February 27, 2018

6.00 am: Arise. The beginning of snow: delicate, light, like a whispered white noise or a off-station image on a cathode-ray TV. And with the snow, a quieting also fell. Only a waking wood-pigeon could be heard. 8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: I faced down one of the annual dreads: changing my university password. I nailed it in two attempts this year. A record.

9.00 am: I caught up with my emails and issued a weather warning to the postgraduates. Those coming from a far may struggle to either arrive or depart. 9.20 am: I discovered that my new password didn’t work. (Sigh!). But the old one still did! (I feel oddly unsettled; anxious at the edges, and a little lost). 10.00 am: Off to the School. A parked van: white on white:

A notification from our Information Services to alert me that one of the UK-wide journal access sites had been compromised; the passwords of many subscribers had been published. I hastily changed anything that resembled it on all my many many sites. At least my university password now worked.

11.00 am: The first of the week’s MA inquiry consultations was followed by a postponed third year painting tutorial. 12.00 pm: Homeward again. I enjoyed the snow in my face, on my hair and black coat, and under foot. Correspondence came along too. I’m planning a research trip next week and will be revisiting a place that I’d not been to in early four years. (Prior to that occasion, I’d not been there for more than thirty years.) In the past, I’ve done a great deal of thinking and much self-searching there. I’m looking forward to both the work and the opportunity, again.

1.30 pm: Off to the railways station to look at ticket options. 2.00 pm: The weather has disrupted not only the trains but also the smooth running of my teaching diary. Someone with my personality stamp ought to have their clockwork routine disrupted occasionally. 2.30 pm: A Skype tutorial with one of my snow-bound MA Fine Art students. The facility is not as good as a one-to-one encounter; but it’s still possible to do meaningful business:

3.30 pm: The snow had melted, for the most part. I pushed towards the Old College for the remainder of the afternoon’s MA teaching, until 6.00 pm. Rachel’s wall:

7.30 pm: Admin and diary catch up. 8.15 pm: Studiology. I began constructing a processing array in order to modify the output from the dual decks, which I’ll be manipulating over the next few days as I begin generating samples for the ‘Double Blind’ track.

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • You can copy another person’s work, in order to pass it off as your own. You can copy, in order to understand how that person’s work works.
  • Cursed are they who find art easy to do.
  • There’s a time for spreading your wings and a time for reigning in your energies. Know the seasons.
  • Go for quality and intensity, and forget about quantity.
  • To create, one must first destroy.
  • The work’s title helps to clarify its focal subject and intent.
  • Too often, we’re try to achieve half-a-dozen things at once in a single work. Therefore, separate and spread ideas over several works.
  • Aim to work in resolved phases. Thus, a painting will appear complete at every stage of its development.

 

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