New sketchbook studies
It is difficult starting a new project. Having to develop a new visual language, to communicate new ideas, and when those ideas are connected to your own wellbeing, both physical and mental, it can be very hard to remain emotionally detached from what you are doing.
I have felt some anxiety in these early stages of the project. Not knowing what to do is always a bit stressful, but mostly I have been excited and a little frustrated that my condition has flared up, preventing me from working on it at all.
Periods of time, days; weeks; months; broken down into significant memories, or as a simple catalogue of good days and bad, happy days with my family or immobile days of isolation and pain, sounds like a melancholy journey of self-pity, and, as someone who battles depression, I acknowledge that it sometimes is just that.
However my aim within this project is to openly explore and communicate the multitude of thoughts and emotions, memories and worries that bombard me each and every day. Ever present and ever changing, from one day to another, in some accelerated mid-life crisis, caught on canvas.
So far, with the sketchbook studies and my digital experiments, it seems apparent to me that some combination of abstract gesture and images in a more representational form ( either painted or photographic), are going to be employed and placed together, the resulting juxtaposition thus becoming the dialogue for my thoughts.
It really is early days, and I have had precious little studio time over this winter but it certainly helps to share this process. I have a page on my website dedicated to this new project, and on Facebook I share many of my experimental studies, mostly as a device, to separate myself from the work.
The subject is very close to home, but the work that results, is something separate, something else. Detached in the way a word is once spoken, but somehow never fully separated, more like a word spoken in promise or anger.
I try not to let it bother me, I certainly don’t need any more anxieties, and showing without expectations definitely helps reduce the stress, but not being able to convey all that I am feeling, remains a frustration.
I have chosen a developmental study, part painting, part digital, which shows where I am at. I think it is a first step, giving me a direction and hopefully I will get more time to follow this path so that I can share more in my next blog.
Posted by Alan Hopwood, 2 February 2016
Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 1 March 2016