Monday 18 October 2010


Tuesday afternoon I organize the untutored life painting and drawing class, I did the BDS bookkeeping instead of painting. I teach Tuesday evening, I sort out the models and general BDS stuff through the week while Graham gets the last people paid up and on to the course for the weekend. I run the untutored class Wednesday evening, have a full on drawing school day with G Thursday then teach the evening class again as the tutor has had to cancel this week. Clear up after the class Thursday evening and get the school ready for the portrait with oils course, leave at 10ish ...... it's all ready, beautiful, waiting in suspense for 14 eager students. Get home to message to say the tutor has horrific ear infection and cannot come tomorrow. Have small bottle of beer and some cheese biscuits and sit and look at prices of the units at paintworks, wonder if we could make back some of the money we have put in if we sell now. Go to bed.

Wake up. Call all the students and let them down.

Go for walk with friends at 9am in ashton court somewhat cheered up and although supposed to be doing my accounts today go home again and put up shelf in cupboard. Mope about a bit after initial flurry, feel the cold I have been battling all week may have taken hold. Look up our holiday, my painting trip, for next year and get lost in dreaming of France. Supposed to be going to private view but can hardly be bothered to cook let alone talk to anyone, Graham and I scrabble something together to eat and have evening off.

Saturday, wake up stressed again, BDS seems to have taken over my identity and need to regain some of my own ground. Discuss putting up boundaries, taking on less to do with the school but at present there are just no solutions. Go to work in a bit of a mood, as I have to work at the weekend when I am feeling tired and ill. The sun is shining and we should be walking with Molly.

Drive to work thinking about France and painting and what I would like to be doing today instead. Drive past a flower shop. Swing left and stop the van. Walk back in the morning sun to the shop. It’s a posh flower shop, one I think B would like. Plenty of English flowers, not millions of flowers but distinctive, sophisticated and interesting flowers. Colours of purple, lime green, reds, pinks, whites backed with foliage of grey greens and light purple tints.

A lovely girl tries to help, I explain I am choosing some to draw and may be ages. We discuss colour and I pick out ones that are sculptural, easy to draw, nothing too complicated or with too many petals. She offers to wrap them in a move and brown paper, I don’t need them wrapped but I take the paper anyway as its such a lovely colour. I don’t even go into my space, just work amongst the forest of easels, I clear a small space of wall and feel incredibly excited, for today it’s my choice. The jobs can stay next door, sometimes it’s a need rather than a want.

Start drawing. Realize a few things quite quickly
- Flowers are incredibly sexy
- If you make a drawing of a person sexy then it’s just cheep, sluttish. Flowers are outrageous.
- I need to invest in myself
- I can not take anything else on to do with BDS
- I have to be strong to improve myself in my own way, find my own direction. Even if it narrows my chances
- I have to give myself the time to explore to reap the benefits in the future, not to work to full fill orders but to work to make work
- Instead of offering the space for residencies to other artists next summer I should take the time myself, give some back to myself
- I keep getting confused between colour and form
- I know nothing about flowers
- Flowers are really tricky to draw

So I struggle away the day in a thoroughly enjoyable way, take molly out at lunchtime, have a bacon sandwich as if I am hung over but I drank nothing last night, incredibly tired and disorientated. I go to Deb’s for the West Bristol Arts Trail to drop of some leaflets that we should have done last night. Its nice to see people but I talk, not making much sense, as if discussing plans not yet finalized. I tell an artist there that he needs to give himself more time to work, a month at least to push the paintings. I buy one as if to reiterate my comments, I think I was speaking to myself.

To the top of Bristol and a walk with G in the strong, just before dusk sun. We see the last rays peak below black clouds onto flat downs, molly plays with her orange ball.

Cambridge Arms. 2 pints of Pride. I about flowers and in doing so realise the ones I have been drawing today are like my Vessel sculptures and it’s as if I have gone full circle. It makes sense why I am attracted to flowers. It would be fine if it didn’t but I like it that it does.

Graphite on paper, one
Roughly 42cms high x 59cms wide

Graphite on paper, two
Roughly 59cms high x 42 cms wide

'Coming from two places'
Oil on Primed Paper
65cms high x 50cms wide

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