Do you want to take part in a live art battle in this little old town of Taunton? I am planning this trial event with view to taking it on tour around the South West in the future. The rules are simple, 2 artists (or teams) going head to head in a 90 minute art battle, armed only with black markers, white walls and a head full of imagination! Winners will be determined by a combination of guest judges and crowd noise.
WHAT I NEED: 2 artists able to draw in the cartoon/realist style, a couple of funky DJs and a venue to do it in (pub, club, bar, empty shop).
If the structure of this event sounds familiar it's because it's lifted from the globally successful Secret Walls (previously Secret Wars) who have held over 1000 battles, witnessed by more than 200,000 people. Please check out videos of their events to know what to expect http://www.youtube.com/secretwalls If this trial event is a success it could mean regular battles in Plymouth, Exeter, Bournemouth and other locations around the South West.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Contact me. Add or message me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/martin.joiner or drop me a comment on here. I will set up a meeting for artists, DJs and venue owners in a local pub to give anyone interested a chance to ask questions and get a feel for the event before committing themselves.
Please spread the word and share this blog post with anyone who may be interested.
I am teaching a diabolo skills workshop at the 1610 Sports centre in Minehead on Wednesday. Both the under 9s morning session and the 9+ afternoon sessions are fully booked.
It's early days for my residency at Plymouth University. The students are still only just getting to realise that I am there and why the course even has an artist in residence. I moved into my large blank-walled studio space a couple of weeks ago and starting breaking up the visual silence with some quick, large-scale charcoal+chalk drawings. This was a great way to let the students come and find me at their own pace and start talking art. From the few I have met so far, they are a good bunch... this is going to be an exciting year!
* WARNING: SELF INDULGENT AND SENTIMENTAL BLOG POST *
The most meditative thing I know how to do is spend an afternoon tidying my studio and cleaning my tools. This rare biannual occurrence feels like a free shopping spree as I refamiliarise myself with things I forgot I had. I found spray caps, pieces of wood and drawing materials that I had no idea I owned! I sorted waste into the recycling and put receipts in date order. It is a time of reflection as I wipe away smears of grease and pigment, left on rubberised handles by art projects. In my mind I am revisiting moments from recent events, triggering memories and galvanising my understanding of technique. Simultaneously committing to memory the results of past experiments and preparing my tools for future projects.
Now that I am one of four artists in residence down at Plymouth University my studio practice is split into two spaces with an 80 mile gap in between. I get incredibly frustrated if I can't lay my hand on a tool when I need it so risking travelling down to South Devon for a few days and leaving my trusty staple gun in Taunton is not an option. I'm going to be writing check lists that would make a military officer feel ill-prepared.
The most satisfying moment of today was when I was sorting through a box of charcoal sticks and chalk that had got mixed up. In the mix were a few rubbers, completely blackened. So I took a piece of plywood and rubbed them clean. I thoroughly rcommend it.
Martin Det creates an explosion painting for a private commission. Rich blackcurrant and prussian blue exploded onto spectrum yellow. Oil paint on cotton canvas. To see a video of the method visit www.explosionpaintings.co.uk
Another October and another successful crop of chillis from the year. Approximately one hundred and fifty juicy little twilight chillis all from one plant are now strung up and hanging in the window where they will dry and stay preserved for years to come. I use dried chillis in my cooking about once a week so this should last me one whole year.
I was looking for the full range of shades of pink from dark to light as displayed on the official MTN colour chart. 5 shades in total. I visited 4 of Bristols paint shops and not a single one had all 5 colours. Now I appreciate that these are small shops and can't stock every colour but I do think there is a prime opportunity in the market for one of them to make a bold statement such as promising to always hold certain palettes. Think of it as limiting the choice but guaranteeing the stock. I think this would be a unique and useful service that none of them currently offer and would be a breath of fresh air from the inconsistent range of stock and constant excuses of "Oh we're expecting an order in the next few days".
A couple of the shops I visited today had such a seemingly random selection of colours that it was basically impossible to pick out a pleasing palette without visiting multiple shops. Who are they catering for? What do they base their decision on when placing an order? Of course the answer is that they are not catering for people like me. Most graffiti writers / street artists make on-the-fly decisions with their colours and work with what they've got in their box/boot/bag. I am a rarity in planning a limited palette so expecting the retailers to operate a policy that allows me to drive to one shop and collect what I need is asking a lot.
But of course this is what being an artist is all about! Original ideas will never be catered for with pre-existing, all-in-one solutions. If it's hard to source the materials in one place, you're probably combining them in an original way. The fact that the shops do not think like I do means something very special to me. It means I'm thinking outside the box. (By the way, I sincerely apologise for my use of bullshit middle management terminology)
But as a compromise I would love to see one of these shops introduce a unique selling point around the concept of guaranteeing stock. If they could maybe just choose one section of the spectrum and make it their priority then that would be fantastic. For example, imagine if Weapon of Choice decided to still stock a selection from the whole range as they do now, but made a new promise to always hold every shade of blue. They could become known for this unique policy and when each artist reaches the inevitable moment when they want a certain shade of blue and don't wanna mess around sourcing it, they will not think twice about visiting the one-stop shop that guarentees blues. Artists are compulsive people and when inspiration hits, they demand the tools to work immediately.
Of course the risk a shop takes with this policy is that some people will misinterpret it to think they only stock blues. But then again if it didn't carry a risk, it's not marketing. Risk-free marketing makes 100% of the public feel indifferent toward you, bold statements make 50% love you! I know what I'd rather have.
Grrrrr, said the girl as she gently tugged on the rope. Check out the detail on the eyelashes! Booyeah!
This is a public call out to anyone of any age or gender who is comfortable pulling silly faces in front of a camera and is up for a laugh. I need interesting, weird and expressive faces/bodies/hands/feet for a series of new big-scale paintings.
The photoshoots are easy and fun and only take about an hour. I usually do them in my flat but can do them anywhere provided there's an electrical socket nearby (to plug my lights in). It's basically just trying out different facial expressions to capture a mood/moment/thought.
I am not offering any wages as such, but of course I do look after my models. I am always happy to buy a pint of beer/cup of coffee and knock them up a tasty lunch to say thank you for their troubles. Oh! And of course, whoever helps me out does get to say that they have been part of a public art project.