Total Art Soul - for artists

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Tags >> creativity

Generally speaking I am not intimidated by too many things, however I must admit that I have always been very cautious while swimming in the sea. I guess this is simply the result of growing up in South Africa and from time to time seeing the huge sharks which fishermen have landed from the shore and the rocky coastline. Somehow the thought of not being able to see ” what lies beneath” is a little unnerving. The added idea that there are predators such as the great white shark possibly swimming somewhere in the murky depths looking for its lunch never helped the matter.

Yesterday as I stood in my studio ready to start the next canvas, a 24? x 34? x 1.5?, I suddenly felt intimidated by this huge expense of white canvas which was ready to swallow up my creative ideas. It was not that I didn’t know what the commission would entail but it was simply the thought that I may get it wrong and that my client would be disappointed. Suddenly the canvas in front of me became a metaphor for “what lies beneath”.

I have talked to many artists about this fear of “great whites” and why it is that after executing many successful canvases, some artists still struggle with the first strokes of a new commission. Perhaps this feeling is the equivalent of the adrenaline rush which athletes experience before the sound of the starting pistol. It may well be that these feelings are essential and it is what pushes artists onto the creative edges of their style and into the evolution of their journey as artists..

After some procrastination and another cup of tea, I  finally I reached for the Vandyke brown, quickly mixed it into a nice watery consistency and then, cloth in hand, I applied the base coat which serve to render this “great white” harmless. Suddenly there it was, that rush of satisfaction as the white disappeared and from the surface of the canvas there began to appear the rudimentary shapes, ideas and serendipitous coincidences of line and movement.

As I turned off the lights and close the blinds on my studio last night,  I felt the satisfaction of what the anglers of my childhood memories must have felt when landing a big shark on the sun-drenched beaches of the Eastern Cape.

This morning when I lifted the blinds and turned on the lights, there it was, a great white on my easel, now a brown expense of shapes and lines ready to do my bidding. As I stood looking at the tame canvas before me, the words of Jonathan Truss, the artist who painted the amazing picture of the great White at the beginning of this blog, came flooding back to me. I had mentioned to him how I sometimes felt intimidated when starting at new canvas. He looked at me and with a lot of understanding but very little sympathy simply said this;

“just get painting Ed, just get painting”

With that sound advice, that is exactly what I am going to do. I am off to prepare and eat my shark and get this next commission done…..”creativity demands expression”.


Like Garlic to Salad

Posted by: bbrunophotography

Tagged in: work , thoughts , personal , life , insomnia , insanity , humor , designing , creativity , Creative , crazy dreams , caffeine , art


Today I have a confession to make. I am a sold-out, over-the-top nutcase, and I blame it all on art.

I should have known better than to edit images after 6 p.m. Like caffeine, the thrill of seeing a project come together tends to rev my engine and sends jolts of creativity roaring through my brain folds. I love the whole process a little too much, perhaps, and once that engine's rolling along, there's no turning off the brain switch.

So I fell into a deep sleep around 11:30, and dove immediately into the zaniest dream about beautiful textured backgrounds and wind-tossed fields of grass. For the next four hours, billowy sheets of pastel swirls were blowing and twirling just beyond my reach. After a long chase on a winding path through the forest, I wrestled a pile of them into submission, and with great delight, dropped them into my Spring Hues file, which was filed away in an oversized Mac that I was towing behind me on the trail.

When my eyelids flew open at 3:30 this morning, I knew the night was technically over for me, and a couple of earnest pillow-flips later (don't pretend that you never flip your pillow so the cool side's up), I officially gave up the fight.

Tuesday had arrived, and the coffeepot was calling my name. I'll feel the lack of sleep this afternoon, no doubt, but sometimes you just gotta roll with it. American Rennaissance sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens got it right: "What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do.

Theatre and Art combined

Posted by: Aitch


I have always been a slow worker, methodical and careful with whatever task I take on. Therefore my latest project has been some time coming, but I'm finally at the stage where I can start talking about it.

As I've been a member of a local amateur dramatic society for the past 20 years, and actively involved in the running of said society, I have often thought about holding an art exhibition at the theatre. However, I have never held one previously because I'm not sure the venue is right for an art exhibition as such. In September I began seriously re-thinking my idea. I needed a theme. I also needed a date to work towards, otherwise I would just keep on thinking the idea rather than getting on with it.

Whilst I was creating a treasury on Etsy, I suddenly thought "I wonder how many people in Hull, East Yorkshire are actually crafters on here". So I did a search for all the "Local Shops" and added each one to my list of favourite shops, also sending them a message to say I'd done so and how we should support each other. I got replies from most of them eventually, and bit by bit my idea has developed into a definite plan - although I have to admit it has been spurred on by another local event which I believe we will mutually benefit from. The church in Bilton, St. Peter's, is hosting a Christmas Tree Festival on the weekend of 4th & 5th December, and on Sunday 12th December. Bilton Amateur Dramatic Society have been invited to decorate a tree based on the theme of our organisation. I will be largely responsible for this, so I thought it was a good idea to hold a Christmas Craft Fair at our theatre on the same weekend - 4th & 5th December. We happen to have 6 tables under the stage area that are 6ft by 2ft trestle tables, which we will be hiring out to "Local" Etsy sellers. So far I have got at least 4 other artisans joining me and I am currently creating booking forms, conditions and posters etc.  I will update you as and when I get replies from everyone I have contacted, but for now I just thought I'd share my latest project as it will ensure I forge ahead with it! Also, I'm learning how the ideas pop up the more I plan it - I am hoping one or two exhibitors will do a demonstration of their work on the day, too.

Full details to follow Smile



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