Authenticity bites back…

My own words come back to bite me…

Lately I’ve been banging on to a friend about “Authenticity”.

I’ve clearly been ignoring my own actions in this.

There’s a back story to why this is happening. It is to do with me thinking about The Artist I Ought To Be. It is a constant battle I find, being true to myself. I strive to be a better version of myself, of course. Sometimes. When I’m not being lazy and oblivious. But… I don’t need to strive to be a worse version of other artists out of a lack of self-esteem do I?

What I have discovered is that in weak moments I try to be a Serious Artist. As opposed to a serious artist. There’s a difference. I DO take my work seriously. I am trying to say something with it… but…I do try to not take myself too seriously. I try. When I try to do that “ought to be” thing everything fails miserably.

Thing is it’s not much fun being Serious. 

Those who know me well will know that yes of course I’m not a miserable git all the time, nor am I a clown. But I do have a playful and mischievous nature perhaps… (do I still?) and although my work is sometimes macabre, sinister… it is also a bit naïve and child like.

Child like.

There is the thing you see.

Here is a tale of my son:

Cricket practice on a primary school playing field. Head Teacher is coach and he says:
“Now, I want you to just tap the ball to the ground, just there, ok?”
“Yes Sir”
Son lamps the ball across the field. 29 other children run to get it.
“Now, you’re not going to hit it hard again are you?”
“No Sir”
Son lamps the ball across the field. 29 other children run to get it.
(repeat until Head Teacher is shouting, son is crying and the 29 other children want a turn with the bat.)

What can I say? He is a Sixer…

It is in his nature to whack the ball as hard as he can. If you don’t want him to do that, don’t give him the bat.

Back to my drawings.

Every damn time I say to myself when I lay down the pre-drawing watercolour:

“Now, I just want one area of paint there, and one there, ok?”
“Now you’re not going to splash it everywhere are you?”
“No, not this time, I promise… this is a Serious Drawing”
“Ok, just there. Don’t blast it with the hairdryer like a five year old with a straw will you?”
(Blasts puddle of Alizarin Crimson across paper with hairdryer like five year old with a straw)

Here we are then.
My son will ALWAYS lamp the ball across the field.
I will ALWAYS blow hell out of the paint across the paper.


I’d better learn to work with who I am.

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