The Map Room…

glasgow1
Glasgow

inevitably it’s becoming a tad irritating being confined to barracks even if, as most of us are, artists are quite solitary.  So time to scrub about in the corners of projects forgotten or abandoned in some way.  So it is with the Rough Cartography.  An explanation (of sorts) for this one can be found here.  I’ve gathered the lot (well all those I bothered to take photos of) together in one place, fiddled with them digitally (who’d have imagined back in the 1970’s any of that malarkey would be possible) prepping them for a – yes a publication (something else that seemed damned difficult as well as expensive back then.

lands end

So The Map Room is in production now with a publication date set for early summer…betcha can’t wait!

Stroll on…

niceday

and what a grand day to be doing so…hard to believe it’s still early February.  But we (being my pal Simon and myself) got stuck into the latest instalment of the seemingly endless task of visiting every place listed in the various District guides for the county of Leicestershire.  As it happens we haven’t yet completed Melton but a new year gets us out into Harborough (we polished off Charnwood some time back and I did NWLeics years ago).  The point of the exercise for me is to assemble a collection of small (40 x 50 cms.) paintings each representing, albeit very abstractly, every location visited.  For Simon it’s the photographs themselves and, as I’ve said here before, if you want top quality images his blog is where you should head off to!

Langtons

The paintings are invariably derived, very loosely, from crude collages of images taken on the journey.  So here we have one such…using two snaps made in Thorpe Langton, one of the Langton’s (there are five in all) in the Welland Valley.  Actually the Harborough project is a rather tricky blighter…the previous three guides elided the places on the map contained within the guide and the ‘biogs’ of places therein.  But this one doesn’t – some places are on the map but not discussed and vice versa.  What to do? choose one or the other or do the lot?  A question that won’t need resolution until I get around to the paintings stage and that will be a ways off as Charnwood still has 18 canvases awaiting completion whilst Melton still hasn’t got its full set of collages.

Meanwhile other picture making continues apace…another canvas from a newer series that has a putative title to be announced here soon…  This one is The Approach, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 55 cms.

The Approach.JPG

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…