December 14, 2017

8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: The wind bit and chaffed en route to the School. 9.00 am: My final day of teaching for the term. I was, by now, scraping the bottom of the barrel for last reserves of energy. Focus, determination, and a critical/supportive outlook were the watchwords for the day.

One small part of a painting contains the stylistic coding for the whole:

9.00 am: The beginning of the last day of third-year painting tutorials. We’ll meet again at the end of semester feedback/assessment tutorial. Therefore, it was imperative to determine a doable course of action for the period from now until then.

11.30 am: I made preparations for the final Abstraction lecture, which looked at the resurgence of abstract painting during the late 1970s to the present day. A number of our third year and postgraduate painters are part of that revival. My love of Lemsip remains unabated. 12.10 pm: The end:

In the current climate of Higher Education job security, I don’t assume that I’ll necessarily present this module again.

1.10 pm: A Management Meeting (Fine Art). 2.10 pm: A cobbled-together lunch comprising things I ought not to have been eating. 2.30 pm: I engaged a further third-year tutorial before returning to teaching and research admin. 5.00 pm: A final walk around the studios:

6.30 pm: The annual staff Christmas dinner at the putatively haunted Tynllidiart Arms. I will always feel privileged to have been counted among theses fine ‘fellows’:

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • When you begin writing a diary, you start to live your life more self-consciously — with a view to it being written up.
  • You need to keep on doing something for quite a while before headway is made. Don’t give up too soon.
  • Ideas on the periphery of your thought have a habit of drifting into the centre of operations eventually. Therefore, look to the margins.
  • And, always look at what you’ve left behind.
  • To self: ‘Don’t give away too many ideas; don’t answer your own questions’.
  • Look beyond self, to politics, world events, culture in its broadest sense, and systems of belief.
  • The clearer you understand what you’ve done, the clear you’ll see what you have to do.
  • The ‘transitory point’: Where you become conscious of moving from one way of thinking to another.
  • The source material for an abstract work may derive from something observed. However, the work itself need not necessarily be about it. It has an independent life.
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