September 28, 2016

8.30 am: A review of last night’s incoming mail was followed by a tiny tinker on the workbench, in order to effect a modification to Pedalboard IV. Bring on the RAT:


9.30 am: Off to School. To begin, an MA fine art tutorial. The student’s studio is now incomplete. ‘Melissa, we’ll miss you!’. Best wishes for your post-MA future:


Residual Melissa

11.00 am: A PhD Fine Art consultation meeting.  At 11.30 am I assisted in the ceremonial laying out of the feast in preparation for the Postgraduate Welcome Lunch:


This year we have bumper intake and a healthy balance between newbies to the School and returnees, matures and 21+ students, and those already in professions and those embarking upon them. They’ll be inspired by, and learn as much from, one another as by and from the staff who’ll teach them. One cannot underestimate the fecundity of a functional postgraduate community. I sense the potential for good already.

Once the tables were cleared, we got down to the business of MA induction. Dr Heuser, Professor Cruise, and myself, addressed the nature of both the modules that the students will undertake and their commitment to such. The day closed with a celebration of the departing, as crowds gathered at the Private View of the Postgraduate Exhibition – the fruit of the final module on the MA Fine Art scheme. In an end there is a beginning:



Evening. I had to touch something bodily, tangible, and immediately rewarding. I had to do something entirely unlike my day’s other activities. I closed the working day, as it had opened, at the pedalboard. Ah! The smell of smouldering solder and scorched flux.

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • A well-ordered life. That’s the objective.
  • Some creative problems are mere phantoms. They haunt our thoughts and rattle our confidence, but are without substance.
  • The most rewarding problems to solve as those that come to us tailor made.
  • Some of us create and then reflect, others of us reflect and then create. Neither approach is better than the other. However, one or other will be more suited to our personality.
  • Painting will teach you to draw.
  • The Latin roots of ‘confidence’ are two words that, together, mean ‘with faith or with loyalty’. ‘Confide’ derives from the same: to show trust in someone sufficiently to tell them a secret. Thus, our understanding of ‘confidence’ should embrace the idea of holding faith with ourselves, remaining loyal to our ambition, and demonstrating our trust in the work at hand by yielding to it our innermost and best.
  • Avoid letting the tiredness of one day seep into another.
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