Artists are an inquisitive breed – in common with journalists we seek the truth – in short we are nosy !
My studio is one of 30 in a converted chapel – some are big – some like mine are fairly modest at 20 x10 feet. I live about 5 minutes walk away and have the luxury of being able to nip in and out 7 days a week – sometimes for an entire afternoon and early evening and sometimes, depending on my teaching commitments, just for a couple of hours . People come and go and at any one time there might be 6 or 7 people busy working. Whenever we bump into each other a popular topic of conversation is “what are you working on”?
In my experience artists are a pretty secretive bunch – I for one go to my studio, shut the door behind me and completely enter a world that is mine and mine only !
All artists are different – some have been working on the same line of inquiry for years. They have their “artists statement” that sets out the who, what, where, when and why and some rarely deviate from them. I have several ‘statements’ that outline what lies at the core of my practice but I like the freedom to explore lots of different things – I rarely explore one theme at a time and I often work on more than one image at a time. Therefore, I often find it difficult to answer “what I’m doing” in a concise way. This is because I often work intuitively avoiding predetermined solutions to problems that I have set myself.
I like to be transparent about what I’m doing which is why I have a blog, and various social media sites but to find out “where my head is at” I would point people to my Pinterest site http://www.pinterest.com/chriswoodartist/ For those who haven’t come across Pinterest it’s a fantastic resource for artists, illustrators and anyone who likes scap-booking. I select and pin a multitude of diverse images onto boards – with names like ART : trees-plants-gardens-landscapes OR HISTORY : Norse, Celts & Iron Age OR DESIGN :robot-rocket-sci-fi/ OR ART : concept-drawing-non-anatomical/ Some of the “boards” are for my teaching and some are for research. One really useful thing about the site is you can search for a topic and you are given access to thousands of images that have been selected by like minded people who you can follow. You can select and follow just a couple of their boards or all of them. You can look at their history and see what they have been pinning and you get notified when someone pins one of your images. Its quite interesting to look at the people who are pinning my images because they are obviously “like” the same images as me and have probably got some useful stuff on their boards that can be attached to my boards ! In short, Pinterest is great for anyone who likes collecting and the wonderful thing is it doesn’t take up any room in my cluttered house !
To return to recent flights of fancy, in common with many artists, I explore PARADOXES. Everyone likes to pigeon hole people. However, I like to think that I defy being categorised ! Some see me as Chris N Wood the marine artist, which is fine BUT I draw and paint figures – I have taught life drawing for over 20 years and some think of me as a somebody who makes contemporary studies of the HUMAN FORM – which is also fine. Over the years I have made work that explored my interested in mythology, environmental science, or archeology. I used to make a lot of figurative sculpture – More recently I have been on a NOSTALGIA trip, creating LANDSCAPES of old stamping grounds but now I AM LOOKING AT THE CIRCUS, CLOWNS in particular. I am fascinated by their dark side, the side they keep hidden from the public gaze. This took me to VENTRILOQUISTS DUMMIES ! Then I remembered that I was baptised a Catholic and started to think about the NUNS that taught me at school and this in turn took me to all things SACRED. So I’m like a ship at sea without a rudder, the prevailing winds and currents are taking me back to my childhood – help !
Dam – now I’ll have to write a new artists statement !