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Studio journal #2 – September 2020

Welcome to my newsletter, thank you for signing up. This is the first ‘official’ version that’s going out via email.

The newsletter has come to fruition in a roundabout way after creating a blog on my website. The catalyst for the blog was Austin Kleon’s book ‘Show your work!’ in which he talks about sharing what you’re doing, the process and the journey, not just the finished piece. I’m always fascinated by other artists’ methods and reasons for creating and it’s the small and often insignificant daily tasks that can add up to show something of the thought process. I hope that you find these ‘behind the scenes’ snippets of some interest.

September has been a more productive month for new work having been previously caught up somewhat in the practicalities of moving into my new space. Using material from the Bevere site I made a new ‘haphazard timelapse’ image of a conker emerging from its pod and a series using sequoia cones. There have been some other pictures too but they’re still in my picture catalogue slowly gestating…

Thanks for your interest in my work.

5 September – Research
I've been researching Bernd and Hilla Becher’s ‘typologies’, New Objectivity and the ‘art of thingness’ in relation to a new series of work surrounding the effects of time. I’m interested in producing sequences of images over extended time periods, that together, tell a story or document a process with more depth and information than is possible with a single image.
8 September – Ongoing project work
I’m now using one shelf in the gallery for ongoing project work to display works in progress and to give a sense of how I make pictures. Returning visitors will be able to see different aspects of the work and how things progress over time. Sure, there’s a place for aesthetically pleasing images but the interesting stuff is what happens as part of the process, not necessarily just the final image.
10 September – New cards
Today’s studio chore — 252 new greetings cards need folding and bagging, think I’ll do a few every now and again when stocks need replenishing…

13 September – Conker newborn
New work — in fact the first ‘haphazard timelapse’ done using material from the site at Bevere Gallery. It was actually the second in the series that started this one off, a quick shot of the rich chestnut colour showing through the slit in the green conker, but then when back in the studio a couple of days later things had moved on a bit. I confess to having to find another conker to retrospectively shoot the first in the sequence.

16 September – Ideas wall
This is my ideas wall at Yew Trees, some work in progress, some work being contemplated, some freshly printed. I saw a quote the other day about an image not becoming a photograph until it’s printed — annoyingly I can’t find it now — but it is so true, seeing a physical print in different light and on repeated occasions gives it so much more value and meaning than viewing an image on a screen.
21 September – Framers Grey
Working out the optimal number of A3 sized pieces of backing board I can get from a sheet of framers grey. Why said that maths isn’t useful in real life?
25 September – Acrylic abstracts
I’ve had quite a lot of Polaroid pictures up in the gallery since we opened as I had them already framed up from open studios last year. However, it’s not something I’ve worked on for a while and so I’ve been framing up some of my acrylic abstracts instead. I started doing these during lockdown as part of an online #30works30days challenge, and as well as displaying some of the originals, they’re also a good source of close-up and macro images.
30 September – Sequoia cones
The sequoia trees are the ones I can see from my studio window at Yew Trees. Related to the California giant redwoods (that are invariably pictured with roads going through them, or a lumberjack standing proudly beside one with an axe on his shoulder) these aren’t quite on that scale but are pretty fascinating nonetheless.

I started collecting these cones a few weeks ago when they were a bit of a novelty; I hadn’t seen cones that were still attached to bits of branch before. They sat on my table for a while before I took some pictures on my phone, although with a tripod to get the composition right. It took a while for me to edit the pictures into a set and print, then the images sat on my work-in-progress shelf for a bit being contemplated (you can see them in my post on 16 Sept), before framing up and making it into the gallery.


Thanks for subscribing to my ‘Studio journal’ newsletter.

To show my appreciation I’ve selected some images from my archive which you are welcome to download for your personal use. Images are formatted for use as computer desktop wallpaper, or for a tablet or mobile phone. Click to see the photo downloads on my website – using password SUBSCRIBE to access the page.

You can find my latest journal entries on Instagram and on the new Studio journal section of my website.

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