March 2013 – Acrylic on canvas 80 x 60cm
Finally I’ve been painting again & it feels a bit like emerging out of a long tunnel!
Over the last few years I’ve spent many hours painting when I’m not teaching. I really needed to in order to get myself immersed in it again. Also I think it’s essential for me as an emotional outlet, as well as for my thought processes & in fact to feed back into the teaching of art.
Creativity is something I believe needs to be encouraged more than ever. Art is an ideal medium through which to explore & develope one’s approach to life. In a rapidly changing world, people need the skills to be able to come up with solutions in order to adapt to new situations & solve problems & so on. Every child finds their own solution within the boundaries of the framework the teacher sets. Which is why each individual child demands the teacher’s personal attention because their work is different & therefore it requires different advice. What they are trying to acheive is not the same as someone else, & this is the aim, even though the initial guidelines were the same. When you are a teacher it can be frustrating trying to be in 28 places at the same time & when you’re only 10 years old you’re not always aware that you are not the only one. Your problem needs dealing with and right now!
Recently I’ve been feeling exhausted – as though my energy has been sapped by children (I teach around 220 of them every week!) & I’ve had little left over for my own work. I’m sure this must sound familiar to anyone that teaches.
Are you an artist (or a writer, musician …) & also a teacher ? What are your experiences in this regard?
I know that by painting it also gives me a certain energy that helps me deal with other areas in my life, in the same way as when you take exercise it actually makes you feel more energetic eventually . But if you are so tired you can’t summon up the energy to start then it becomes a negative spiral! Life is a constant juggling act to try to keep everything balanced & the scales are forever moving. Which is another reason I suppose that I still haven’t got round to setting up a proper website for example. I have decided that I have got enough commitments & I have to chose carefully how to spend my free time; That’s to say I have to put some things on hold for the sake of my sanity! It is still a little bit frustrating though!
After the last collective exhibition I participated in I realised how most of the other artists were full time artists. In order to participate you had to be of professional status. (In France everyone must have a “status”. So this means you have a number & your social security payments are collected by specific organisations depending on your status or statuses in my case). On the one hand, if you are a full time artist, I suppose you have more time to dedicate to promotion & other bureaucracy, but on the other hand you could end up creating for a market & being more limited. Because at the end of the day we all have to make a living. So at least I can paint what I want without feeling too much pressure from a commercial point of view (just a sense of lack of time!)
If you are an artist/creator, full-time or part- time, what is your experience & how do you feel about this issue?
If you have to produce results all the time then perhaps you feel less able to experiment? One of my recent activities has involved cutting up one of my paintings in order to recreate it as a collage ! ( See below “Lines of life” which no longer exists in that form! ) Something fell into it, creating a big hole in the canvas, so my idea was to try to make something positive come of it! At present though it is in a state of waiting, as I haven’t come up with a satisfactory recombination & maybe I won’t, I don’t mind too much really.
It’s important to engage fully in the process & that’s what I also really enjoyed with this painting – doing it gave me a feeling of liberty a bit similar to that which I felt from being in the place that inspired it in the first place. (Being on holiday helps too!)
Maybe some of you will be thinking I should cut this one up too … but for me the painting itself was the experiment !