And one day will pass into another, one year into the next, decade will proceed decade until the end, and then we shall meet. (‘God is the strength of my heart’.)
8.00 am: A communion. Against the backdrop of political confusion and dissimulations – a resplendent morning. I yearn for the mental space to take-stock, professionally. One must step back from the projects, and their promotion and exposition in order to survey the landscape stretching towards the horizon. What is wanting? What remains unfulfilled? What do I wish to relinquish? Where am I heading? 8.40 am: To School and a day of third-year painting tutorials, largely.
9.00 am: Postgraduate and exhibition admin. The students are submitting over the next few weeks a 100-word text about their work for the catalogue. Each tutor becomes their charge’s copyeditor. 10.00 am: Personal Tutorial surgery. ‘Attend to your present responsibilities; the future will take care of itself. Tomorrow is predicated upon today.’
12.30 pm: I held an impromptu PhD Fine Art tutorial over my lunch break in my capacity as second supervisor. 1.30 pm: Back on the studio floor. It’s hard to convey to students how different their relationship with tutors is to the one that I had when an undergraduate. I was taught by men (exclusively) who were good artists, indifferent teachers (but that didn’t seem to matter), and generally decent. A few, however, were brutal, impolite, sexist, and self-seeking. And there was nothing we could do about it.
Some observations and principles derived from today’s engagements:
- Two delusionalists don’t make a realist.
- T: ‘While you are doing something to it [the painting]; it is doing something to you.’ We are changed through the process of making.
- T: ‘You don’t have to paint within contours; allow the brush to define its own shapes.’
- That you enjoy one way of working rather than another is not incidental.
- T: ‘The breakthrough came when you were working your hardest, trying, failing, and persevering. Breakthroughs don’t come any other way; they are the fruit of your labour, and never a freebie’.
- Don’t add to the recipe once the cake is baked.
- Push it to breaking point. Push yourself even closer to the edge.
5.30 pm: Homeward.
7.30 pm: I cleared up the week’s admin in readiness for returning to the studio tomorrow, and began to consider how I would further the stocktaking.