What a waste

21 02 2015

I’ve been thinking … I love drawing, though hardly seem to do any. I once loved making, though rarely made more than ‘real’ pieces (for exhibitions or commissions or the gallery I once stocked).

I’ve come to wonder if that’s because I’m worried about “waste” … wasting materials, paper, metals, consumables, etc.

It’s not a concern about wasting time; lordy no, for if I wasn’t doing lovely fun creative things there’s always the housework lurking and waiting for me. I think it’s more about wasting things that cost money.

The amateur psychologist in me thinks this may be due to quite a frugal childhood, when we weren’t strictly denied but taught to be careful and minimise waste. Genuine waste. However, perhaps over time my mind has somehow warped this helpful responsible attitude into something that means all creative acts that aren’t ‘final’ or ‘masterful’ are effectively a waste.

It’s not a good thought really is it?!
Not helpful to exploring and playing.
At all. Nope.
For I know very well the value of exploring and play.

I’ve read a bit about creativity, and haven’t yet seen anything about how to mitigate or counter this kind of worry (conscious or hidden).

Do you worry about waste?

I’d like to banish this worry about waste … in itself it is a waste of creativity, a waste of play, a waste of joy.

The lust list, v2

5 02 2015

So … it’s been a few years since the original lust list was written.

Since then a two MAJOR items have been ticked off …. I know, it is exciting!

  • a Suzi Zutic ring

    original photograph credit Suzi Zutic; images not to be reproduced without permission

    original photograph credit Suzi Zutic; images not to be reproduced without permission

  • a Helen Britton ring

    with the Gallery Funaki photograph - all mine!

    with the Gallery Funaki photograph – all mine!

I have added a few new ones to the “as-yet-unattained lust list”:



The Mercator projection

3 02 2015

Maps. I love them. Capital LOVE.

You may already know that the way the world is usually portrayed uses the Mercator projection – a particular formula for essentially representing the surface of a sphere in only two dimensions. Well, it’s incredibly misleading.

This is the best way of describing what the projection intends to do (in reality it’s a bit more complex):

from Kids Britannica; click on image for original source

from Kids Britannica; click on image for original source

You can see that it’s inevitable that the land masses are terribly distorted; the closer to the poles the more the distortion (into infinity for the poles themselves). The below image shows the level of distortion (each red circle should be the same actual size):

click on image for original source

click on image for original source (Maps Mania)

So the picture we have of the world, the proportions of the countries to each other, is all wrong (eg. Iceland is nowhere near the same size as Africa).

There are various projection formulas to choose from … it’s all incredibly maths-heavy and it can make your head spin.

Want to see how influential the chosen projection method is? Say, instead of choosing the equator as the arbitrary line of least distortion, a line through the poles was chosen … (according to the comment stream on the original source, it uses an equirectangular not Mercator projection – yeah, I was totally about to say that).

click on image for original source

click on image for source

Or this (according to the source using Hotine Oblique Mercator Projection, uh huh):

click on image for original source

click on image for original source

Isn’t that AMAZING.

For more map fun check out this post, where the author uses the Mercator projection with different central points.

I’m left questioning what the world really looks like!

If we had a better handle on the relative size of our home planet’s geography, would it change how we see ourselves in it, how we see others?

ps. new favourite map blog is Maps Mania

Colour of 2015

27 12 2014

As per previous years Pantone has announced a ‘colour of the year’.
For 2015, the colour is Marsala.
Unusually, it has been receiving mixed reviews on the internets.

screen grab

screen grab

Mmm…. can’t say I like it much either. It’s a bit muddy, middling, mute …

Another exhibition idea

24 12 2014

Creativity has been a subject occupying my mind a great deal lately.

As I wrote just recently, I prefer the ideation and drawing and playing, than the actual making. Therefore I wondered if an exhibition idea could be to show this part of the process as the actual exhibition items … exhibited as drawing works in their own right, alongside the proposed materials (my stash of opal pairs in this case).

I often think the tinkering with options we all do when we’re embarking on a piece is most interesting … maybe visitors would also be interesting, perhaps imagining the finished objects among the options shown in the drawings, perhaps even voting on which should be made …

Or even if different designs were drawn for each set of stones in the style of different art eras … art deco, art nouveau, medieval, contemporary, in-the-style-of famous artists/makers …

photo 2 photo 1

Interestingly I’ve noticed an exhibition coming up next year that has a concept very similar to the ‘in reply‘ one I mused about a few years ago. Funny – I often wonder about the common phrase that there are ‘no new ideas’!


13 12 2014

I’ve been on holidays for three weeks (from my regular day-job in a finance institution) … and I’ve been using the time to think …  a lot … a whole darn lot.

While I don’t miss the studio as such, I do miss creativity.
Writing makes up for some of that, but not all.
Knitting makes up for some of it, but it’s meditative not creative for me.



So I’ve retrieved my opal collection from their hidey-hole.

I’ll look at them, perhaps even doodle a little, and see what arises … yes, I still want to make jewellery things out of them … but I’m not sure I want to do the making, perhaps the imagining and drawing will be sufficient for now.

Visiting art icons

4 12 2014

Visiting art galleries and museums is one of my very most favourite things in the world. Having read bzillions of books about art over the years, highlights of gallery visits are of course seeing pieces I’ve read about and have been wanting to see in person. Unfortunately the experience is sometimes underwhelming.

If you’ve been to see the Mona Lisa in The Louvre you know exactly what I mean. Even though she wasn’t on my list of must-sees, I still did battle the crowds … why? perhaps just in case I would experience some kind of artist revelation in her presence (or something; I didn’t as it turned out).

If you’ve seen Stonehenge from a car or bus as you’ve whizzed along the nearby main road, you also know what I mean. Disappointing and barely majestic (though it is better when you’re walking around it, and I would happily visit again and again).

And so I come to Picasso’s Guernica, housed in Madrid’s Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

image from Wiki

image from Wiki

I still think about the experience. As I wrote at the time, it was surprisingly intense and powerful, and the artwork hit me in the chest. But it tested every skerrick of my patience to be among the bustling crowd and the gormless visitors taking photographs even though there were more no-photo signs than artworks in that room.

I’m probably a gallery snob; for I do find it tiresome to hear the inane ramblings of those who are obviously only there to be able to say they were there, and not there for the sake of the artistic experience (oh you know you can tell the difference too).

This artwork deserves so much better … how I wish I could have just sat in the room on my own, in quiet solitude, to feel the immense impact of it. I wanted to be engulfed by it, to feel what moved Picasso to make it.

If only galleries would consider making iconic artworks available in such a manner … to set aside a few hours, in the evening if necessary, perhaps even only once a year, when patrons (for a fee of course, likely a large fee) could have ten minutes with the artwork alone (with guards, naturally), in silence and solitude.