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Keeping it real,say it like it is and Draw.

August 18, 2013


I feel a need for balance in my life and that comprises of an area between polarised extremes, life isn’t all good or all bad, but I do feel these extremes and never really write about the negative because of a misguided fear. But I will only feel happy if I can express the whole gamut of my lifes thoughts, because that is the truth of who I am and my lifes work is about a validation of  what I feel is truly meaningful in life and art. I guess in some way my work is the balance, the result of making sense out of my experience and thoughts. I will never quietly accept my fate as an artist and the impossible task of turning my thoughts and creativity into a neat and commercially viable product, because this dilutes art and that is something I know through experience. In some ways I feel my work has at times to be a kind of anti-art if I’m to succeed as an artist because creative freedom has to allow for failure and results that are not material. The other day my outlook was bleak as I allowed the weight of burden to crush my hope, so I wrote it down in the paragraph below, although this may sound desperate it isn’t its just how I felt and I knew I’d feel ok the next day. I don’t feel sorry for myself or look for sympathy and I don’t cry out for help because I deal with my issues and find my way forward, life is tough and I just need to say it like it is.

“If I can’t be totally blunt in  my blog world then there’s no point in my blogging at all, I mean I can spend the rest of my life pretending everything is ok or I can say it like it is and how I feel. I spend a lot of time in silence contemplating aspects of my life and the constant burden that I try to ignore, which is the reality of surviving on virtually nothing, don’t get me wrong I’m not starving though I’m greatly restricted in most aspects of my life. I have a tiny space to work in and great limitations on what I can produce because everything needs financing, so at times I get totally pissed off with it all. I love what I do and believe that I have good ideas but that just isn’t enough, I now delay making sculpture even though I’m overflowing with ideas because I would have nowhere to put it or store the moulds so I’m in a trap that is crippling my endeavour and there are days like today where I just want to say f**k it. Today I feel that I could happily walk away from my art forever so that I could alleviate myself from the underlying pressures, the sad thing is that a job in McDonald would pay far more than I earn and that really sums up what some artists are expected to endure or how their endeavours are valued in society. A couple of years ago I made a great effort to take my art as far as I could and bravely expose it, I had different motives, I wanted more people to see my work, I wanted opportunities to appear with galleries, I wanted commissions and for my thirty years of work to be recognised in some way so that I could work with some dignity. It’s a make or break strategy because it’s my last throw of the dice, I feel that I have done better than my best, making up for lost time in the process but for some reason my best just isn’t good enough, it’s a wrong time and place thing. I just can’t bear the thought of struggling to make a few quid here and there indefinitely, so I have to work out an exit clause that will enable me to shift into doing something else. Quite frankly I believe the world is being filled with a lot of mediocre sculpture, more style than substance and there just seems to be no need or even understanding of my work on a conceptual or aesthetic level within the art world. In fact the only place where I’ve received any recognition for what I do is within the equine world but even here I can’t find any opportunities and to be honest my energies are dwindling and the thought of slowly climbing another hill is beyond me. I will always feel proud of my achievements as an artist because I believe totally in what I’ve done and in the process I’ve  been amazed that no matter how innovative my equestrian work is, that it counts for nothing beyond being appreciated by regular people, which in itself is important but then if I can’t get the finance to scale them up they will never really be seen by that many people. Sharing my story and thoughts online has been an amazing experience that has not only liberated me from my fears and insecurities but also opened up so many interesting dialogues which have been a welcome addition to my life. So as the dice begin to slow to a stop I know deep down that there is nothing more that I can do or even want to do. There are just too many things that are falling apart in my world, neglected through my commitment to my art and it just can’t go on much longer because it’s tearing me apart and has been for years. I hate being pissed off and angry because it weighs heavily upon me and takes some shifting in order to restore  the balance which I invariably do, so at some point it’s inevitable that I have to make that decision because things need fixing. Tomorrow I may feel different but that wont take away the fact that I’m becoming submerged in underlying issues that can’t be ignored. I’ve put so much energy and effort into my work that I could keep up if their was a reward but ultimately its leading to a vast heap of ideas that will never make it into the sculpture of my vision and I find this reality very sad and am reaching the conclusion that it’s ultimately quite pointless for me to continue. You can only get over so many hurdles in your life and you can only pick yourself up so many times before you walk and this is what life is all about, reacting and making decisions as you work your way through. I do believe we live in harsh times where values have been heavily influenced by economics and where he who shouts loudest is heard, but my values are different and I can’t change them because I don’t want to and they define my very being. I don’t do hype and bullshit and pretence I do art that is real about how I feel about life but can find no place for it beyond here in the virtual world and at times this makes me sad.”


So now it’s a day or so later, I’ve had some good conversations in the real world and my balance is restored, I still have the same pressures but my will and determination to be recognised for my art has returned.  The resolve and belief you need to produce your art and find a place for it in the world never ceases to amaze me and for all you feel you are doing the right things, it’s so hard to maintain an underlying  feeling of worthiness, but I’m ready to battle on, to keep up the struggle so that my life has meaning and purpose.  The last two years of my life has been a defining period , I’ve addressed so many issues surrounding art and found a way forward that brought greater meaning to my art and a greater understanding of the issues surrounding art. At times I’ve felt lost in a lonely struggle (of my own choice) but I feel that I know myself better and in one way I don’t ever expect that it will be easy because it’s the challenge that inspires creativity.  I just need to remember that the courage to be truthful to yourself in your art is what counts and though that sounds simple I can assure you it isn’t, well at least for me anyway. 😉

Here are some recent sketches for possible horse and rider sculptures






We couldn't get closer than this



sitting down

Sacred Bond

  1. mandy baird permalink

    Insightful, concise and thought provoking as usual.
    Faith is what keeps us going I think and sometimes it can be so hard to hang onto that, the faith that what we do is worthwhile, that what we create is important and relevant, is honest and means something. We wonder why others can’t see it or maybe it’s just that they don’t care enough, as you say, he who shouts loudest is the one who is heard but in my experience it is those who whisper who make the biggest difference.
    Tomorrow is always a new day and usually brings a better outlook but those dark days are exhausting and draining. Glad your ‘tomorrow’ brought back your determination and desire to continue doing what you do.


    • Hi Mandy, I’ve had quite a few days like this over the years, it’s all part of life but whenever I mention these issues people often say stop feeling sorry for yourself. But they miss the point because I don’t feel sorry for myself and I will no longer be silenced because I find the truth so refreshing. I think it’s good to explain the back story to art and just how it makes you feel 🙂


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