August 18, 2016


9.40 am: A further appointment at the surgery. The interior ambience exaggerates the sense of emptiness. If there was a purgatory, and it had a waiting room … it would be like this.

Clearing has begun. My ‘A’-level results were embarrassingly poor. But I’d applied for art school, rather than university, and gained a place by passing an entrance exam and on the merit of my portfolio. These were far better indicators of likely success. The next few weeks are an anxious time for applicants and parents or guardians alike. However, where an applicant ends up and who teaches them is not as significant as who the applicant is and what they’re prepared to do in order to realise their potential. It’s all about character, in the end. Too much emphasis is put on the context and conditions of education in universities these days. I was a thoroughly dissatisfied student. But not in a sense that could be measured by an NSS survey. My lack of contentment arose from within, in response to what I perceived to be lack of personal gifting and vision on my part. No amount of swanky facilities and charismatic teaching could have dented that realisation. But that abiding dissatisfaction has done more to goad me into action and keep me in the game than anything else. ‘Student! Are you satisfied with your academic experience? Yes? Then, you’re doomed!’.

The tree surgeons are in the back garden making a noise like a large exasperated wasp and when lobbing, and like a voracious all-consuming metal robot when grinding the off cuts. (I recalled the grizzly final scene from the Coen brothers’ film Fargo (1996).):


Throughout the morning and afternoon I converted document files into pdfs into jpegs into web enabled gifs. Tedious, laborious, and time-consuming; but necessary.

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • Expose yourself to the highest, greatest, most ambitious, excellent, and extraordinary examples of human achievement. At the very, least they’ll teach you humility. At best, they’ll give you a vision of what is possible and how much further you have to climb.
  • Artistic freedom can be secured only by developing a consummate control over your discipline.
  • The level of energy, determination, and conscientiousness that you direct towards a project is in direct proportion to your belief in its worthiness. Why are you diffident about your work? Because you don’t believe in it sufficiently.
  • The spirit in which we acquit ourselves of the tedious and mundane task is a subtle test of our integrity.
  • When the desire dissipates, discipline keeps you going.
  • When a job is worth doing well, you don’t keep one eye on the clock.
  • The closer you get to achieving your goal, the less significant it seems.

By 5.00 pm, I’d completed the PDF conversions in readiness for uploading them as a gallery to The Pictorial Bible III section of the website in the evening:

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 20.05.54

Detail from: The Floating Bible: Miracle of the Risen Word (2015), 54-parts, carbon powder toner on Bible paper on board, 21 × 28 (×54) (King James Version)

My eyes are tired; too much monitor work. Tomorrow’s activities must have a different complexion.

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