I listened to all the podcast episodes of How To Fail with Elizabeth Day and got me thinking about which failures in life led me down different pathways. I was cleaning out my plan chest, and then I could see all my failed attempts to get to an idea that has led me on to final pieces. I know people will argue and say these are sketches and part of the process, which they are and they are necessary. However, a lot of them don't work and just are crap and in my eyes are failures.
Thinking about all these attempts tied in with a quote I posted on my Instagram this week from Donald Judd. "you have to make new art all the time because it has to be the individuals own art. There's no way to revive old forms or to rework old forms because the artist is never going to understand them well enough to do first-rate work. So, if you want to rework Matisse, you'll just be a bad Matisse, that's all. There's nothing to be gained by that. So, in order to do work comparable to Matisse, for example, you have to invent as much as Matisse did".
I wouldn't be painting tree shadows if I hadn't experimented with landscape painting, still life, 1000's of flower paintings etc. That's why copying will continue to baffle when you copy you are just coming in on someone else's chapter of their life, I don't understand why you would do that, and call yourself an artist, art is about your artistic journey. My friend recently described my tree shadow paintings as grumpy, and I get that because I had been going to therapy for a while and I was really grumpy and that subconsciously fed into my work. There is more to explore around this subject but for now, these are my views.
i. Reading this book. I enjoy Ryan Holiday books a lot.
ii. If you want to watch a beautiful heartfelt film watch this.
iii. Grace Alexander sent me some of her wild carrot seeds she has collected. I am transforming the patch in front of the studio into a wildflower meadow, as this hot summer has nearly killed all my Molina off. And as wild carrot have tap roots they should have a better chance!
iv. Saturday spent the day at the beech. I go to South Beach in Dorset, as it is nice a quiet and has a great little beach shack that sells turmeric vegetable patties.
v. Started searching for more Donald Judd quotes, he really has some brilliant ones.
Picture: Studio Detail by Remco Merbis