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COVID, Politics & Me aka Elluse

It’s such a strange time right now due to COVID-19 and so soon after Brexit in the UK.

It’s so hard for me to accept, so many people who can remember what the tories have done to poor people over the years. And still, they voted the tories in, with such a large majority too!

I’m someone from an impoverished background, who has managed to clamber up the social status and class divides and is now in a position of comfort.

It’s tough for me to accept that there are a lot of low paid manual type workers, who don’t understand business and the skills used in marketing. If they did, they would see how the government and the successful, produce a lot of marketing to influence large sways of the population.

Such as, when people are marketed towards and persuaded to buy certain products and seduced with slick adverts. The same tools are being used in politics to influence people into voting one way of the other.

From the very day, poor people are born; they are ‘gaslighted’ into thinking a certain way and socially engineered to provoke specific actions.

For example, this year, while everyone was talking about COVID-19 and Brexit, our right-wing government slipped in a ban that no left-wing books should be available at our schools.

It’s so important the next generation realise that there’s a lot of different views out there, on things that matter. If our youth have a balanced education, they are more likely to have a balanced opinion on things.

And before you think I’m talking about politics and whether you should become a socialist or libertarian, I’m not, I’m talking about the environment and all of its problems.

If we’re determined to fix the world and its environmental problems, then we need to raise a population, who have a well-rounded education. That isn’t solely focused on money.

COVID-19 in my eyes is a blessing, as it gives our world some time to rest and rejuvenate. I’m aware that it’s easy for me to say this, as I haven’t got the threat of becoming homeless anytime soon. But I do think; it’s down to getting the masses educated, for us all to have a better future.

 

COVID Politics

COVID Politics

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Synopsis of painting ‘black and white pattern.’

Introduction

It’s strange how, when you do art, looking at it complete maybe a couple of months after or even years. It can take you back, to that very moment you were creating it. I find artists mention this to me and it’s true! I can sometimes remember what I was thinking, wearing or listening too, when I look at a particular area of my paintings.

The history

This black and white pattern, I have carried around with me, since my university days. It’s amazing I still have it, as have moved around a lot since then. To think its probably twenty years old and lived in 30 odd homes. I remember one move I did, I was in a rush, possibly getting a lift and help from someone, and I just left a pile of art under the bed.

I couldn’t open the draw, and it was me either moving without it or braking the draw open. I couldn’t afford to be fixing draws and just left it all! Crazy, thinking back now, as I’m sure, I could have arranged to come back and get the stuff another time. I was struggling with anxiety at the time, and anyway, this was a stupid move.

The process

The pattern was for a plan I had thought up, to cover an entire wall, table, chair and floor with the same design.  I needed a pattern; I could put into a photocopier, to help keep the costs down. It also needed to be a design that would work well when repeated.

The pattern came to me very quickly, as the dancing figure was something I drew all the time – almost like a ‘tag’. The rest of the artwork was from being inspired by Keith Harring, Gustav Klimpt and tribe African masks made in wood.

Thoughts

I can remember thinking. I shouldn’t be doing style as the animation type figure was at all like my other pieces of work I had produced at college and school.  An artist, when in education, was taught to create, large bodies of artwork, that was the same in style and subject.

I think this was when I decided; I disagreed with that whole process of education as it was more concerned with giving that person career at the end of it, rather than real learning, where you explore your thoughts and form opinions. I was very young at the time and perhaps a bit idealistic!  I disagreed with what the art world was telling me. I promised to myself I would experiment and evolve as an artist – always!

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A synopsis of the painting ‘ Family.’

Introduction

This piece is very complex and is about dozens of subjects. I am looking at it a few months after completing it, with a fresh perspective. As at the time, I moved away from my comfort zone dramatically, compared to my previous pieces before.

My previous pieces, for a good few years, had the same trail of thought, where I had a simple shape, on top of a chaotic, messy background.

This style referred to my interest, in the Buddhist religion (please read my previous blog posts to understand more in the subject)

The dramatic change you will see with this current piece. I think, is very fitting, and explains very well. What happens to a person, if they don’t, like their lives, in a simple way. As in ‘ it turns to chaos’.

I feel it holds ‘respect’ towards the philosophy of Buddhism and in a way, shows beautifully (hopefully) chaos and how its unfolds.

Process

 

Just to give you, some greater understanding, of what was going on, in my life, when creating this painting.

I had just come out of a hospital, and this new artwork I was beginning to create. Was in a moment of clarity, where I was starting to think about a new chapter in my life? I had decided to move into an art studio and go freelance in my full-time work. But to also, to concentrate more, on becoming more professional, in my art.

Concept

 

I have sometimes found ‘Praxis’ comes into play, with my artwork. I planned to create a more commercial piece that could potentially attract a buyer. But praxis had another plan!

I had always made my art for myself and didn’t care if people liked it or not. So the plan of thinking in a commercial was complicated for me.

When starting to create this piece, I guess, I felt a little defeated and felt like I was letting myself down, but just got on with it and forced myself to ‘man up’.

I suppose what I’m trying to say, is that I failed with this aim. The result wasn’t commercial at all. Being frank, I’m pleased I failed! As I sneakily feel like I was being true to myself and creating art for me, not anyone else.

