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

20th February 2017

I have been working as hard as I possibly can and I have felt my work taking on the desire for a genuine change in direction, a fairly subtle change, not a radical change in aesthetic but definitely a solid development.

My skeletal drawing process hasn’t changed really but the colours and the way I apply them has – and is changing. This for me is an incredibly exciting time in my practice because as some of you might know I am colour blind (not totally) and had always pretty much ruled myself out of the use of colour in my work.

A probably around a year ago I begun to use colour thinking I will use very bright colour’s that I understand and almost blast my way through the problem of not seeing subtle colour’s as most others do. This worked up to a point, then slowly I began to feel the restrictions coupled with the natural urge to progress. I tried ignoring this for a while but before long I knew change had to be instigated.

Fast forward to now and that change is in its
supernova – it is almost complete in the fact that my colour methods have changed so much.

During my degree I made sure I knew my basic colour theory as a well drilled soldier does his rifle. This knowledge over time has eroded so
I set about relearning what I had forgotten. Just reading about this stuff again helped immeasurably and I realised quite happily that I only needed the smallest of prompts to remember what I was recapping. (Incidentally I learnt my colour so well whilst studying to try to offset my disadvantages).

What I am trying to do now is use colours in a more sophisticated manner and not just bludgeon them into a drawing. Also due to different pens/ inks I am able to overlay colours now which has opened a very exciting set of possibilities. Dare I say maybe one day some paintings might come from this. I can’t believe just how much the colour aspect has become important now.

Thank you as always for reading.

 

So, it has been almost a couple of months since my last post – a shocking lapse in blog related productivity.  However, it has not been because of my natural inclination to procrastinate about even making a cup of tea – it has been because I have been working furiously on drawings.

It has now been a good couple of months since I moved into the my studio and I now really feel like it is a second home, I have my processes in place and have established a history (albeit a very short one) with the place.  I love it.  I have also realised I am naturally slipping into a nice momentum with my drawing practice.

 

I have found that working only on one large drawing as I had been previously (and I use large in the loosest of terms) to be massively counterproductive, slogging away at one piece can lead to a very stale existence so I now have several on the go at all times, some are larger and some are smaller.  The smaller drawings provide the lubricant for the larger, more time consuming pieces, they keep things fresh and provide a buffer for specific drawing burnout.

This approach allows me to look at each piece with a fresh pair of eyes, a reinvigorated spirit and also allows all of the other pieces to subtly influence the others being developed around it.  Balance is key here.  Some of the drawings are fast and take no more than half an hour or so, some take months so breaking things up like this works very well for me.

Here's a couple of weird and abstract motivational springboards I use sometimes:

  • a line from a Beastie Boys song “…all you spazes and you freaks – go and do your thing because you’re unique…”

I sometimes think about that one line and it helps me to remember that doing what you do – no matter what anybody says about it is what you should do – and don’t care what anyone thinks.  Stellar advice and so true.

  • A scene from from the film version of the incredible Phantom of the opera in which the singers and dancers are all busying themselves practicing lines, warmer voices up and rehearsing.  I find this very exciting as they are all trying to hone their respective crafts and that really resonates with me.  Romantic fool?  Yes.  Does it have relevance in a pressurised modern world – definitely.

Both of these things will no doubt make anyone charitable enough to be reading this blog entry cringe – but it really does help me out, and anything – in my experience at least that can help production/ motivation/ spirit/ enthusiasm is an invaluable tool in my book.

Thank you as always for reading and I promise to be back more regularly from now on.