Friday 25 February 2011

The Artist Is Also A Person. Extraordinary Revelation for a look at some of my paintings for a look at the best known of my images, Jesus on the Tube for the A Graceful Death exhibition, paintings from the end of life

A Graceful Death exhibition 

ends today Friday 25 February

St Nicholas Church, Burnage, Manchester, M19 1PL
Closing Night Party 7-9pm

You are all very welcome

The Artist Is Also A Person.  And Therefore Rather Mundane Most Of The Time

I am sitting in between the exhibition starting in Manchester, and the exhibition closing in Manchester, and wondering that if I am not very busy, a) do I exist and b) am I worth anything?

After I paint something, I don't quite know what to do next.  So I put on an exhibition, get really busy, feel alive, and have all the usual panic about Will The Public Understand Me.  Then the Opening Night begins, and someone somewhere usually likes something; I get my fancy clothes on and apply the makeup (which I love.  Got some fabulous twinkly green eyeshadow) and make sure I have my heels on so I am over 6' tall, and play the part.  I love meeting people at these openings.  It is a tough way to get feedback, because people will tell me what they think.  However, if I sit alone in my studio with my paintings then I can fool myself that they are fine and that I don't need to worry about silly things like progress.  

If the painting goes to a client then I send a photo of the finished work first via email to check if it is OK.  Most of the time it is, and sometimes it is not.  By the time it gets delivered to the person who commissioned it, it has been tweaked into perfection.  Or thereabouts.  

Developing and adding to the A Graceful Death exhibition takes much time and energy.  Painting commissions, portraits or angels or still lifes or whatever it is that I am asked to do, takes time.  Organising talks to schools and other bodies takes time and so you can see, the Artist is a Busy Bee.  There is also the family side of life, which is like running a whole separate business alongside the art, except that it takes priority.  I have three large independant kiddies who need lots of attention and time, whose lives are frantically busy and worthwhile and immediate and falling apart and very exciting and they need whatever they need now or they will die...and can they have some money please because they are impoverished and only have enough to buy more beer and go to the cinema and night club and it's important.  I also have a nice house that needs some vague attentions from time to time (washing, shopping, tidying, hoovering, doors putting back on) so I am on the go and happy most of the time, and much of the time longing for a day off.
Well blow me down if I don't have a day off right now. 
I have gone away into hiding from Monday night till Friday morning.  I am at a secret address and though most people who need to know, know where I am, I have the feeling that I am truly Not Available, and it is good.  I have slept, I have bathed.  I have eaten and I have texted people.  I have gazed into space and I have tried to read my book on Plato only to find that I can't really be bothered.  This is the kind of thing I tell my busy friends to do if they are overwhelmed, and now I am doing it.  It is not that easy, I arrived here and immediately wanted to check my emails, and phone people and write things up and plan extraordinary projects, which was all rather useless because I needed to stop.  And I was becoming rather inefficient anyway, due to tiredness.
Now it is Friday morning.  I am like the rest of the human race.  I needed time off and had to be forced to have it.  I was in danger of wittering myself into a silly number of ridiculous projects all of my own making, simply to keep busy.  Not being busy had become a problem that meant that I probably didn't exist.  Well tosh to all that.  I am grateful to have been allowed this down time in someone elses house, in someone elses space.  I am just as brilliant as I was before I arrived, only now I am clean and fresh and rested and normal.  And I will be very busy again soon, but I can charge at all my Stuff that I am doing, with a fresh gleam in my eye and a louder and more sane cry of The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Artists (aaaahhh-ha -ha-aaaah).

I am just about to drive back up to Manchester to Rev Rachel Mann's, for the last day of the A Graceful Death exhibition.  We have the Closing Night Party tonight, from 7-9pm and I need to be present and sane and normal.  Which I am now.  Dribble.

So what I say now is Bring It On.  I am rested and ready.  Life is too short to drive oneself into the ground being tired and madly busy with no real plans anymore except to keep going in case you fizzle out in a little puddle of nothingness.  I have had my tea, I have had my sandwich, I have much to do.  In a careful, measured and efficient way.  I have a long drive to Manchester now, and a long drive back with all the paintings tomorrow.  Via Oxford where I collect the 14 Year Old Son who is staying with cousins there.  Someone told me that one of his cousins has given him a Mohecan haircut.  Oh.  Glad I am rested so I can say the right things when I see it.  

1 comment:

  1. Glad you have had a good break. I was thinking recently about when I was convalescing from my op at yours and just couldn't do much at all. It was uncomfortable but that space really gave me time to think. It is difficult to find that kind of space in the everyday buzz but it can be very enriching. Who knows what you will create next week?

    As for the mohican - it'll grow out very fast. Your pink hair did. ; -)