What’s this art piece all about

 

The subject I chose of the lady was me looking through my sketchbooks and selecting a sketch. I thought at the time, was very pretty looking and feminine and also fashionable. I was aiming to sell the canvas to possibly a wealthy teenager. I was hoping the buyer would admire the colours and the uniqueness of the piece. I intended to add beautiful unicorn colours and start from there.

As I progressed, with the piece, and experimented with beads and different texture. I found myself (as always) when I try to do commercial work, becoming bored and felt somewhat controlled.

I ended up being my usual self and rebelling against the whole act. I started thinking very subversive and gently moved the artwork into something a bit edgier by added a dramatic black to the soft pink colour using bead and cotton.

I was fooling myself, that doing this wouldn’t damage the commercial feel to the piece or and potentially make it left desirable to buy. Honestly, I didn’t care as I was enjoying myself being naughty.

As time went on, this piece took a year to do. I found myself getting closer and closer to the whole process. The aim of making it commercial wasn’t sitting right with me. I found myself hating the fact women seem to have to make themselves pretty and kind for men to like them and respect them.

The whole thing of the colour pink, being a women’s colour, started to rub me up the wrong way. This disillusionment was expressed by me making the artwork edgy and punk-like.

I had entered a whole new concept without even knowing. Praxis at play came into play. How I got there, I did know! The artwork has a pessimistic feel to it, with the girls face not smiling, and the uneven writing, saying ‘Family’ – but half-heartedly.

The whole subject of women and the role of having children and the entire family unit. Made me act with contempt and distaste. Maybe it was me ‘once again’ getting rid of those dreadful feelings from my past or perhaps it’s me coming to terms with not having had any children.

For the first time, the word ‘juxtaposition’ came into my mind while working on this piece. On the one hand, the painting is very feminine and happy. But on the hand its angry and has unrest.

I think this is like a lot of people, currently, in the capitalist world. We’re split, into two, or even three people—one personality for work, one for home, and one for personal. In an almost departmental way, in our minds but also how we layout our towns and cities.

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Synopsis of the painting ‘Free Spirit.’

Introduction

 

This artwork could be looked at me, moaning.  I think that’s okay, as it’s an affirmative, healthy moan, as I’ve created something positive from it.

I’ve always used my art to help me with my mental health. I come from a very upsetting background, were at a very young age, my parents left me. My stepmother, who was an art teacher, brought me up and taught me how to be creative. I will always be internally grateful to her for sharing me and guiding me in this way.

Art can be such support, and I would recommend it to anyone. You don’t have to compare and compete against other artists. Just do it for yourself and give yourself a break and don’t criticise what you achieve. Use it to ‘Big yourself up’ and think positively, about you, and what you are doing.

Technique

This artwork titled ‘free spirit’ is me expressing, being free like a bird—the feeling of escape away from our chaotic world and the stress and troubles that come with it.

Again I’m using the ‘simple shape’ on a chaotic background pattern. This suttle message has been explained philosophically in my previous blog posts. This simple shape refers to my love of Buddhism and meditation – as in keeping your mind simple and at ease.

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A synopsis of my painting ‘Consumed.’

Philosophically

 

Creating my paintings has always been, a process, of me philosophically, looking at my life, and admiring how I have created my past pieces. Whether that is technically or experimentally, it always gives me inspiration for my next creations.

This painting, title ‘consumed’, has some philosophical thought behind it. As the simple styled shape of the boy, on a hectic background, is me thinking about the zen philosophy. You will find the Buddhists talk, about keeping things simple, in your thought, when it comes to a happy, fulfilled life.

I don’t look at myself, as a Buddhist, or even say I’m religious, in the sense of praying or believing in a god, or a higher being. But I do, like to think of myself, as spiritual, and like how Buddhism, teaches the technique of simplifying your thoughts by using meditating as a tool.

This subject on simplifying your ideas and creating a simpler world interests me and has its presence throughout all my artwork.

The content of the piece

 

This painting titled ‘consumed’ expresses the technique of meditation and living a life in a humble Buddhist way. The boy is swirling around underwater, almost uncontrollably. It’s a metaphor of how we all feel in life sometimes.

The decisions we make are mainly down to acquiring money and getting employment. That may not be what we want to choose but have no choice but to adhere to the world capitalist world.

My painting hopefully provokes feelings, of being under the weight of circumstance. If you have suffered from depression and anxiety, you will understand that feeling I’m trying to express.

Sometimes you will find you come out of a stressful situation or state of mind. It’s almost like, bursting out from being submerged underwater. You may find, you have years, or even second,s to feel free and happy and content before you are overwhelmed and plunged down deep underwater where you’re battling with your dark thoughts and responsibilities.

Technical side

 

This painting has a 2D perspective. I chose this rather than 3D, as I hadn’t done a large piece of artwork for a good few years and was feeling a little out of my depth to be doing something complicated for the time being. I would like to explore the 3D perceptive, at some point, in the future.

My artwork is always a balancing act, of me learning new skills, but also keeping it enjoyable. I use it to relax outside of my full-time work; this is the aim anyway.  I do find myself getting frustrated with my artwork, as I’m a lousy boss to myself – who always wants better!