March 19, 2019

7.30 am: A communion. I’ve a life, a day, and all the opportunities, challenges, and the good that they offer – both to do and to receive. 8.30 am: I walked to the Old College via North Gate Street, North Parade, Terrace Road, along the shoreline, Marine Terrace, Pier Street, and King Street. It was an unusually noisy morning:

9.00 am: I began a day of MA fine art tutorials: three at the College and two more back at the mothership. Today, the incessant rain of the last few days had turned to drizzle and the wind, receded. The sea withdrew and returned without spectacle and threat.

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • Some artworks are like fireworks: their appeal is immediate, superficial, and short-lived. Others are like burning tapers: a slow and persistent yield over a very long time.
  • An idea may be positive in one context and negative in another.
  • Don’t seek to develop a style. Those students that do end up emulating someone else. Seek, rather, authenticity (which isn’t the same as originality) and integrity. ‘Style’ is merely the outward form of the inner quest.
  • Likewise, don’t strive to be influenced. Rather, examine how other artists work – their subject matter, routines, studio practice, preparations, and method. Learn from their example. Emulate their principles rather than its application.
  • Don’t be afraid to ruin an artwork. Out of the ashes the Phoenix rose.
  • Search without knowing. Find without seeking.

2.00 pm: After lunch, I attended to postgraduate admin and the incoming emails. It just had to get done. 3.45 pm: Back at the Old College, I spoke with one of my own MA students and another under Dr Forster’s charge. Living in the atmosphere of a student that I don’t otherwise teach requires a great deal of adjustment on both sides. I’ll need to take up the conversation again if I’m was to contribute anything meaningful. 5.15 pm: Homeward.

7.30 pm: Admin, before a return to the studio. The next mix was ‘And Saul and I’. As presently conceived, the composition dealt only with the narrative of both the Apostle Paul’s testimony of conversion, and the third-person account of the same, in the Acts up until his blinding. I’d abandoned the remainder of the text (dealing with the recovery of his sight) because it’d felt too long – over 9 minutes in duration – in relation to the other compositions that made up the suite. On listening to it again last evening, I changed my mind. (I was so glad that I’d had the presence of mind to keep the sections which had been rejected.) The text is long and the component parts, many. For the remainder of the evening, I began making adjustments to the abandoned episodes:

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