8.00 am: A communion. 8.40 am: At the School:
A tiredness has crept into the diary over the past few weeks. One ought to pay attention to such a malady in whatever field of action it occurs. The condition may be indicative of a number of causes: a weary writer, a fatigued life, or an exhausted form. In this instance, at this time of the academic year, all explanations pertain. However, the latter appears to be chief among the reasons.
Something has to change. Sometimes the form – the diaristic mode, particularly – stifles the natural evolution of ideas and patterns of thought. I should review my output over the last year in order to discern the deadwood, mindless repetition (which may reflect the way life was lived at the time), self absorption, indiscretions, unclarity, folly, and dullness of mind. But what would a new form look like? The form must arise from the intent. Therefore, I should attend to intent first. In the present diary there’ll be the anticipation of what is to come. But I’ve yet to recognise it.
Raine’s informal painting:
9.00 am: A morning of third-year painting tutorials. The emphasis over the last two weeks of term will be on preparing for the feedback tutorial/assessment in January. The Christmas vacation will be period when the slack can be tightened, reparations made, and whatever is lacking made up for. 11.00 am: An undisciplined jaunt to the student common room to buy a chocky bar:
On, then, with the email catch up and preparations for the final week of teaching. The last lap is always the hardest. 12.00 pm: A readying of the lecture theatre for the Abstraction module. This would be the final double bill.
2.00 pm: I had time to return home for a brief respite before facing the growing wind and plummeting temperatures en route for the Old College. From 3.00 to the end of the day, I conducted tutorials with the MA Fine Artists. The darkness descended stealthily:
7.00 pm: Thursday evening is traditionally mop and bucket time, when the weeks teaching admin is cleared and the week ahead mapped out. This has been a long and challenging week on so many fronts.
Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:
- Habit keeps the wheel turning when every other motivation deserts us.
- Something becomes important by the very act of giving it our attention.
- Take the ordinary and turn it into something special.
- The students’ Instagram and Snapchat (and their cognates) posts reflect a much more casual, open, and unselfconscious approach to image making than is reflected in their artwork. They ought to pay attention to what they produce for these media. The output may contain the seeds of something relevant to their core business.
- Don’t aim for grand gestures. Just concentrate on making something honest and meaningful (for you).
- Talking about our work to another forces us to come clean with ourselves about what we’re doing.
- The greatest artists were always clear thinkers.
- A direct correlation can be made between hard work and motivation. They always co-exist, and cannot exist apart from one another.
- Those who rubbish others reveal more about themselves than they do about the subject of their contempt.
- We are apt to descend to the level of our own expectations. So, sometimes, you need to let others raise you up to theirs.