Monday, November 7, 2011

Guest Post: Claire

Over the next few months we have a few different Guest Posts from a few of our friends (both online and in the flesh). To kick us off to a raging start we have a Guest Post from our lovely friend Claire. She is a very talented artist and dear friend, and you can check out more of her mad skills HERE.
- enjoy m&k

Image Source: Claire Matthews

Morgan and I have regularly (once, maybe) got into a discussion around photo-realistic artwork. I can't actually remember what side of the proverbial fence either of us was on, as I always change my mind halfway through talking. I tend to run around in discussions looking up new ideas' skirts rather than huddle with my back to a corner waving a big stick at them so I can't quite remember where I was standing.

Basically the discussion runs like this: If you're copying a photo, and your copy looks exactly like the photo, what's the point in copying it? What does the painting give the viewer that the photo does not, other than maybe an appreciation for the technical skill of the painter.

Wherever anyone was standing it's an interesting discussion for me as I am one of the world's copiers. I like copying a photo in all its irritating detail and sitting back at the end with a satisfied glow in my belly looking at a mirror image. It's satisfying. It's theraputic. It's mind meltingly boring and face slappingly fun in equal parts.

I also like drawing cartoon monsters. If I have something eating away at my insides it's the monsters that help me express it. They help me to get it out of my head as they run around with hairy armpits, trailing birds and vomiting rainbows.

So the monsters get all the expression and emotion and the portraits are something I enjoy doing because it satisfies my perfectionist tendencies. And never the two do meet. I've yet to find a way to mash up the two styles. The monsters happen quickly whilst I'm in the grips of this or that soggy or spikey emotion. The portraits are calculated and mulled over and happen when I want to think about nothing.

So what to do what to do. I'd like to somehow develop a style that satisfies my craving for accuracy and detail whilst also leaving room for sloppiness, expression and emotion but I have no idea what that would look like. Which is in itself gloriously fun in its mystery. I feel like I'm looking for some forbidden joyous intersection simultaneously celebrating my perfectionism and my mess. Oooh that would be fun.

In the meantime I don't mind when people say I'm not an artist, that I'm merely a human photocopier (quite the compliment actually thanks so much) because although sitting on that fence gives me those occasional criticism splinters in my tush it's worth it to have a foot on both sides. I can vomit up my problems onto a page and maybe make someone else feel a little more hopeful, and I can give someone a drawing of their recently passed friend and hopefully make them feel a little less alone. And I like it that way.


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