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Studio journal #10 – May 2021

Welcome to the May edition of my studio journal… 
Apologies for the slight delay on publication this month. My daughter Lizzie got married last weekend and with the bank holiday as well, I seem to have spent all week catching up.

I was thinking I didn't have very much to show for this month but I've actually done quite a lot looking back. I guess it's the same with most diaries or journals; even though the entries might seem quite similar at the time, just the very act of recording and then reviewing is valuable to yourself, even just going back a couple of weeks. All of these entries are available on my blog going back to August last year when I moved into my studio. I've just had a look at those first pictures, and everything looks so bare…


– May Journal entries –

Almost completed work-in-progress – 1 May
This is the unglamorous behind-the-scenes sort of mess that is a work in progress. In the first picture you have books balancing on a ruler weighing down the last glued strips, getting them to stick. The glue takes noticeably longer to bond in lower temperatures I’ve noticed – it’s much better in the afternoons when the sun comes around the front and the studio warms up.

The second picture shows the last couple of inches in the centre of the board remaining to be filled. This is where it gets a bit fiddly fitting the last pieces without too many gaps, and in this design the two black slashes overlap horizontally, which is why the yellow and red/orange strips on the right aren’t stuck down at the bottom yet. The point of the lower black slash needs to be added in there somewhere. It might look simple when it’s all finished and on the wall but it can be darned tricky I tell you! ⁠
All done – 4 May
All finished now and after quite a bit of mulling I’ve decided on a title of ‘Construct’. As this one’s a less tranquil composition I wanted something a bit positive and not too obvious – so no slashing, cutting or slicing…
View from the kitchen – 8 May
I’m pretty sick of seeing red, orange and yellow stripes and I’m sure you are too. So here’s a calming blue piece entitled ‘Matrix’ currently up in the studio kitchen area. 20 x 20in acrylic on paper on board.
Dream – 12 May
This is ‘Dream’ just varnished. Named because it was a dream to put together. I usually have to custom slice the last strip to fit but the last few just went straight in on this one, no messing.⁠
New greetings cards – 14 May
Spring flowers, summer scenes from Pitchcroft racecourse, some new seedheads and a couple of stripey abstracts. The forget-me-nots against the ceramic pot are going well already, I may have to reorder some more of those quite soon.
Inbetween the showers – 18 May
When it’s fine at the studio we’re able to throw open the doors (temperature withstanding), put out pictures and wheel out the greetings card carousel. However, if it starts to rain it’s a mad dash to get everything in. We’re having a veranda style cover built over the decking in front of the studios starting next week. It’ll have a transparent roof which will make us a bit more weatherproof and is sure to make a big difference to the place.
Veranda – 27 May
Our veranda is now complete after a few days of construction and very good it looks too. It's a little dimmer inside but not really that noticeable and on the plus side the light gets diffused so it's not so squinty when the sun is high up. And, of course, it's now possible to pace up and down the decking in all weathers!
Another small piece – 19 May
A new piece titled 'Cascade' which is a bit more literal than normal but the smaller pieces aren’t as intensive to make and so there’s less mulling time whilst making them. This one is an experiment with double width strips, these are about 10mm wide, cut into sections and shifted left and right off the vertical each time. ⁠I like the random patterns that appear where colour flows between the verticals where the same strip overlaps, and also those distinct boundaries where the strip falls short. I do love a bit of serendipity…
Studio reshuffle – 22 May
I sold a print today (yay!) and that prompted a complete reshuffle of work up in my studio and in the corridor, including the three pieces on the left in what was a blank bit of wall space between the windows.⁠
Dream close-up – 29 May
A close up photo of 'Dream' although looking at all those scratches it's more nightmare-like. I seem to be quite violent in my mark making…⁠

And finally…
Thanks for your interest in my work. I'm at the studio, as a general rule, on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday for the foreseeable future. Feel free to call in for a chat and to see any of my work.

This month's newsletter offer is 20% off any stripey artwork until the summer solstice on 21 June. Just give me the nod if you come up to the studio or use code SOL21 on my website.

Best wishes,
Richard

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