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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Late Bloomers

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On the road to great achievement, the late bloomer will resemble a failure…Prodigies are easy. They advertise their genius from the get-go. Late bloomers are hard. They require forbearance and blind faith. (1

In foundation year at art school the photography instructor said to me; Geri, this is a really good concept, but you are not respecting the work.

That was one of the strongest lessons I had that year.

Until I learned to develop my own film (which was not a course requirement) I had to be very inventive. The film processing machine regularly ate my negatives. Out of hundreds of students I took it as a personal affront and finally asked one of the 3rd year photography students to teach me the process.

What the instructor meant was that sloppy work showed a lack of self-regard, and without that how can you respect the work, the materials, the process?

What interests me is that my sense of self comes from doing the work. By not putting myself in the work the work defines me.

Carpe Diem a found object assemblage

Carpe Diem a found object assemblage

(1 pg. 305 from What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

Reading the Rocks

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work in progress

work in progress

The scientist, Paul Rabinow’s perspective on the equilibrium of natural systems”Nature reflects the accumulation of countless accidents not some hidden harmony. Things might have turned out quite differently. Ecosystems are ever changing, dissolving, transforming, recombining in new ways.” (1

The way of things is to become tousled, jumbled, scattered and mixed…keeping things neat and organized consumes a huge amount of human energy every day. Many of our activities boil down to battles against entrophy – the inexorable tendency of the universe to evolve towards maximum disorder, counteracting this titanic tide of messiness requires immense amounts of energy.(2

(1 Reading the Rocks p. 189 Marcia Bjornerud
(2 Reading.. pg.99

Is Looking the same as Seeing?

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I was writing like crazy for the deadline in November, it is always thrilling to give yourself new challenges. To write 50,000 words in a month is an amazing challenge for someone like me, who always thinks they don’t really have anything significant to contribute to any conversation. After all, I am a visual artist. Well, life changes us all, apparently I do have things to talk about in volume.

This is from a friend, we were discussing the idea of an object oriented existence, one without language with one that is perceived and experienced with language.

Her response was, But if you look at something and disallow yourself to use words to describe it to someone else or just yourself, the it just is, and that is very relaxing.

sculptures from the show at Gallery 96

sculptures from the show at Gallery 96

It is very true, to live life without the need to explain it is indeed very relaxing, and maybe how we should try to perceive the world, without narrative. But, then I met Harry, of course in a bar, who said to me that our stories define us. Well, to be continued.

Rhubarb and ginger jam

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 Rhubarb and ginger jam

4 lb. rhubarb, wiped and cut up

3 lb. sugar

1 oz. bruised root ginger tied in muslin

½ tsp. citric acid

Put the rhubarb and sugar in a bowl and leave it to stand overnight. Then transfer to a pan, add the acid and ginger bring to a boil and boil briskly for 10-13 minutes, until the jam jells when tested. Remove bag of root ginger and pot and cover immediately.

I had never experienced Rhubarb and ginger jam until I was in Scotland. When I mentioned this new food passion to a young art student we exchanged address and she was to send me her mother’s recipe. We shared a few days in a youth hostel on Barra, one of the chain of Outer Hebridean Islands drawing and talking and laughing a lot.

She was in her final year of art school in London, England. She writes:

College is exhausting; it has been one continuous battle with the tutors and with myself. I have swung from believing observed study was the ‘way to do it’ to delving into my imagination and pulling out images from things I believe or feel. The problem with the ‘imagination’ painting has been total lack of support from the tutors…last week yet another damning critism of a self-portrait study I had been doing, (God knows why I was doing it anyway)…I fear now, I shall definitely receive the lowest grade at the degree, took the work down went off to a long weekend at a friend’s in Suffock…I feel now much refreshed and as in their estimation I can’t go low.. I’m going to produce exactly what I like.

Months later she wrote again.

Anyway, good news, things have suddenly begun to click into place,…I’ve been working with still lifes, and oddly but inevitably I have found myself returning to ideas and methods I used three years back on my foundation course, i.e. instinctive, intuitive reaction to visual sensations. I have begun to realize that I don’t have to be able to say any more than that as all my theorising and reasoning will appear on canvas with paint if I respond freely and without inhibition to the things I see…

It is lovely to share her growth and actualization of her artist self.

fruit and colour on board

Happy Birthday Canada

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Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday