i. I spent two sunny days in London. Day one was to see Big Thief with my friend and fellow artist Beth. Before the gig we popped into Whitechapel Gallery to see Chantal Joffe's new series of colourful, small-scale paper collages, which will later be enlarged to form a permanent mural at Whitechapel station. These cutout figures (some collaged, some painted) were about the same size as my monotypes and were intimate and fun and must have been made quickly and spontaneously. I need to lose this anxiety about making work that seems to have developed and start enjoying playing with ideas and experimenting with materials again.
ii. On my second day in London I (re)visited All Too Human with dad. I enjoyed the show more this time having had time to reflect on the work and read the catalogue. The following are quotes from essays in the catalogue that I found useful:
'The artists in this exhibition have spent their lives trying to... pin down the intensity of a lived moment, of reality... despite the speed of contemporary life, or perhaps because of it, an increasing number of artists now... try and capture their experience of it.'
'Figurative painting has moved beyond needing to prove itself as a valid medium at every turn. Finally it coexists with authority alongside more recent trends in contemporary art, such as performance and photography.'
'I can only work from people and places that I know and love. This is my purpose. I need to be aware of where I am in my life and to consider what is most important and relevant to me at this present moment.'
iii. I'm starting an evening etching course at the Royal Drawing School with my friend Jon in a couple of weeks. I was worried I wouldn't have time to squeeze this in, but I like the idea of having two-and-a-half hours a week of structured teaching to ease me back into etching. I think it's ok for me to just keep playing with processes for this first year - I just want to learn as much as possible.