Art Making Art Thinking

Making art - ideas from anytime and anyplace

Tag: Sierra Metro

Art Time

The sensation of time passing changes completely when I am physically involved in making art; sculpture; drawing; painting and any other form of creativity. I choose the word sensation rather than the word perception – I choose it since I exist within time and perception seems less descriptive of existing within time than sensation. To explain this statement and further confuse anyone who reads this – firstly –

Thinking about making art is as much making art as making art is                               

Thinking about making art is as much making art as making art is

Thinking about making art is as much making art as making art is

Thinking about making art is as much making art as making art is

I firmly believe this – it is not possible for me to physically make art all the time

Because – I stop being able to see what I have done

I stop being able to choose what to do next

I cannot find where to go next

I become lost


This is not a reason to stop thinking about making nor a reason to stop making

Reason tells me that even when I think I am lost I am still making.


Secondly –

Time which marks spaces between art making has no meaning in the place where art is made. This internal arena itself has no time, the place where art making takes place, its precise location is unknown and yet it is always present although sometimes inaccessible and always imprecise. Art making possesses an elastic quality in its propensity to stretch then contract experience – snapping back with rapid accelerations in the speed of decision making regarding the work – such speed makes it difficult to track where an idea springs from.


All this has re- emerged while I have been sorting what to put in SEVEN, our group exhibition in Spittalfield Village Hall (Venue 20) for Perthshire Open Studios 2016 from 3-11 September. Participating in exhibiting art brings associated tasks separate from making the thing itself. Talking with other artists, organising events, sharing ideas, collaboration and publicity (Social media, Radio and Press), printing and documentation, alongside the more mundane carrying, cleaning, driving, cleaning, measuring, cleaning, drilling, cleaning, hammering, cleaning, suspension, cleaning, polishing. . .is it ready yet???



See you at POS 2016 Spittalfield. . .



Òrain Ghàidhlig le Caraistiona Primrose

[slideshow]Òrain Ghàidhlig  (I am a fish jumping upstream)

The week after the singing class here at Sabhal Mor Ostaig I am still thinking about how unfamiliar this way of learning was for me. One singer told how when she had first begun to learn Gaelic singing she felt as though she had a ‘thick tongue’ and I recognise this sensation in my own mouth. I can make motions towards the creative similarities between singing and drawing because of the direct nature of their emergence from our bodies, but the primary difference for myself is the very public nature of the mark I make with my voice rather than with my hand. Most of the time I carry my voice within me and my thoughts are expressed by my drawing. I choose what to show to others. But in this room with the other singers I listen to this voice that is mine and yet not mine and I do not recognise the sound I make. My voice is too loud and at the same time not loud enough, my voice is too quiet and yet not quiet enough, my voice is too high, it is too low and so on. Everyone can hear. This is my own perception of my voice and I am relieved that I know when I am not in tune. Our teacher is Christine Primrose. She is quick and dark and intense, she is precise and clear and gentle, she is droll, she listens and she hears. Her own voice is achingly pure and beautiful, her own voice is delicate and is strong, her own voice is young and ancient at the same time. Her own voice calls into the past and speaks into the future – and in the now of us hearing her sing the songs the passing of time is suspended. We are here and we are not here, we are out on the sea and we are out on the hillsides and we are waiting for our loved ones who are gone.

on foot

coiseachd – walking

walking is a time when I am thinking


not speaking yet speaking

I am on my way to begin my residency in Skye  at  Sabhal Mòr Ostaig funded by University of the Highlands and Islands, Creative Scotland and the RSA


– I am the visitor and I am learning – my head is full of words – of sounds –  they whirl around and around like leaves in the wind – over the ground and fall – drop gently and whisper then there are sudden silences where all that is moving lies down and rest

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