Adding or subtracting?

While I've been subtracting the paint from my painting again today I have been reflecting on something a friend, who is on my degree course, said to me over a cup of coffee yesterday - we were talking about my degree project of destroying/remaking the art work I did 50 years ago, namely 'the painting in the attic', she said that she wished she was a 'conceptual' artist instead of a painter because being a painter was so difficult! (Inferring that my 'conceptual' work was much easier?) Well I was a bit taken aback and rather jokingly thanked her for the 'back handed compliment'.  We laughed about it - but I know what she meant! On the degree course painting is not encouraged and you really have to fight your corner in order to pursue it.  But 'anyone can do that' does seem to be the general opinion about conceptual art. I knew this and it was reinforced while I was invigilating and talking to visitors during BAS 7 at the Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery last year - however I was surprised that another artist/painter felt this way too. Is adding paint to a canvas more difficult than subtracting it? Are techniques prized above ideas? I think craftmanship is terribly important and I hate to see badly presented work but the thinking and researching behind conceptual art can also be arduous and the presentation absolutely key to conveying the message behind the work. It's just not that straightforward. You can be a skillful technician and still not an artist! What do you think? I'm continuing to think about all this..........

Today's scrapings.......... (or (s)crap work!!)


Extended deadline for collaborative project

I am extending the deadline for  the 'Painting in the attic' collaborative project until the end of February as a few people are having difficulty locating their childhood artwork.
Lucy Fisher, one of the participants, has realised that she barely uses colour in her present practice in spite of loving colour when she was younger - the connection with this early work has led to the realisation that she is afraid of using colour now.

Lucy Fisher - Painted butterfly roughly age 8, Flower painting, GCSE exam, age 16
3 abstracts on white – Art Foundation, age 19 
Meantime the scraping away of the painting's surface continues slowly. I will post some more photos soon.

At the moment I'm busy making blank books for the Leeds Artists Book Fair in March and feeling rather downhearted that I have not developed this part of my practice in the way I wanted to, after taking part last year! What happened and where has the time gone I ask myself! Then I remember that I have moved house, set up a new studio and that the fine art degree course takes up a lot of my time, even though it is part time. Nevertheless there is life after the degree to consider and making artist's books is one of the ways I would like my practice to develop. So I'm looking forward to taking part again, meeting other book makers, being inspired, coming away with lots of ideas that I want to develop once my degree show is over in June!