January 28, 2021

WFH: DAY 16. In the dream, I saw Lindy Morgan. When I awoke, in the middle of the night, I was convinced that she was someone with whom I’d studied at art school. Back then, and in the dream, she had bleached-blond hair that was cut close to the scalp at the back and left long — falling over her right eye — at the front. In my sleep-image, she wore an off-white, knee-length, front-buttoned dress, and a black cardigan. I was surprised at this; because she’d dressed like a punk-rocker in the late 70s. When I awoke in the morning, I realised that there was never was a Lindy Morgan. My dream and my mid-night recollection of her were, alike, fantasies.

8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: A reflection upon an impulse:

I collected my thoughts and laid out my stall in readiness for a day of third-year painting tutorials. In and around, I planned what I’d undertake in the pauses between discussions and during my evening shift. The objectives for the first tutorial were to, together, review the written feedback for their previous module submission, develop a strategy for moving from preparatory work to the finished painting that will be applicable to the whole suite; and editing out those approaches to, and modes of, working practice that are no longer fit for purpose.

2.00 pm: on with the afternoon shift. Sickert meets Vuillard in the background of a video image. It’s the inadvertent moments of surprising and discrete beauty that beguile me the most:

5.00 pm: And end of things. Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • We miss visiting galleries, and realise — more than ever — just how important seeing art in the flesh is to our perception and development.
  • Our own artworks may yet be a mystery to us. We cannot know fully why we do what we do. Art is a self-revelation.
  • Having heard the whisper of your painterly ‘voice’, don’t presume that you’ll always be able to perceive it. Our attainments are by nature transient.
  • Pace is crucial. You can’t sprint your way to the finishing post of a marathon.
  • Don’t try to be influenced. Influence settles upon you, like the rain. You just need to place yourself under the clouds without an umbrella.
  • T: ‘What I suggest will only be the solution if you first acknowledge the problem.’
  • T: ‘Whatever you choose to do has to be doable within the strictures of the current situation and your wellbeing’.
  • T: ‘It’s not about painting what you’d like but, rather, what the picture requires’.

7.30 pm: Registers, checking student records, clearing the decks (because ‘tomorrow will bring troubles of its own’), and making ready for Friday’s online teaching.

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January 27, 2021
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January 29, 2021

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