Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice Everybody!

It’s been a mixed day for me; a leak in the bathroom has been stressing me out, along with trying to finish work for the upcoming show (opens July 6th @ Python Gallery).

But the solstice didn’t let me down, as the fabulous writer/editor Kate Garrett-Nield contacted me about using one of my ‘Death Out and About’ paintings on the cover of her newest chapbook ‘Land and Sea and Turning’, which will be published by CWP (Cringe-Worthy Poets) Collective Press in the States!

This really made my f***ing day because I was feeling down in the dumps about the bathroom leak and struggling with the art;  having negative thoughts about it, feeling like no one cares and that I will die penniless and alone (because I will probably outlive Morbid).

Then Kate contacted me and it was a reminder that people do care and that if we stick together, we can thrive.

Here is Kate’s website: Kate Garrett Writes

Here is Cringe-Worthy Poets site: Cringe Worthy Poets Collective Press

 

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Postcards from the Edge

I made some postcards for the upcoming show in July. They feature some of the imagery from the collage work I did for some of the canvases. This collage features letters that Morbid and I wrote to each other from 2008-2010, drawings, photographs and film magazine images/text from the 1970s.

Each postcard is different and has an eye formed out of a gold yarn with mini sequins. This could be symbolic of the golden thread that embraces the other and welcomes the vision that acceptance of the other will bring.

These will be for sale at the show for £3 each.

We are also working on a zine which will be available throughout the exhibition.

Exciting times!

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Podcasts: What am I listening to?

Art as Experience: Podcasts

Art as Experience podcast

‘Art as Experience is an hour-long radio show dedicated to looking at art.   Tom Xenakis and Sheila Blake share their experiences with what they’ve been looking at and thinking about – aiming to help listeners to create in their soul, in their experience, their own work of art.’

 

STANCE PODCAST

Stance podcast 

‘Stance Podcast is an independent arts, culture and current affairs podcast exploring diverse, global perspectives. Presented as a transatlantic conversation between broadcasters, Chrystal Genesis in London and Heta Fell in San Francisco, Stance aims to inform, entertain and inspire action. A new episode is released on the 1st of every month.’

 

Lovett or Leave It podcast

‘Jon Lovett, former Obama speechwriter and co-host of Pod Save America, is joined by comedians, actors, journalists, and many, many renowned Friends of the Pod for a roundup of the week’s top news. Rants! Games! Bad impressions! Nuanced discussion! Recorded in front of a live audience.’

 

 

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About Race podcast

‘From the author behind the bestselling Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, comes a podcast that takes the conversation a step further. Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism, About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge looks at the recent history that lead to the politics of today.’

 

 

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Living Myth podcast

‘Mosaic’s Living Myth project seeks to bring the enlightening, transforming and healing power of mythic imagination to a world facing global problems that include both radical changes in nature and massive disruptions of culture. Given the scope and complexity of the problems, there can be no single idea, specific political movement or patented belief system that can save us. Rather, there is a growing need for diverse ideas, inspiring narratives and life-saving practices.’

 

 

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Visionary Activist Show podcast

‘Dedicated to “anything we need to know to have a democracy”: Democratic Animism, Pragmatic Mysticism, Applied Divination, Renaissance of Reverent Ingenuity. Hosted by Caroline Casey. Her guests are allies contributing to a culture of reverent ingenuity. Critique and Solution.’

 

TED Talks Daily

Ted Talks Daily podcast

‘Want TED Talks on the go? Every weekday, this feed brings you our latest talks in audio format. Hear thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between — given by the world’s leading thinkers and doers.’

 

 

 

The Witch Wave

Witch Wave podcast

‘The Witch Wave is a podcast for bewitching conversation about magic, creativity, and culture. On each episode, host Pam Grossman speaks with a leading visionary about art and Craft.’

 

 

Agitpod Web (5)

Agitpod podcast

‘Journalists Owen Jones and Ellie Mae O’Hagan chat all things political as part of a new fortnightly podcast.’

Doodle for Doodle’s Sake

Did you know that the UK’s Creative Industries are now worth £84.1 billion per year to the UK economy?

Yeah, me neither.

Anyhow, the thing about doodling is that the only purpose is to play with lines, shapes and colours.

For me, there is nothing academic about it, it will not be mass produced or sold, it will not be used for self-promotion, though it could be used to promote doodling. And in this world where global capitalism is the patriarchal king, I find this a revolutionary practice. Plus, it eases my anxiety.

Even if some of these doodles could be used to decorate a product, I won’t do so.

Here are some of my favourites from this year.

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Some Paintings from the 1940s: Freaky Deaky Style

 

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Victor Brauner, Acolo, Encaustic and collage on paper on board
29 x 21 1/2 in. (panel, sight), 1949, Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection, 102.1991

 


 

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Ithell Colquhoun, GorgonOil on board, 22¾ x 22¾in. (57.8 x 57.8cm.), 1946, Private Collection

 


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Wifredo LamOil on canvas, 84 3/5 × 77 3/5 in, 215 × 197 cm,  1947, Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

 


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Roberto Matta, Octrui,  141 x 195 cm, 1947

 


1947 The Oneiroscopist

Edith Rimmington, The Oneiroscopist, Oil on canvas, 1947, The Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection of Dada and Surrealist Art in the Israel Museum.

 


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Kay SageUnicorns Came Down to the SeaOil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 28 1/4 inches (92.1 x 71.8cm), 1948

2018: The Year of the Journal and Healing with Art

This year I am connecting with my roots as an artist. Why do I make art? It’s not for a career, for money or for recognition. It’s for myself. For my own self-healing and personal expression which helps me cope with life.

I’ve been dabbling with some online courses and creating some journals to record the experiments.

Below are some pages from my ‘Healing with the Arts’ journal.

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The inner critic

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What are the obstacles and barriers that stand in my way?

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Spirit animal: the stag!

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The above exercises are from a  course on Coursera and called ‘Healing with the Arts’ from the University of Florida.

You can find a link to the course here-  About this course: Through art projects—including visual arts, dance, writing, and music—along with spiritual practices and guided imagery, Healing With the Arts gives you the tools to heal what you need to heal in your life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Coursera offers video lectures, readings and peer assessed assignments. It uses a combination of therapeutic expressive art modalities in a 6 week format. I keep extending my deadlines on this one so I can take my time with it- you have six months to complete this can switch sessions as needed.

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Another online course is from Udemy and is called ‘Arts Therapy- Arts Therapy for Self Healing’.

Here is the link: Art Therapy : Therapeutic Art and The Healing Process of Therapeutic Art For Self Expression and Self Healing

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This course has a plethora of activities and techniques to try out. It is presented in this animated format. I was a bit disappointed with this at first, but quickly grew to enjoy it and find it strangely hypnotic.

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Here’s my journal entry for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Truth be told I signed onto this course a year ago and have done about 25%- and that’s OK, there are no deadlines with this one, you go at your own rate.

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In conclusion, I will continue working on my Butoh dance journal in 2018. For me this is an exploration of the shadow and healing through pen and ink figurative studies using secondary source imagery; photos I find online of Butoh dancers.

You can read a telling blog article about healing and Butoh, click here: Butoh and My Right to Heal. 

Below- pages from Butoh visual journal

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I wish you all a creative 2018 with lots of health, healing and abundance.

 

 

 

 

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!