Procrastinations of a working man

 

Some interesting developments over the last couple of days, firstly I am now definitely going part time with my current job, I'm only dropping one working day but it is a start, after all canal locks produce big changes slowly.

 

Disjointedly moving on, a technical point now - which is probably pretty obvious is that I have discovered - via a mixture of curiously, research, and frustration that my technical pens will work absolutely perfectly with diluted inks.  This opens up so many new possibilities in terms of colours.  Since beginning experimenting with coloured inks and technical pens I have always used white to tint, change and lighten each colour, this is how can I say...limited and lends my work a certain look.  Thumbing through books, magazines, surfing work from other artists - new and old I marvel at the colour and effects being achieved, all the while wondering how I can keep my work evolving.  Now, with this modest inky development I would like to begin exploring colours in a much wider sense, saturation, luminosity and some pure colours.  I have begun to find the use of tinting restrictive and it made me question the limits of technical pens.  As you may know I am colour blind so the use of colour can be sketchy ground for me but now an area my work demands.  

 

It's a nice thought that when I started to use colour it was a revelation, it literally transformed my work and passion for what I do in an instant, at the time I thought I'd taken such a bold step (as I'd always resigned myself to a world of monochrome work) and in a sense it still is the case, I embraced my deficiencies in colour with the simple thought in mind that that it is part of me as much as my ideas or current aesthetic so be courageous and use it - after all it's my identity and nobody else has it.  Essentially this thought distils what an artist is, what an artist has and how an artist works.  An expression of identity through a chosen vehicle (but not limited to).

 

I'm never going to be a gentle colourist or understand/ see colour in the same way that a normally sighted person does - however, this doesn't mean I cannot make an interesting submission into the very human endeavour of art.  It also (for any artists who are lacking in confidence due to colour blindness) doesn't mean that your use of colour defaults to bad or inferior - just different.

 

Thank you as always for reading.

 

Updates coming at:

 

www.stuartbelton.com

Fits, starts and future plan

So, where to begin? It has been a long time time since my last post...a very long time. Happily I have not been at a total standstill practice wise...in fact I have been pretty busy over the last few months (although I did have a self inflicted period of inactivity of around six months due to prior commitments before this).

To anyone that has ever read my blog on a regular basis in the past will know that I often slip away into rambling tangents and I do not think this will buck the trend - and in fact as I am writing this I am beginning to feel better about being back exploring thoughts and ideas through writing so please expect more random cascades of written thought.

Anyway now that the awkward intro is out of the way and my tail is not between my legs any longer I will begin to grind off the rust and begin musing and recording my activities once again.  Lucky you!

I have been working on a fairly wide range of work and exploring new ideas - albeit along the same lines of enquiry and feel in the last few weeks my practice and ambition has grown in terms of life choices and scope of future works/ plans. Along with new works I have also begun to wrestle once again with some old foes that have been slow burning and inhabiting the inner recesses off my plan chest.  I like to do this as I think it is important to follow through with large projects that represent a huge investment in time - even if it is on an ad hoc basis stealing time to work on it around smaller, faster moving projects.

Now at the age of 42 I have been constantly considering and re-considering my life and career choices for quite sometime - perhaps being brutally honest not having the courage to follow my convictions through and leaving a place of relative financial security, however, now I find myself at the precipice of some huge life changes where my drawing is concerned and the position it currently resides in within my life, it may not happen just yet but I am being uncontrollably pulled towards a life less materialistic yet more fulfilling, I think I know that deep down these financial worries wouldn't be as severe as I frighten myself into thinking and realistically I would be working part time to earn a subsistence wage built around my studio practice.  I am lucky in the fact I have a very supportive wife who will almost certainly eventually push me to make the jump into committing - at the very least part time into making drawings and carving another career (one thing is that I do not consider this so much and coldly acareer but more as a life choice), I guess my main problem in trying to accomplish this is total and utter lack of network/ contacts and friends within the artworld - and the fairly daunting thought that I do not have the faintest idea how to develop this? Social media I guess is an obvious one but how does one go about changing a few clicks into into tangible contacts? I really have not got a clue? Any advice on the off chance someone gets this far in the post would be greatly appreciated.

Mid life crisis...I don't think so...maybe...who knows?  Who cares?  One thing I do know is I think I owe it to myself to try and integrate my work into my working (and wider) life I am always brimming with ideas but all too often they die in a sketchbook, strangled by crushing lack of time. More than a mid life crisis I feel I have earned the chance to see what happens...so watch this space.

