I started the new project thinking about Presence.. as being present.. but actually what I am thinking about..gloomily.. is absence.  I am heading south to do a course for work on Sunday which will wipe out all of January and half February.  I am glad to be doing the course, it will make life easier in the future, but I just hate leaving home and missing time in college. 

We went for a walk on Aberlady Bay yesterday and wrote messages in the sand and watched how quickly our messages, and our footsteps were washed away. 

It is funny how these briefs evolve of their own volition.  Leaving home is something I find more and more difficult, I don’t want to exist as a part time shadow, floating in and out unreliably, with no-one knowing where I am or when I’ll next be around.  So probably, given what the next month holds for me, I will be looking at Absence as the major theme.

Any suggestions of other artists working in this area will be welcomed.


Marking Time – Final Piece

The end of marking time this week.  I’m really sorry as it has been a good experience, but I will always be able to think differently about the waiting process in future..when I remember.. that it is an opportunity to use the time rather than to waste it.  Kettles boiling, miles passing, paint drying etc.


The final piece consists of my 6 paintings hanging in sequence on a clothes rail. 

For me they induce a sense of calm and pleasure because thats what they were when I made them, moments of concentrated calm, now captured and stored in my head, there to reflect back on.  I like the metallic clothes rail, a storage vessel ready to be easily wheeled out at my convenience.  The other aspect that has worked well is the use of tracing paper as a medium, as the paintings look the same from either side.  If I look at an image of the back of a head and then turn it over I expect to see the front or the face.. but with tracing paper the image is always of the back giving a sense of elusiveness.

Watching paint dry

With all this watching, and then watching the watching going on my tutor pointed out that I being present in it was central to the process.    And it occurred to me that like all hurricanes which have an eye of calm and stillness at the centre despite the murderous mayhem all around it, my project has been about having periods of quiet reflection as interruptions to my normal doings and to-ings and fro-ings.  So painting my eye which is has been crucial to the whole project but yet does not appear in any of the paintings became imperative.. even tho it is not in the final piece as it does not fit.