End of another chapter…


Its been another longish gap since I posted here.  This time lengthened by the rare occurrence in my life nowadays…a virtually full week at work.  For last week I was mostly at BGU in Lincoln assisting our final cohort in mounting their degree exhibition – represented above by Beckey Shudell’s ‘Luck of the Draw’.  As this was our last cohort (for inexplicable reasons the powers that be have shut the Visual Arts pathway) it means my time as a Visiting Tutor there comes to a close.  So ends another, highly enjoyable, chapter in my career – if you can call my bewildering range of employments a career -and as above its time to roll the dice again and see what comes up…as the one thing I’m sure about is that I don’t intend taking permanently to my slippers just yet!




If only I had time for it! But it’s busy busy this week…and tonight is probably the only moment to reflect.  Our degree show at BGU opens this coming Friday (22nd May) at 5:30pm.  If any of you happen to be anywhere near Lincoln (a long shot for quite a few of my occasional readers I know!) please drop by and say hello.  So at the moment my work is taking a back seat…on a long bus!  Though I was up at 5:50am today doing a bit of work on the Winter Cycle before I set off on my 52 mile journey!  But I love this part of the art academic cycle…goodness knows what I’ll do when I’m finally pensioned off from it…

I wish…

A few days back my good friend Paul (one of the best observational draughtsmen I know) asked me if I was ok…off the back of his observation that I hadn’t posted anything in a week or two.  It’s an interesting aspect of our online world now that such a question might occur to one of us…but I too worry if one or another of those people I know (and not just those close to me but relatively casual acquaintances) doesn’t post in a while.  It was good of him to think of me and, on this occasion, it was simply dilatory of me combined with other things on my agenda.

169 copy
Ragbag No.169 ‘In the nature’

But its got me to thinking about what I do and why and how much time I have to do it.

I spend a fair bit of it doodling nowadays…much of it on my iPad.  I’ve elevated (only in my own head) this activity into a project…called Ragbags and am busy turning them into a ‘proper’ art project…at least maybe that if I can persuade anyone to give an airing in an environment we might call an ‘artspace’ somewhere down the line.  I also have an opportunity to teach again (and wish I’d spent more of my time doing it) and helping students realise their creative potential.

sam scorer JPG

This is a show thats coming up in a few days time – if you can come and take a look – and I’m so happy to be part of the team that will help make it happen.  That too seems a real privilege to be a part of…and even more remarkably I’m paid to do  it – something a lot of my colleagues in HE seem to forget nowadays it seems (lecturers moaning and that…to paraphrase Ricky Gervais).  But most of all nowadays when I’m not making work, consuming other people’s creativity, teaching and so on, I find myself wishing…

I had more time to experiment with my art in an act of real discovery…I ‘m pleased to know two guys who have come to their creative potential later in life (they know who they are) and are making the most of the opportunity…

I had the balls to put my creative vision ‘out there’ in a really honest way without regard to the way that my professional colleagues might view it rather than hedging it round with some half assed sense of my professional status (that is 99% delusional anyway)…

More time to push myself harder to learn some new skills, even perhaps to tap into a talent, to make something really worthwhile like my colleague F who released his first album at age 72 last week…

maybe to do it alongside my wife whose latent talent for the bass now sits alongside my son’s talent on percussion and if only we could harness it alongside some (hitherto undiscovered) ability of my own we might make sweet music!

and a thousand other things that, as I hurtle towards my end point (ok hopefully still a bit of a way off!) I think if only I had more time…

Double Century, organisation and arrangements

The Turnaround
The Turnaround, Oil on Canvas, 8 x 10″, 2004

It’s hard to believe that this blog (set up two summers back, on return from Gotland, Sweden) has now reached 200 postings…so many words and a good deal of images have entered the digital sphere, signifying what I’ve really no idea!  Today for example I’m musing on the organisational and arrangements side of being an artist.  To outsiders I imagine it seems both quite exciting and exotic on the one hand and (probably) all rather easy (or at the least relaxed) on the other.  Today is a kind of antidote to all that.  First off I have to complete packing of the fotografische werk exhibition and make arrangements for freighting it to Porto.  I need to chase up Friday’s session at BG (as I’ve become impromptu Module Leader) and get my text off to Lakeside.  Thats things that have to be done, there are plenty of others I could be doing!.  But then its off to the studio…not to contemplate the work in progress at leisure…but rather to photograph, pack and store the Lakeside show (ready for delivery in a couple weeks time) and finish painting the floor ahead of the Open Studios event this Saturday.  I’m not complaining – I love doing all this stuff and sometimes the basic chores are actually amongst the best things to do.  But it isn’t quite the image that I imagine a lot of people have of the ‘life of the artist’.

Some things tickle me – I mailed a contributor to ‘Painting Too’ (the show that follows ‘The Discipline Of Painting’) and suggested that the ‘idea’ behind the show was to show work more informal, looser in conception etc. as a counterpoint…and he replied that he had no problem with indisciplined work!  Of course that wasn’t what I meant exactly…but it amused me.  And reminded me of a time (many years back) when I chaired a national student art competition.  A leading UK art critic reviewed our exhibition and said “It was sharp, critical and tightly organised, perhaps too much so” – I felt compelled to write a riposte…”did you want it fuzzy, uncritical and badly organised, because any bloody fool could do that!”.

What has the image above to do with any of this?  Very little really though transport arrangements seem to chime with a picture entitled ‘The Turnaround’ and its also my contribution to ‘Painting Too’ in the ‘control group’.


Neath lowering grey cloud along the beach at Dunwich, Suffolk at the weekend thinking about our impending Open Studios at Harrington Mill and also my participation in the Conjunction Biennial’s Soup Kitchen in November. Alongside this I have modules to revisit for the second semester at Bishop Grosseteste University College.  I find these trips away very enervating though they take one away from the studio for a few days.  Walking of course is a great way to sort one’s thoughts and ideas…look at Rebecca Solnit’s fabulous Wanderlust for ample confirmation of that.  But it also encourages a sense of well being that, as one gets older, is hard to find with any other activities and exercises.  So no apologies for posting this rather than a painting from the weekend past!