So here it is, the awkward first post. When I was first decided to create this site it was for the purpose of making my work available to a wider audience, yet after an initial flurry of activity I soon found myself disinterested in updating it. I'd just quit my day job and jumped in way over my head by trying to start a new life as a full time artist and painter.
Honestly I was unprepared in so many ways, conditioned as I was by my years of having a day job, inflexible and unimaginative, I felt like it would be possible to simply take what I need from the world once my obvious skill was recognized.
It's been a humbling 14 months since then, the reality of my situation meaning that I have needed to claim housing benefit for the first time in my life just to keep a roof over my head, and I've also had to humble myself and borrow money from my long suffering mum on many occasions. And finally I've had to humble myself in my realization that simply being able to control paint to a modest degree does not make me a great painter, the power and strength of all my favourite painters comes from a unflinching strength of character and devotion to painting their truths, dedication to keep working day in and day out and the obsessive devotion to the transcendant sensation of seeing, and the natual empathy that arises from such a powerful presence. I'm seeing more and more that along the way I become overly focused on craft and lost some of the life, editing myself to spare offence when actually only the heavily conditioned are offended by anothers truth. In reality our truth is all any of us have to give, and the real always recognises the real. We have far too much at stake as a society to keep on treading on eggshells, and I'm far to angry to pretend that our society's lack of love is ok, or to spare the blushes of potential customers.
The visceral fear of impoverishment and hunger has also meant that I've stepped out of doing just the painting that I love so much and have had to jump on any opportunities for casual employment that offered themselves up to me, and they've been many. I've had the high of encountering my old colleagues at private views to the embarassment of them seeing me flyering on the street for a lame shop which I don't believe in. There's something surreal about getting payed £320 for one day of doing video work for someone then the next day getting payed £6.50 and hour doing something menial for some wanky shop in the North Laines.
It's been a real ego buster and also a good reality check, but mostly it's made me realize how subjective money is and that the things I get paid most for are often the ones that I enjoy doing the most, so why waste energy on the exploitation wages.
Which leads me onto today, it seems that I have been gradually trying out various plan B's over the years, and it is helpful having experience in so many things, and that experience has increased my understanding of how the current economic and social situation has arisen, and why I believe so many people are unhappy with their day to day lives, their careers and their social interactions. It's because we're simply trying to take from the world without giving back, and this selfishness is picked up by others around us, so that even if we can profess to love our fellow creatures, the truth of our intention is clear from our faces.
We all wear the impassive masks of the abuser, and we abuse by proxie, through an economic machine that dehumanizes us and degrades our spirit, as it gradually erodes the main principle it claims to provide: Security. We buy cheap products from unsustainable and unethical sources then complain about the damage that is being done to the environment. People want cheap plastic crap to decorate the expensive party they are throwing for their 3 year olds birthday, and then the kids grow up conditioned to think that celebration is about what is consumed rather than what is created, and can't tell the difference between real food and processed empty foods. We abuse ourselves by gorging ourselves on toxic food, binge on dangerous legal drugs yet criminalize all the drugs which are more conducive to healing and inward inquiry, and are culturally conditioned to fear natural wholefoods or social interaction without the emotional crutches of sugar, alchohol and coffee.
It reminds me of that song by the Sollilaquists of Sound:
"I am not a terrorist but as consumers we are collectively, through defamation of character together we stand strong to let it be, remember how we bought taught us how to forget, but what you people don't know is that america did it!"
The song was about the indirect way that US foriegn policy feeds the percieved grievances of it's supposed enemies, and it's true also in the UK. Our government destabilizes governments overseas, bombs and kills people and this leads to people fleeing the warzones their countries have become, meanwhile the right wing media outlets conflate immigration and asylum seeking and get otherwise good people to judge and close their hearts off to their fellow human beings.
Anyway I'm trying to find a way to bring this back from a scream to a whisper so let me see does it all have a point? I think it does.
I think the truly vital discovery that I want to share with the world through this blog, is that my experiences are showing me that there is an alternative, instead of being locked into a 9-5 (mine was a 6-2) job and choosing security and stagnation, drudgery and repetition, and being forced to spend my days in what essentially amounted to a cage within a cage, (my head within an oppressive environment, with an unfeeling sociopathic management structure) I've realized an alternative.
To choose love over fear.
It isn't so much that I have to sit down and make decisions over my next move, I just get out of the way and let the love take me where it takes me. I've tried a ton of different jobs over the last year and through out that I've always felt that the stream I'm swimming towards, throughout and within is one of spiritual discovery through the visual arts, specifically through Oil Paint. I've given it capital letters out of respect.
I haven't been constant in my devotions though, I've allowed my attention to be constantly diverted, usually when I've felt fear over rent day approaching, but those days are over. I'll still take work as and when it suits me but something inside has shifted, and that work will never occupy a space labelled plan B inside my head again. There is no plan B, and I'm not trying to climb a ladder. It's frequently scary, but at least it's real, in reality there is no security, and if you give up your freedom for security you really lose both your security and your freedom.
I'm on a path, and I'm making this map as I go, guided only by my heart.
Lets walk together for a while...
There's no need to speak, and the sights are so beautiful