The secret gallery’s blog

Maybe the first secret gallery in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

Archive for January 2010

Releasing the Grip

leave a comment »

There are many things that we believe about ourselves that keep us in a nice neatly wrapped up package of what we call ourselves; such as I am a vegetarian, I am good with horses, I am good at cleaning, I am never angry! The truth can be a little different sometimes! Often for the sake of easiness we will put ourselves into a box. I am a painter sometimes and a person who does different sorts of creative things, and if I try to make too much sense out of what I do it starts to vanish.

The pressure that comes from trying to be a professional artist aged 30 something can lead to feeling that by now I should know what I am doing. I should be clear and concise and be producing large bodies of work all finished and ready for hanging neatly in a gallery. That the work should have an undeniable style and theme. Now the truth is more messy then that and hopefully less boring too. The truth for me is that certain themes come and go over the years, that there are several different styles and every piece of art I make is different, this could be to do with the fact that I nearly always start a painting with pretending that it is the first painting I ever did, and seeing what emerges. I think that when you see an artist’s work that all looks very similar it probably has come from a more conscious place in the artist, and that is a valid way to make art too. I think that often galleries and the audience are more comfortable with it. This is probably why so many artists feel that they should make matching work, it looks much more together on an application.

I often intend to make a series of drawings or paintings, but after about two pieces I have lost the desire to continue, it just feels fake. Though this may happen naturally over time if it is not forced. A few times with certain types of art work I have made a series of them, such as painted text scrolls, but when I try to make a piece similar to other work it just feels like a clone and not the real thing! How ever this could all change and this time next year I could be working on “Wind blow tree No.105”!

Advertisements

Written by Marianne Slevin

30 January, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Posted in Thoughts on art, Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Don’t Think, Merge Instead!

leave a comment »

Riding “Iago” at Dunmoe Riding School 2009

Often it is necessary to think a great deal before you do something and after, but during it is often better to merge with what you are doing: your surroundings, the computer, the horse, the materials that you are making art with. Giving away the control can seem a little scary, but the times when something goes really well for me I am usually not doing very much! As my riding instructor used to say “like nothing” when I and the horse would jump or do some flat work well. This makes me think about when I am doing art, that I probably think too much a lot of the time. Thinking can limit the possibilities and sometimes stifle creativity. If we allow the parts of us that are usually without a voice to express themselves then we may come across something of a delicate and/or profound nature.

“Maybe Human” one of the paintings in “Merging 3” exhibition by Marianne Slevin

In August, I was in a three person show called “Merging 3”. I was the person who wanted to call it Merging. At the time I was not really sure why, but the other night while reading the book called Spiritual Alchemy the author, Dr.Christine Page wrote about how when people merge with what they are doing there are greater results. In an experiment people guessed heads or tails on a computer game, most people got  around 60% correct but the difference between the people who got around 80% was that they talked about merging with the computer.

Painting and drawing are exercises in merging for me, merging the different parts of me and the materials that I use and often the environment. I also attempt to merge with something greater then myself and if I am thinking too much then that will hinder any voyages into the unknown.

Written by Marianne Slevin

26 January, 2010 at 1:08 am

Posted in Thoughts on art

Tagged with , , ,

I am about 55% Cloud

leave a comment »

I am about 55% cloud, I know almost nothing but I am guessing that my subconscious or less conscious mind has a few stories to tell. Growing up people used to say that the only thing that you can be sure of is that one day you will die, now I hear that even that is not the case in reality! Listening to a Zen Cast podcast in the early hours they were talking about there being no death and no birth just transformation. Such as how when we look into our tea it is cloud, I just loved the idea of looking into my teacup and drinking cloud, eating ice-cream and it being partly cloud, or the sea.

I collected this water on New Year’s Day at sun set from the beach near Liscannor, Co. Clare. Which is the closest beach to our house. I was a magical moment. I wanted to mark the beginning of the New Year with something and have a reminder of it, that I could see every day in my studio.

Photograph below “Another version of me”  by Marianne Slevin 2010

Written by Marianne Slevin

19 January, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Glimmer

leave a comment »

Christal in the window of The Secret Gallery             Photograph by Marianne Slevin

I feel like  I need to eat about 10 Mars bars before I could do anything that involved standing up or moving. The winter has left my blood feeling thin and generally feeling a bit washed out. This mornings activities involved looking for a hair brush, 6 hours later, no hair brush, but a room that has a little more order and a lot less mouse droppings! I have not promised Saint Anthony money as usual when I loose things, due to the fact that this seems like a bit of a money making racket set up by the church. This afternoon I might give some money to a charity and ask Saint Anthony to find the precious hair brush. School for the little ones starts tomorrow and “Mother” is being put through her paces!

Tulip starting to sprout in Recycled Juice Carton  Marianne Slevin 2010

The “glimmer” that I have called this blog post is a feeling deep inside of hope or Spring, as if there is a stirring. After the cold spell now bulbs are starting to shoot the smoothest spikes of green. I am starting to write a list of exhibitions that I am going to apply for. Last night, I tidied the studio and made space for new things to happen there. Sometimes it is easy to forget that the simple tasks of tidying and preparing the studio and searching for opportunities and sending off applications are almost as important as doing the art itself.

How do we make sure when we feel that stirring of new growth gather within us, so that when we have tidied and found the hairbrushes and the paint brushes take it a step further and actually create some art and not let it get lost along the way? There are those moment where we can choose to do something creative or we can decide to let it slip away and do something like watch a movie, browse on the internet or wash the dishes, the list is endless. the car is calling,”clean me” my stomach screams “feed me”! But my sketch book needs me! Or should I say I need my sketch book.

Just found the hair brush, now I must think of a charity.  I cant find the cable to plug in my camera now. Great! James just found that. Now what shall is do with those glimmers? Perhaps the sketch book is a good place to nurture them before putting them in large open spaces. So the inner art critic does not get a chance to be too scathing before they have matured to a stage where they are a little more developed and also it is allot less daunting to approach a sketch book then something more large scale and begging to be “finished”. You also don’t have to worry about forgetting your ideas or having them just in your head. I would be interested in hearing how other people keep those glimmers glowing and growing. Please share your stories and tips for the survival of the glimmer.

Written by Marianne Slevin

17 January, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Happy New Year

with one comment

Gingerbread house by James Slevin.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! I hope all your dreams come true and if you have no dreams may you start dreaming again! There will be more posts soon so do visit again in the next few days. I am now using Linux so just getting used to the new system. It feels funny, I must be the least competent person on a computer that ever used Linux. Way to go for the new year! Lets do lots of things that we have absolutely no idea how to do! Now I am off to calm my steaming, frothing steed! Only joking really, she’s lovely! Now where are those steel toe capped boots and gum guard!

Written by Marianne Slevin

2 January, 2010 at 10:44 am