Thursday, 18 February 2016

Is it getting Calder in here?

I keep thinking I am on top of posting, and then I log back in and a week has flown by without me noticing. Time flies when you are having fun apparently, so I must be having the best time ever. Bah Humbug.

To make up for this lost week I have planned in an art weekend to try and refocus on what I am meant to be doing and to paint as I am getting withdrawal symptoms. I quite fancy doing something challenging although I am not sure in what form the challenge is going to take as yet - I presume either topic or size but I will decide on the day. I also want to try and get through some admin, make some more magnets and design some 'with compliments' slips as then I will feel more organised. Hmm, I might need to make it a long weekend.

That said, last week wasn't totally lost as I went to see an Alexander Calder exhibition at the Tate Modern on Friday. I have one of his mobiles in my bedroom (a copy obviously!) and have seen a few pieces of work before in Bilbao and New York so I was interested to see a devoted exhibition. I wasn't disappointed.

For starters I didn't realise he started out doing wire sculptures. Each sculpture is like a quick black and white line drawing brought to life in 3D.

The portraits in particular were my favourite, the fluidity and casualness of them was almost anti-sculpture. But then I guess this is what Calder is all about. He was obsessed with movement and how a sculpture doesn't need to be static. He went through a period of making mechanical sculptures moving either using motors or hand cranks - testimony to his training as an engineer. There was also a slightly bizarre section where he made a series of circus acts - acrobats, tightrope walkers, elephants etc. some of which moved. He made enough moving pieces that he put together his own Circus performance. I guess this was quite clever, some of the ideas were pretty ingenious but I must admit slightly lost on me.... a big kid playing with some toys and all that.

My absolute favourite section were the rooms containing his big, perfectly balanced mobiles. They are like sculptures doing yoga, slowly moving in the breeze. They are poised, focused, silent, ethereal, solid but light as a feather, precise, mathematical, fluid, natural, and so calming. I could just sit watching them gently rotate and meditate, brain in neutral, just enjoying some peace. (maybe that is where my week went - locked in the Tate). But seriously, they are just sublime.

There was another interesting section where simplified versions of the mobiles were placed in front of painted abstract backgrounds. Your very own moving painting. I like the idea of this - a moving abstraction - challenging the idea of painting as a static entity as well as sculpture. I feel like there is still a lot of scope within this concept - unexplored something or other - maybe for me? Who knows, but you have to salute the exhibition and the artist, that gets you thinking....

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Night Owl

I am working late tonight which I didn't really want to do - it is almost midnight. Having no option though, I am starting to remember why I like this time of day. No one has asked me to do anything, I haven't had any emails, the phone hasn't rung. The worst thing in the day is that the emails are mostly spam and the calls are mostly cold callers, so beyond a waste of time. Buying caller ID was one of the best things I have ever done. Walking to the phone is like having a holiday from my desk - check the number - 023515641547841635108510312....hmmmm - and hang up. I don't need insurance, I don't have a mortgage, I haven't had an accident in the last 453 years, I don't want to participate in a short survey, and I don't have PPI!

And this is why I don't normally start painting until 6pm - more like 8pm recently; Almost guaranteed, uninterrupted radio silence.


Waiting for renders to finish also means I can multi-task, I can write a blog post (tada!) I can update my art spreadsheet, I can prepare an invoice and wrap up a painting I need to post tomorrow. I am like Super Efficient Admin Shera - a step up from just plain old Shera, don'tcha know.... (honest).

So today, I don't want to be the early bird - I am more than happy to embrace the night owl.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

I remember you!

Hmm, might have let the blog slip a little there, but at least although it looks like not much art is happening, that is not exactly true.

4 paintings have been sold this year - well, 3 and a half, I am waiting to see the outcome of my latest commission - 4 new paintings have been painted and hopefully another one will be done this week. I have also sold some cards and finally finished making the last set to replenish my stock this weekend. I have also just entered the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and had an enquiry about paintings of Florence/Verona.

Pretty busy then! I am also slowly updating my high resolution stockpile of images by taking photographs of my paintings with my shiny new DSLR (well, new to when I painted some of these pictures). I am however, not looking forward to the mammoth task of re-uploading them all onto Fine Art America and Society 6, but maybe I can pay my brother to do that for me.

Matthew? :-P

So it feels as though my art brain has got itself back in gear, and about time too. Art brain - dress sense - temperament. I have missed you....