5 bullet points identifying what you want and what you might need from the course unit:
I want to start a practice ready for Level 3 (I have a website that I started myself but I did that without any knowledge or understanding: www.paulbuttertworthartist.com)… as a separate thing to (potentially) earn a bit of money to subsidise my painting I put up a few handmade designs of ‘EY UP’ that I did for my course on Redbubble… much to my surprise I had 60 visitors in the first couple of weeks and sold three items without advertising so will add more (maybe one phrase a month?)… YorkshireLad.redbubble.com
I want to find out where my voice is (I have so many choices at the moment it’s difficult to know what to choose or how to combine them)
I want to experiment with new media and techniques and draw these into my practice.
I want to firm up my academic understanding to enrich my painting – the more I see and understand the better I paint.
I want to evolve my use of oil paint and take risks
5 bulletin points highlighting what you’re bringing to the course unit.
40 years experience as a TV/film actor – I use a lot of the same muscles in my painting – the process of absorbing/researching… then letting go of yourself and performing in the moment is very similar.
Quiet craftsmanship – although I love splashing paint around I’ve always loved being at one with the canvas and seeing my painting emerge from the mist.
Blank slate artistically… Level one gave me a few skills and an awareness of an artistic world I knew little about. My first level 2 course was a huge step up attacked my artistic prejudices (it was like being released from a prison you didn’t even know you were in) by forcing me to engage with ideas and processes I would have dismissed.
Drive… never having had a regular job or any security apart from acting contracts for over 40 years I have always had to be very focussed and committed to what I do.
Motivation… I retire in just over a year and get a state pension so will have some income – my casual jobs get harder as I get older. It would be a dream to earn a living from acting and painting (being creative) and I can do both into my 80’s… so I could have a 10 to 15 year new career which is very exciting.
Review your previous work and writing (by yourself or with a friend) and use it to set up an initial set of aims.
My work on the course to date has all been about breaking down mental barriers, experimenting, learning craft skills and starting to find my voice.
In a very real sense my degree starts here, up to this point I was clearing the land, ploughing the soil, chucking on a bit of fertiliser and planting the seed. Now there are a few green shoots and it’s all about tending the crop.
So, my aim is to find my voice and nurture it.
Firstly to get time under my belt and make paintings to see what evolves and secondly I’d like to work with my tutor to try out new things… it’s very difficult as a student making my first tentative steps to know what I’m naturally suited for and what might be possible.
My initial aim is to put in 45 hours on my practice and try and complete two oil paintings.
I love learning about new artists and ideas as these all affect how I see and that in turn affects my painting. On my first level 2 course I found the ideas that were furthest from my practice and comfort zone opened up the most wonderful experiences, and enriched both my life and painting.
As my last academic essay was in 1987 I assume I’m very rusty so I need to make sure I am thinking/writing academically.
Write without stopping for three minutes about what you think your artwork might be developing into and what interests you.
Transcript of what I wrote:
Colour interests me, texture interests me – texture is like another colour. I like a painting that imparts joy. I’m interested in painting my subjective view of the world.
Nature interests me. I love surface and the gap betweeen surface and what is represented.
On the conceptual side I’m interested in how the world is mediated by images – they condition how we see – how we see conditions how we think – so we sort of live inside visually constructed realities – which are often lies. I would like to counter this a little.
a) process (rip, fold, crush, cover, pour)
? I love the craft of oil and am discovering new things all the time… but on process it’s anything that works.
b) ideas (love, politics, philosophy, narrative)
? Painting subjectivity… how I see… but this incorporates my emotional, sensory and ideological understanding of what I see.
c) materiality (shiny, wet, colourful, thin)
? Colour and texture.
What interests you; are you an ideas person, are you responsive to materials, do certain processes suggest certain avenues of exploration?
Everything interests me… I don’t see myself as academic… I love being in the moment at one with the canvas… it’s like meditation or when I used to walk the mountains or go fly fishing and you become one with nature.
Painting is like opening up… and allowing what you don’t have access to with your conscious brain to emerge onto the canvas. It’s a whole person process.
Here’s where I work:
At the moment I’m not working (unless some acting comes in) so am aiming to put in 24 hours a week… I’ve turned my living room into a studio. I’m living with my partner – in another house – so drive over and start work on my degree at 9 and put in a full day.
When I get the vaccine I’ll work again so I am trying to push forward as quickly as I can.
Studio Practice link
Here’s a link to my Studio Practice blog: https://spaces.oca.ac.uk/paulbutterworth/