New Horizons : New ideas or a new approach?

I haven’t really thought of a concept for the new brief. I just know that I need to do more experiments with materials and processes and I need to annotate a LOT more. I realised I need to become a lot more ‘arty’ in my spare time. Not just focussing on the brief, but drawing and creating just to draw and create. I’ve downloaded several mock sketchbook pages for inspiration, and I’ve read up on how to analyse art. So I have a sorta basic guide as to what I need to write. My main hurdle in analysing my own work is writing what I’m thinking. I know that sounds strange, but I find that I prefer writing in a concise and coherent way, as I’d write an essay, when really I need to just make my blog and sketchbook annotation an extension of my thoughts. As if I’m talking, to myself.

I’ve had a few ideas for the new brief. I started this course with a view to using it as therapy. I don’t know what I want to do after, and right now I need to stop thinking about that. I need to stay in the present and remember what has brought me here, and what I’m doing right now that’s positive. Those who know me, know I struggle with substance abuse problems and mental health issues, and I’ve not walked the easy path in life. I’m incredibly lucky and grateful that I am where I am now, but years of taking things to not feel and drinking or eating my feelings away has taken its toll. So I’m using this course to kind of get all those feelings out on to canvas and paper. To find a positive and therapeutic channel for my emotions that doesn’t result in self destruction. As a result my artistic process is quite erratic and manic, and then I will have weeks of zero motivation and inspiration.

I find myself drawn to the edgier pieces or art, edgier concepts. Art with a bit more political inspiration, or created from a tortured soul. Something with a bit of grit and substance, rather than bland and aesthetic. I realise how pretentious that sounds, but it’s what I’m drawn to. I’m the same with music, I’m drawn to the troubled and the distressed I suppose. Libertines, The Doors, Hendrix, and a bit of modern rap but I’m leaning more to artists who’ve got clean and appreciate life rather than the glorification of money and drugs. Anyway, art from an edgy place. That’s what I want to create. Well, it’s part of what I want to create. I’ve got three things I want to pursue; photography (that’s going to be my mission over the summer); sellable pieces of art (currently exploring the craft and gift market); therapeutic art pieces (the kinda of thing that will get my thoughts and feelings out!) and because I want to concentrate my brief concepts on my therapeutic art I want to research mental health, addiction a little bit, and I am thinking of focussing on how our society works. Perhaps the attention we give media and technology, perhaps I will look into how history has changed society. I’m a bit vague at the moment but I want to do a lot of research and keep my options open and let my research and creative process guide me organically. I did that with my last piece, and didn’t  really think of my final piece until a few days before I created it. It made the process a bit more enjoyable. This time around I want to make several pieces worthy of being a final piece, but investigate several ideas and just do things a bit more thoroughly.

Over the weekend I spent some time building. I have access to off cuts of oak, and also access to a fully functioning workshop (it also helps that my partner builds stuff for a living so is pretty handy and helpful!). So we spent time using off cuts and starting a few projects with a view to selling things. Maybe not our trial pieces, but in the future! I’ve seen some amazing wooden wall art pieces, and some other pieces that are off cuts and pieces of bark then stitched with thread to create a picture.

These images were my inspiration… Courtesy of Etsy


And this is what I managed to create. I wanted to keep the natural shade and tones of the oak, yet I wanted to create a little bit of colour. I used acrylic paint as a stain, but I think watercolour or even ink might be better as the colour is richer and it soaks into the wood rather than dries on top.







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