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Book me a Tangent

My paintings always reach a point where I need to let them sit for a while. I prop them up on the easel or hang them on the wall and distance myself from the making of them and reduce my interaction with them so that in effect I become nothing more than a passerby. It's in these moments that my focus becomes less intense and I can find myself feeling a bit adrift, no longer anchored physically and cognitively by that artwork.


But the urge to be making and creating is still overwhelmingly strong. Temporary creative distractions are just the ticket at times like these! Little side trips into unknown places or seeds of an idea given a moment in the sun, enable me to divert my attention and energy into a free space of exploration, which in turn allows contemplation of the artwork in question and those significant realisations to surface, guiding my final decisions about that piece.


As my hands are busy and I'm occupied with the act of making something new or exploring colours and materials, I find I can just cast a glance across the room from time to time and really see the painting for what it is, laid bare, flaws and all. And over a few days or weeks the detachment grows stronger, and I start to see the painting as others may see it too, objectivity returns and often, as I forget the making process of that piece, so do elements of its mystery about where it has come from and how it was made. Without my little random creative side trips, I wouldn't be able to truly enter this reflective space and welcome the learnings I find there.


My most recent tangent has led me to explore simple paper folding to make small books using left over collage snippings and off cuts as a starting point. They felt so liberating and satisfying to make and have plenty of potential for further exploration both as a concept artwork or for development and drawing as you would use a sketchbook. Here's a short video of the steps I took to make it and a flip through of the finished book.....






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