to worry about grammar and punctuation at the moment, because the priority for me is to get writing and be more active in the creative community than be a pedant, because being a pedant (and coming across many other pedants) was what made my writing stop for several years.

I have many friends who are artists and not many that are writers and the artists tell me that the worst thing that any artist can do with their creativity is to try and make it too perfect before it’s finished, because then you lose the heart and soul of your work and nobody will like it then; writing is not different, many writers like to look at themselves as a form of artist and visual artists like to consider anyone who is creative as an artist too!  Actors = performance artists, writers are verbal artists, painters are visual artists, singers are music artists, you get the picture – if you are creating something or trying to show something in a new light YOU ARE AN ARTIST!

One big thing I learned recently is that my writing from 2002 is completely different than the writing I did in 2008 and though you would think that I had been writing that time and had obviously improved my craft, you would be wrong!  I became a pedant and people who read my work were also pedants, they were grammar Nazis and they were not interested in my genre and they were going on about honing in on my style of writing before I actually wrote the stories I aimed to write to the extent, I found I lost my heart and soul and so did my stories.  I became a show don’t tell writer who turned into a tell don’t show writer and I didn’t know it until only last month, when I was revising three neglected stories to revive, two of which came from before 2002 and were rewritten in 2008 and 2016 – that is how I could tell that I had lost my way. 

I also sat back and wondered about why I had lost my passion to research, read and write?  I blamed a lot of things and people for it, but ultimately it was because I had lost heart and I was no longer giving momentum to those three things that used to bring me joy every day.

I lost contact with several of my favourite forums and journal sites because of some spiteful bullying I endured at the beginning of 2009 from a scorned ex – that broke my network big time, I had developed decade long relationships which were broken down very quickly with his childish games and I just didn’t want to be anywhere where his energy had been at the time.  This caused me to go into what I call “Creative Isolation”.  I had only two creative friends who stuck by me after that event which spread across thirty websites!

But anyway, the blame still lies with me.  I allowed this to affect me in such a way that I created this creative bubble around myself, thus my writing suffered due to lack of oxygen and lack of oxygen made me lose momentum and once momentum is gone it takes will power and a lot of pushing yourself to get it back again, but you can get it back again. 

This is why I mentioned the above book.  I am going to do tasks in the book and post them on my blog for you to critique, I may not respond for a few days at times, as I often forget to check my mails and comments, but I will get to you in time.  I take my craft very seriously, sometimes too seriously that I forget sometimes that it is supposed to be fun.  I know the book has 365 ways, but I will not do one task per day, I may do many a day or my own random tasks whenever I can.

Another post may follow tonight, dependant on what’s going on with the family tonight; We’ve been pretty busy lately and it’s not just me who appears to be sick either, so bear with me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inktober Day 16 – A bedraggled cat

Inktober Day 16 – a bedraggled cat.

 

I didn’t have much time to do the big picture I wanted to today, but I managed to do this quick image for inktober; unusually for me, I sketched this with a pen only, I didn’t pencil it first then go over it with inks like I normally do and I am quite pleased with the result, it does need a bit more work to it (which I admit will not be done), but first attempt at sketching with pen only isn’t a bad turn out!

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Inktober 2018 – Day 13 – Scarecrow

Inktober Day 13 – Scarecrow

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Inktober Day 12 – The Kappa

The Kappa – Yokai of Japan

Today’s Inktober is based on a Japanese demon known as The Kappa part of the Yokai demons, he lives in embodiments of water, rivers, lakes and ponds.

Kappas are renowned for their obsession and passion for cucumbers and therefore locals often give offerings of cucumbers at festivals to the kappa’s to keep them from becoming harmful to the villagers.

Kappas have a naturally forming dip at the top of their heads which constantly hold water, if the water was to be accidentally spilled out, the kappa can become extremely weak or die.  It is said, if you are by an embodiment of water and you see a large aquatic humanoid which represents a human, frog and tortoise mixed together, sometimes they may seem like half duck and turtle that is a kappa and that if you do not have a cucumber to hand, this creature will either rape you anally and steal a part of your soul or tear your limbs apart as their second favourite form of food; So what do you do to ensure you are safe from this creature if you can’t give it an offering – you bow, these creatures are awfully polite and will bow back at you, spilling the water from their heads and rendering them helpless until they can top the water back up in its head giving you enough time to scarper!  Despite how evil all of this sounds, it is also thought that Kappas aren’t always malevolent, in fact often times they can be benevolent and help people who go fishing, particularly if they have been appeased with a cucumber or two.

In old Tokyo many people believed that if you ate cucumbers before going fishing you could prevent an attack, but then this act was banned by law because it was seen to be provoking the kappas to attack all the more!

 

 

 

 

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Inktober Day 11 – Dragon hatching and mama

BEFORE AND AFTER PICS.

The before pic

The after pic

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Inktober Day 10 – Vampire Lady

Inktober Day 10 – Vampire Lady!

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Inktober day 7 – Leprechaun and his pot of gold

Leprechaun with his pot of gold!

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