I have toyed with the idea of starting to use oil paint as well as drawing with ink to expand the aesthetic scope of my work. I am in the final stages of completing a random commission for a skateboard collector who wanted a piece of my work but something that could hang with his other boards - totally out of my remit but I have hugely enjoyed doing it, this has been painted and I think it has whet my appetite to explore other mediums and substrates.

Images will follow in the next couple of days of the work I have been producing in the last couple of months.

As has always been the case thank you for reading and whatever you do keep working.

 

Sketchbook musing 11/05/2017

Sketchbooks – beware!! A place where ideas can die.  A brainstorm on the brainstorm device.

I as many artists do hold sketchbooks in an almost sacred high regard. They are intimately personal, show workings, ideas – good and bad, notes and miscellany…some so personal that they are out of bounds to all viewers other than to the hand that created them.

So inestimably useful in the genesis of new ideas and pushing existing ones – and entire practices on, a sketchbook is an incredibly powerful tool – in my opinion even more so as an essentially ancient device in a world which is becoming evermore electronic and technologically advanced.

But beware! A sketchbook to an avid user can also be where ideas are stored safely away- only to be hidden by the proceeding page and another slightly different idea laid down. As a melting point type of artist who works instinctively and intuitively every single one of these drawings subliminally inform all future works but for real focussed work I think one must be careful not to leave these drawings in the vaults of history and to eternal redundancy.

Quite often I work in an essentially spontaneous manner – cultivating ideas and stealing time to do so as and when I can during my working day, this results in a sometimes fragmented and fractured mass of drawings accumulating that I try to look through as often as possible so as to glean as many of the developments relevant to my work at the time as I can. Sometimes this trawling helps and sometimes I have to look at the problem on the page before with fresh eyes but the sketchbook is an invaluable and reassuring resource that underpins my practice.

No matter what type of art (or anything for that matter) you indulge in I can guarantee the use – even light use of a sketchbook will inform, develop – and enrich whatever is you are trying to achieve, they can be the most brutal advocates of a quick creative death for any idea tested on the exposed page but also hold the strange power of resurrection to sometimes doomed ideas from many moons before.

In short, if you haven’t already – get sketching!

Thank you as always for reading

3rd May 2017

So things have been very busy recently in the Belton studio.  Whilst it has been business as usual in regards to working as intensely as my working life permits me I have also put on my first solo exhibition.  It is currently being held at The Snug bar and café in Leigh on sea, Essex (to be taken down on Friday) so if you’re in the area please pop in and see what I’m all about.

The private view was held on Friday 28th and I have to say I could not believe how many people came (I think it was around 70), I was blown away – even more so to then sell eight works that night.

I absolutely loved organising, hanging and having my work displayed for all to see (as opposed to being stored away in a plan chest in my studio), it also taught me an awful lot about exhibiting my work.  The relationship between the frame and the work itself – how they interact together, how the framing can change the appearance of the drawing.  lessons learnt and experienced gained, whilst I am very happy with how things looked I will also do things differently next time round.  another interesting thing I noticed is that when hanging the drawings (21 in total) thy were grouped, re-grouped and shuffled again on the floor to attain a sense of flow to the exhibition and in that I noticed how some work is naturally better grouped with others and the common themes running through my practice – it almost stated the obvious visually but helped me to see in an almost flow chart state the differences in certain elements of what I do – this I loved.

I felt confident about what I have done and found myself able to fluently talk to people about what I do, how they see it and the associations people were making – please do not mistake this for a boast, it is simply that I usually work in solitude so this is all very new to me and I am pleased with how natural it all felt.  I guess I must of underestimated just how much I think about what I do.

This experience has enlivened an already raging passion for what I do and am feeling the starvation of an artist exploding with ideas waiting to be devoured.

Thank you as always for reading.

27th April 2017

As is usual these days my time has been incredibly stretched by pretty much every element of my life.  My day job has been ridiculous and home life (happily) more demanding than ever – throw into the mix feverish activity with every spare second in the studio preparing for a modest local exhibition.

 

Said exhibituon is now basically upon us (details below) and I’ve been beavering away with arrangements and framing and the other bits and pieces required. I’ve love it.  Please feel free to pop in if you are local (or not) and take in some drawings and maybe a canapé or two.

The evening starts at 17:00 (until 23:00) at:

The Snug bar and cafe

96 Leigh Road

Leigh on Sea

Essex

SS9 1BU

Apologies for the brevity of this post, an in depth update coming soon.