Thursday, 24 October 2013

Steppenwolf don't ask me which album ("born to be wild" wasn't on it)

It was International Poetry Day the other day; progress I suppose but if you saw what I had to say about annual days that are devoted to a concept that should theoretically apply all the year around - like for example rights and esteem for those in possession of a vagina - then you'll understand why I don't rate it too highly as something that furthers the cause of the tortured creator of prose. "An artist/writer's place is in the broom closet/mysterious void behind the washing machine where the dishcloths go to die, clutching tightly hold of their Ipad/caked up paintbrush/sledgehammer, sighing whenever a word/splodge of paint/some other obscure medium of expression goes array on the wrong part of the sentence/canvass/multidimensional vacuum." Was it Churchill who said that? Somewhere on the globe there's an allotted corner for any genre you can think of. Meanwhile there's infinite space for art that ticks the boxes. I'll try not to worry about it. I struggle with this. As a rule I avoid crowd pleasing because it's a half-measure. Let's see... originality and compromise: best of friends they aren't. (The reverse sentence structure was for emphasis and not a Yoda impression, but you can say it in a Yoda style if it makes pleases you). I sometimes imagine a connoisseur ogling my oil paint stuff and uttering those fateful four words 'you could go far'. Really? Where too? Will it be shiny? All that glisters. Blah blah. It's true though. I don't imagine it could ever be as shiny as the moment at which we finish a creation born of our own minds, completed for no-one else but ourselves. In all likelihood no-one else'll care or even understand; but that's okay because we don't want them to. The reasons you turn to the canvass are personal and volatile. I despised the write-up process during my art G.C.S.E.. I made some okay things - sculptures and clumsy sketches. My art teacher would glance over my shoulder and say, "That's great." And I would feel great. Then she'd say: "Now explain in a concise three stage plan how you came up with the idea." And I'd be shot down like a clay pigeon. I didn't have a 'three stage' anything I just wanted to draw people's faces in black charcoal. Maybe that's the mandatory clincher between amateur and professional. High ranking craftsmen and ladies don't just produce pretty trinkets. They carry their wares to your doorstep, boot your door down and give you a thirty-minute powerpoint, even without the interactive white board.