November 3, 2015

8.00 am. The necessary preparations of the heart. Because the heart is, so often, the root of our problems, one should check its motivations, disposition, and inclinations daily. 8.45 am. Off to School for an initial hour of catch-up painting tutorials with those who were, for one reason or another, indisposed last Thursday. How does one explain the process of abstraction clearly and succinctly? It’s like sucking juice out of a slice of orange and throwing the remainder away. 10.00 am. An MA Fine Art tutorial with Sarah:


11.10 am. The weekly Vocational Practice class was on the topic of professionalism — a concept that has long evaded any consensual definition in relation to the practice of art. 12.45 pm. A lunchtime conference with Mr Monaghan, one of our MA Fine Art alumni, over a particularly delicious (as ever) and well priced lasagne and salad. It was good to catch up on his busyness. Now, Pete is a (no bones about it) professional artist, in a way that I’m not:


Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • Not being able to articulate what you’re doing should not be confused with not knowing what you’re are doing. Some ideas and intentions begin below the level of words.
  • Sometimes, you know what you’re doing only because you’re doing what you already know. There’s no merit in this.
  • Begin modestly, proceed cautiously, and end ambitiously.
  • ‘Woe unto you when everyone speaks well of you’ (Luke 6.26). Good art will always have its detractors, just as surely as insipid and unaffecting work will always attract a large audience.

2.30 pm. A second MA Fine Art tutorial, followed by two advisory sessions on honing a PhD Fine Art proposal. One cannot underestimate the difficulty of the task. The student doesn’t want to give the impression of knowing the end from the beginning; at the same time, they need to demonstrate an awareness of where they’re going. That’s a very narrow tightrope to walk, indeed.

6.30 pm. Practice session 1. 7.30 pm. My trio of random 10″, 78 rpm records arrived today, intact. They were 60p each; a bargain:


Onto  the surface of these, I’ll adhere each of the three pieces of the My Heart is Broken into Three record. In theory, and with a little deft balancing of the record player’s tone arm, the stylus will to remain in the air after it leaves, and when it returns to, the edge of the record’s segment, rendering it playable once more. On, then, with refreshing the next Abstraction lecture’s PowerPoint and scraping away the day’s deposit of emails.

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