When I was working in retail, I could leave, go home, get changed, have the evening to myself, and not have to think about work until my next shift. I would occasionally wake in cold sweats having had a nightmare about not selling enough sundries, but I guess this was the closest I got to a regular working life.
Being an artist is a full time occupation. Not because I’m producing work all the time, or furtively sketching in a battered moleskin taken from my canvas knapsack (I don’t do that. This is what I imagined artists did when I was about 12)
It’s constant because you can’t switch off. Everything, from the mundane to the extraordinary sparks thoughts which lead onto ideas, which leads to research, then to photos, which leads to paintings! I sometimes feel my eyes are too limited to take in every detail, and I worry about forgetting that which drew me in the first place. Which is why when I have my camera on me I take literally thousands of photos. Some photos get deleted, some I never look at again, some go in a special folder for more personal paintings I haven’t had the bravery to tackle, and the ones which could be easily translated into paint go onto my ipad as reference images.
I find the most arresting of everyday occurrences is the interplay of texture and depth between light and dark. From the glow of a candle and how quickly the darkness grows around it, to the different shades of black in a dank Edinburgh close. Sometimes it’s not the detail which shouts the loudest, it’s the transient happenings on the periphery which you feel lucky to catch.
And on that pretentious note! Thanks again for reading. I don’t speak like this in real life. And if I do feel free to slap me ;)