October 23, 2014

9.00 am. I delivered the Art/Sound lecture on spirit and technology. It felt too dense and 5 minutes too long. I’ll prune the text before the next time that it’s out of the filing cabinet. On the day that Tesco announces a significant reduction in profits as its chairman resigns, Aberystwyth’s new Tesco Express is polished in readiness for the opening:


11.00 am. Second year painting tutorials for the remainder of the day. Some observations and principles:

  • When students say ‘to experiment’ they more often or not mean ‘to explore’. The former intent is orientated to process, hypothesis testing, and demonstration; the latter, to a journey through unfamiliar territory and to an open-ended inquiry.
  • A palette knife has its virtues, but injudiciously used it can be, quite literally, a blunt instrument. Square-end, hog-hair brushes would enable them to achieve a similar mark, but with a greater degree of control and variation. Use both, then.
  • The painting that comes too quickly and completely is both a blessing and a curse. The student is suspicious of instant success, and helpless to replicate the conditions under which it was made. Mercifully, such ‘gifts’ are rarely given to us.
  • Students need to see other artists’ paintings ‘in the flesh’ more often. Their visual sensibility is too narrowly circumscribed by the limitations of reproductions.

I’ve been heartened by the progress made by all those that I taught this morning. They are, to a woman, ploughing their own furrow with increasing confidence and facility.

1.05 pm. Lunch in the Quad under Mary Lloyd-Jones’ painted banners. Now, Mr Thomas Ellis has something to point at:


2.00 am. Seeing the students paint makes me want to do the same. Absenteeism was conspicuous this afternoon. Something is amiss, perhaps.



5.10 pm. Close of play. It has been a relentless but a rewarding day.

7.30 pm. I applied myself to research admin. related to the NSSAW project — writing up the minutes of Wednesday’s meeting, and sending out documentation related to both the project and the Evan Roberts CD release, so that everyone involved knows what everyone else knows. Wacked!

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October 24, 2014