October 19, 2017

Courtesy of Wikicommons

Compartmental leakage: There’s a storm on Jupiter known as the ‘Great Red Spot’. It was first observed in 1665 and still rages on.  The storm shows no signs of abating, because there’s no planetary surface friction to slow it down. It could go on for centuries – locked in a perpetual internal turbulent crisis that it cannot, of itself, resolve.

8.00 am: A communion with silence. 8.30 am: Preparations for the day’s teaching. This would be a long day, one that would require a herculean effort to keep in focus. 9.00 am: The beginning of my schedule of third-year painting:

A solution is rarely self-evident. Rather, it’s hard won. You’ll need to have patience among the tools in your paint box as you wait for it to arrive. Make something designedly dreadful – a ‘bad’ painting with a good intent. Rarely is a complex problem solved by a complex solution. What are you looking for? What are you not looking for? Whatever you did in the past may not necessarily be at an end. Some of the most important ideas may emerge, in a modest way, at the beginning of our training in painting, and resurface, periodically, much later. ‘Don’t despise the day of small things’. (Tutorial notes from ‘The Black Notebook’ (October 19, 2017), 270-1.)

11.30 am: I undertook administrations, and set up for the double Abstraction lecture at 12.10 pm. We’re now at the beginnings of Late-Modernism in the USA. There are times, and today was one, when the mind and the heart were in two entirely different places. I entered the lecture theatre as two conflicting persons, essentially. At such times, one has to descend far deeper into the well of inner resource. I’ve not been down there either very often or for a long time. From it, it’s possible to draw-forth waters of a thicker density. However, you have to pay for your drinks: a profound tiredness ensued.

2.00 pm: Lunchtime and Messenger therapy. 2.30 pm: My final two painting tutorials for the day, the last including an ‘interesting’ discussion on the visual culture of bras in art. I learned much. 3.30 pm: Various teaching administrations (succoured by a kiwi fruit): uploads, registers, emails, and so forth. 4.30 pm: A Personal Tutorial drop-in. 5.00 pm: Further administrations until 5.45 pm, when we held a meeting of the dementia project working group. This was composed of staff from the Royal Commission for Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales, health-care professionals, and postgraduate students from the School of Art:

7.20 pm: Home. 7.45 pm: Following a quick dinner and a shower, there were further administrations to do, in order to set out my teaching roster for the week to come, and clear my desk (as far as I could) for tomorrow. Studio day.

10.40 pm: Another ‘night watch’. Letters to write, dates to add to the diary. There’s no end to it.

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