Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Performance Anxiety

I was getting impatient for the base coats to dry on a large enamel piece, so I started work on a new series of watercolours on paper. I am really bad at doing nothing.
Putting down the first marks of a new work is always hell. I suffer a flood of anxiety and self-doubt, and the initial effort is always terrible. I try too hard. My lines are tight. I am hesitant about how and where to use the paint. I waste a lot of time pacing around instead of working. I have to force myself to finish the damn thing. Then I lie it face down and try to forget about it.
When I'm not happy with my art, everything in my life is fucked. When it's going well, everything is perfect. It’s irrational and unpredictable, and it's downright unpleasant for everyone around me.
I'm going to meet my boyfriend for a coffee. He is the only one who 'gets' the see-saw of my moods, and he usually manages to chill me out (he knows an awful lot about art, too). We're going to look for a book on David Hockney. I love the work of his that I’ve seen but I don’t know much about it. I’ve also been reading a lot about Picasso. I’ve needed to remind myself that even he re-worked his paintings
constantly, that they didn't somehow materialise instantly as fully realised masterpieces.


Mike Raven said...

hi Hazel

I just discovered your great work in 'The Courier Mail'

David Hockney is a great English artist who now lives in LA. He comes from a place I one lived in called Bradford in Yorkshire where he is revered as a favourite son. He uses color amazingly.

I know you will enjoy his work. Do you like the work of the English playwright Alan Bennett? If you like Hockney you will enjoy the prose and humour of Bennett.



Mike Raven said...

rI have just read your work in the Griffith Review.

I wish I could write like that!

I was amazed to read the last sentence.'There is reward,after all, in thinking differently'

I too, work under that premise as I am a missionary for new technology.

I have worked out though that the art of transmitting ideas is to make the recipent (or target) think it was their idea in the first place.

Keep doing what you are doing Hazel. you are an amazingly talented woman. but most of all- believe that you are


David Howard said...

My life is different to yours. I have been working in non art related jobs, since leaving Art College, for 23 years bringing up a family. At night between 9 and 12 and I paint and draw. But have rarely had an exhibition, or made many sales. Fortunately I have continued to paint, ignoring the Galleries and the "The Art World" which I feel are exclusive and at times cruel. But what are they to me? not much. I always go to galleries or openings for the art and appreciate good art. But I feel awkward and out of place with most of the art crowd I meet. But then again I feel out of place with the sports crowd, or the business crowd. Oh, well I still have my Art.
I find it interesting that you have developed different "styles" in your art. I believe that the Artist can do whatever he wants and should nurture the development of all types of painting/drawing styles. I just can't believe that people try to encourage in an artist a single style. To me this is marketing, and the dusts ot death. What is style anyway, a type of hair cut?
I like the intent and personal thrust of your work. Also, your not afraid to admit you don't know much about Hockney. And you respond to his work in a unpretenscious way.
Anyway, I'm raving on.
Have Fun. David

hundredsandthousands said...

here in your blog, wanted to say how much i admire (regard with wonder, pleasure, or approval) your work... subscribe to your email list, have seen your work in the houses of people i've met... and especially appreciate the candour in the way you document experience ... i aspire to being a patron of your art