2017 is so over!

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2017 IS SO OVER!!!!!

Roll on 2018.  I’ve been working on a large piece for the exhibition next year. Taking inspiration from: the Lover’s tarot card, landscape photographs from Albert Park in Middlesbrough, and the incident of the brutal swan murder at the park this year; I am painting Morbid and myself standing over the body of the deceased swan, with a resurrected angelic swan behind us. Here are some photos of the work in progress.

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In my last blog entry, I wrote about artist and entrepreneur Ann Rea, who aggressively insists that if you are not making money off your art, you are a hobbyist. I watched her video and discovered she makes landscape paintings of wine vineyards for the affluent in California; making a book of the process and having a wine-filled party for the display of the final painting. Good for her, but this does not resonate with me. Here’s the video: Ann Rea doing her schmoozy thing. 

If you are interested in learning how to promote yourself as an artist, I would recommend Brainard Carey instead.  While Ann Rea is pretentious and overly commercial, Carey discusses the variety of artists that actually exist. He acknowledges that most artists usually require a second job and that’s OK- be proud of that day job which supports you as an artist.  He suggests that there are two models. The first is to have a day job and make art because you want to and need to. You may not even exhibit regularly or make any money off the art. The second is about meeting people, making the right connections and networking. I think I am mainly in the first model, but building bridges connecting me to the second model.

His book (see below) is filled with interviews, especially from artists. He starts off with an interview with Robert Storr who dishes the real deal about art critics. Storr recommends critic Christian Viveros-Faune and I must agree- he is fabulous!  cviverosfaune on instagram

Here is a link to Brainard Carey’s website: Professional Tools for Artists

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I am starting two sketchbooks dedicated to butoh, an avant-garde dance form that started in Japan during the late 50s and 60s. The sketchbooks feature photos from historical and contemporary butoh dancers and will be figurative studies in pen and ink, graphite and watercolour pencil. This is just for me and my shadow!

If you would like to read more about butoh, here is a good article from The Japan Times:  ‘Butoh’: the dance of death and disease

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butoh sketchbook covers
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Tatsumi Hijikata, the co-founder of butoh

Other discoveries- I found some inspiration in the form of a podcast by Michael Meade called Living Myth!

Here is a blurb from their website:

Living Myth reveals the world, despite all its troubles, to be a place of deep imagination and ongoing creation.

‘Myth offers a living library of narratives and symbols that are ancient and immediate at the same time. Thus myth is not a thing of the past but a vital and creative resource for understanding the current struggles of life. When the world around us makes less and less sense, myth can make great sense and help reveal the deeper significance of both inner and outer events.’

Listen here, feel better: Living Myth Podcast

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Parmo cat says 2018 might be another rough year globally, so be sure to nurture your soul and take correct action to create social and environmental justice!
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Who doesn’t love a messy studio?

Wishing all of you Happy Holidays!

Yes, I will say Happy Holidays because I don’t assume that everyone celebrates Christmas and I don’t feel threatened by the use of ‘Happy Holidays!’ as there are many holidays in many cultures this time of the year.

There is no war on Christmas, Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it.

Also- COOL YULE everybody!

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