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The Artful Journey

March 3, 2016

The extraordinary act of existing without boundaries

From the age of sixteen I’ve always enjoyed making art and I believe this is to do with the way creative gestures not only build esteem but also pave the way to gentle awakenings and greater levels of consciousness. I believe it’s a fundamental human process and offers the chance for a deep connection beyond the distractions of society. Something pure in which there is an infinite possibilty reflecting the truth of our human condition. In one sense art is not about age or time or even the specifics of place because it holds the key to accessing something far more fundamental. The fundamental notion of being in that existence is in the moment and a condition or state in itself which doesn’t need embelishing with distraction. I guess you could use a Christmas tree as an analogy, a beautiful tree full of wonder that we chop down and kill before bringing it into our house. If that wasn’t enough then we cover it with hideous decorations, plastic balls and tinsel in a display of vulgarity to mask the natural beauty of wonder.

Far Out

So for me art is fundamental, it grounds me into my own footprint, reminding me of my human frailty on a daily basis.  No matter what my creative achievements are the feelings of inadequacy and insecurity taunt me constantly and I only find salvation in my creativity. This deep agitation I feel is both a blessing and a curse because it drives me from extremes of discomfort, to elation from creative achievement. It’s hard to explain but I feel a sense of satisfaction when I realise the invention of an idea and yet within moments I feel bereft of ability and wonder if I’ll ever be able to find or create another. Rather like living on an edge where everything is tenuous, the past is irrelevant and the future hinges on the moment. And the only way I can maintain a sense of esteem is through creative invention, to surprise myself and renew belief. And that is the reward, to be pushed through desperation into acts of creativity that are beyond your wildest dreams, to see things that you never got anywhere near to contemplating. And the crazy thing is that it’s only really relative to your own existence, because externally it’s subject to the subjectivity of opinion, it can never actually be good or bad in a definitive way, so it merely exists. What to me is so important and defining, is pretty meaningless beyond my grasp, a reality which has been one of my most difficult life lessons.

The need to break free

I now even believe that comfort leads to complacency which is why as an artist it helps to endure adversity, because zones of discomfort require actions to resolve in the search to find inner peace. And whilst we may look for inner peace, finding it is not the answer, because a sea of tranquility is too restful. So you chase stormy seas and look for adventure to stoke the fire and ignite the passion for life. You do this so that you have something to say and a reason for saying it, a point to prove and a desperation to get it across. A desperate search for truth and meaning so that life feels validated through actions, with the exploration of the unknown.  This life without complacency may seem counterintuitive but it’s the melting pot from which creativity is forged. Without this torment art loses it’s edge  and sense of danger (for me) as it moves towards celebrating the beauty of a wonderful life, this idyll of comfort. I don’t want chocolate box art, no I want art to slap me in the face and wake me up, stirring something up deep within.

A most curious case

I believe that the struggles an artist must endure when they follow an ideological path are immense and have a deep impact on the psyche. And I would say this is a timeless and frequent occurence as society tries to force creative freedom into a quantifiable format. In my own case, this societal struggle has led to a state of mind in which the only true satisfaction comes from my artistic gestures. A state in which I have no ambition beyond the purity of art,  a state of truth in which the realisation of existence prospers without vain distraction. Though there are problems with this approach because it becomes quite insular and removed from the broader context of society and it does this because you deal with the intimacy of your own existence. An existence which must have a shared cosmic commonality even though there are mundane pressures distracting us into the specificity of societal requirements.


One of the great things about art is the rewards from creativity, it can become like an addiction because it feels real and undiluted, a truth from within and it’s personal. So when your society rejects your work and uses it as an excuse to judge and control you, there becomes a realisation. And through that realisation there is a stark choice, integrity or compromise, what is your price or do you even have one. You see society really is quite simple when you remove all the detail, because it’s based on simplistic concepts to control and the patterns of behaviour not only repeat but also become endemic to our modus operandi.To that extent we are all blind to so much of our potential, which is why as an artist there is a constant battle to see beyond the obvious. To open up the mind and travel through a greater breadth of possibilities with a broader level of perception.

Colourful Reflections


I believe our states of mind evolve through time and life experience, with windows of opportunity or insight, allowing us to make both informed and intuitive decisions. And whilst the psychology may be simple the details are confused by the layers of life experience and influence. To this degree I accept the contribution of fate but also aknowledge both the conscious and subconscious decision making process. But it’s my passionate pursuit of art which has taught me the most. Taught me that my understanding of life is a best a moveable feast of assumed knowledge, to the point where my reality can only be of the moment. All of which prepared me for a life of adversity in which I can take nothing for granted. To this extent my insecurity and doubts are just a true reflection of the mortal frailty we all share. Which is why in order for me to feel relevant to myself I must constantly make defining creative gestures, because without them my identity is compromised.

Eyes without a face

If I were to write a manifesto, an artists statement or even a biography it would be specific to the moment unless it were a contrivance. Because I know that if I wrote a manifesto today and then wrote another the following day it would be different and that is because our lives are in a state of flux. We are not always the same or constant and tied to a moment in time, or a set of beliefs, yet society expects this from us. I may believe in something today and not tomorrow  because that’s the way it is.  And I know from my own experience as an artist who makes choices that there is never one solution or one formula as I proved to myself with a thousand or so equestrian drawings that are all different, although they do relate to each other. The  point I’m making is about the possibilities of freedom which art offers, without having the need to compartmentalise, label, conform or become entrenched in specificity. To engage with life from a broad perspective so that you can start to see without impartiality and become free from the rigidity of expectation.

I don't know what to make of this life

Art can offer freedom but not within the constraints of a grasping art world which looks to define the moveable feast. And to this extent I’ve grown to appreciate art as a transitory gesture, a celebration of ephemerality which we can never hold or control. The elusive nature of art reflecting the elusive nature of the human spirit, which is why art is of fundametal importance to humanity. Because it is held up like a mirror through which we can see deeply into ourselves, although not all art does this.

If I were a landscape

Existence is such a crazy actuality and I try very much to maintain a balanced perspective on my life, 🙂 in that, as much as everything matters, it also doesn’t matter. And so I choose to accept the challenge of my circumstance and embrace what I feel is the priority of my existence. Even though this has landed me in a state of desperation to achieve something in my art which is way beyond my own grasp. To ignore my technical imperfections and limitations, so that I may invent and innovate in my art without the obvious boundaries. In a practical sense this means I have to learn to draw what I’m incapable of drawing so that I can realise an idea (or a concept as we like to call it now). And to do this I have to switch off my conscious mind at times and so I can free myself from those inhibiting limitations. A process which is about trusting in a deeper level of human consciousness and belief. For me this is a crucial part of my process and one which held me back for many years through fear. But now I frequently work beyond what I feel is my natural ability, which is allowing my mind to see a broader range of possibility.

The Bird Man

As alway, I write in the moment as a work in progress, I make great assumptions which are often misguided and this is a fair reflection of my art and the risk of being openly expressive in a judgmental society. It’s really all about the pursuit of  a philosophical understanding of life from the fundamental perspective of being, to the compromise of our shared social context. This great dichotomy of our actuality in which there is no single truth or correct approach beyond the uncertain paths we choose


Thanks for looking ❤

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