Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Too Many Pubs for a Town That Size

Apologies for the lack of updates again, I promise to work on this.
I have done a new painting entitled "Too Many Pubs for a Town That Size". It is 200cm x 77cm, it is on an old solid wood door. I had the idea of painting on domestic surfaces and I thought I could incorporate this into my idea of creating a history painting.
The painting is an original composition of a British street party scene. The characters in the composition are from various photos taken by myself and others that I have drawn from.
It was a difficult piece to create and I'm still unsure as to its success. I like some parts of it while I dislike others.
I have tried to keep a rough and fluid approach to it, sanding over my loose marks whenever possible. I have also tried to incorporate more symbology in this piece though I fear I may have concentrated too much on the meaning of the painting. I'm on my Christmas break now so will continue to think about new compositions to move this work forward.
Feedback would be greatly appreciated. (Please click on images to enlarge.)

Friday, 20 November 2009

not disastrous, but extremely unproductive.

I've realised I need to pay more attention to my blog and with mounting pressure to produce a reflective journal on my course I am going to try and write here everyday, or maybe every couple of days. So if I seem to have disappeared, please send me angry messages!

Okay, my reading week was disastrous. Well, not disastrous, but extremely unproductive. I took two empty sketchbooks to fill and managed a whole three drawings! I just became so lazy and unmotivated!

I've got back into my work now though and created 37 drawings in one day, drawing on pages of The Times and The Financial Times. It was a fun experiment. I may include them in the painting I'm planning.

I've had a tutorial recently and the idea of creating a history painting has come up. I'm looking at Jorg Immendorfff, specifically his Cafe Deutschland series and In Meinen Salon Ist Osterreich.
I'm also looking at some older history paintings such as Washington Crossing the Delaware.
I've started trying to create my own composition using some of the photographs I've taken as well as text and some other images. I've decided to set it out around a table as in Immendorff's work but with a more British street party theme. I'm setting it against a night time city scape under light of fireworks.

I'm planning on painting it landscape on a door. I had the idea of painting on domestic surfaces but so far it hasn't really happened but this is a challenge I'm really looking forward to getting into.

Here are some of my first drawings for the composition. Any suggestions or critique is welcomed.

I really want tips on composition/symbology. So please speak up if you know something interesting. I will be back soon with more news/work.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

28/10/09 Tutorial

So, yesterday was crap but today has been really good.
I had a tutorial today and to avoid a incomprehensable stream of consciousness and to organise my thoughts I will create a list of some of the points that were brought up.

  • My work definitely works better on wood than canvas.
  • I need to bring the subject matter up to date with my own photographs.
  • My paintings are working differently to the photographs so far because I am putting more energy into them and restoring some of the energy that would have been there when the moment of the photograph was captured.
  • The subject matter works for me as it is something I feel strongly about and can relate to.
  • The energy in my paintings and some of the frustration and anger that comes across in the work is from an inherent frustration at the treatment of the northern working class society but also from my own anger and frustration at the feeling of losing those connections and roots. Moving down south and to university has made me feel I have no ownership or right to my northern, working class roots and background and that I can no longer claim that as my own. It is a fear of a loss of identity which is providing the emotional charge behind my work.
  • The work incorporates social, political and economical themes as well as themes of human experience, whether it be my own, or the characters in the image or me sharing my experience through the characters in the image.
  • I have to be careful not to become nostalgic or sentimental.
  • I have to look carefully at the use of text in my work and the context from which it's been taking and is being used - a quote from a miner in the 80s doesn't have the same resonance if it's me repeating it. I need to avoid it appearing as a sort of teenage angst. I also need to look at dialogue vs. written text and the use of expletives and whether it gives a piece a different meaning.
  • I need to continue to improve my photographic composition.
There are all the points I can think of now, it was a really helpful tutorial and I thank Mia Taylor for it. It's allowed me to see my work in a new dimension and really given me some focus to move forward. It also seems to have gotten to the root of what's fueling my work. 

Hopefully I'll be able to post some images of new work soon.

Monday, 26 October 2009


I have produced three quick paintings today, yet I still feel like my workflow is slowing. I've ordered an old 35mm Cosmic 35 rangefinder, so hopefully I'll be able to get out and about and start a bit of street photography which should give me some new material to work from. I've decided that canvas doesn't suit the subject matter I'm working on and that found and damaged materials, specifically wooden board are more suitable.

Here are the paintings from today. (Again excuse the poor quality photographs.)

I've just finished the presentation on Roland Barthes' Rhetoric of the Image for tomorrow. It's interesting at first, but after a few hours of staring at it, becomes extremely frustrating and tedious! Wish my luck for the presentation tomorrow. 

Saturday, 24 October 2009

"My line of enquiry is fueled by my growing cynicism"

Ok, from now on I'm going to try and regularly update this blog. Frequent writing and reflection is one aspect that is majorly lacking from my practise and I feel I need to address this.

I can feel the academic aspects of my course stepping up and I'm trying to stay on top of different avenues of research and enquiry. I feel busier than ever and I'm straining to keep on top of essay and background reading, artist research and contextual research. 

Despite this I am enjoying my work at the moment, being busy seems to drive me forward and keep me producing work. I've had some fantastic feedback on my work recently and have even managed to sell a drawing. I'm not totally happy with my painting but I think I need to find a style and medium that suits the subject matter. (Take a look at James Holliday's blog for an insight into the anxieties facing a painter in his practise!)

I am exploring British society. (Though strangely the drawing I sold was from a Cartier-Bresson photograph in Paris). My line of enquiry is fueled by my growing cynicism. As much as I try to have a positive outlook at all times, it's hard to ignore the media coverage of the problems in today's society. (Though admittedly, whether they are really problems or just scare mongering is up for debate!)

I have been looking into British social realism (I recommend the book "No Such Thing as Society" by David Alan Mellor). Films such as Kes and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning have been great examinations of British working society, though I feel I need to focus my work on my current affairs. The British working class (and even the "comfortable classes", a term coined by photographer Martin Parr) are something that are close to my heart and of great interest to me. Along side a possible enquiry into the North-South divide in England (something which I have become increasingly aware of since moving to the South of England), I believe I have a veritable cornucopia of possibilities layed out in front of me.

I have rambled for long enough now and I can't remember if I had anything else to say, so here are a few (poor quality - excuse the camera phone) photos of some of my work and studio space.


Hopefully I'll be able to get organised and keep on top of this and other writing as well as my practise and reasearch. I shall endeavour to keep you updated.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Is it really that time of year already?

So, I'm back to uni on Monday 5th October for my second year. I can't wait to get back, mainly because of the fact it's been a relatively unproductive summer. I have a few ideas now for drawings, paintings, animations, videos, some posters and some photography work. I just want to get my teeth back into being creative!

As for this Summer it's been dull. I enjoyed being home and I'm enjoying living in my new house in Winchester but it feels like an age since I was last at Uni. I think boredom and tedious routine killed my inspiration.

I can't believe it's my second year. I've been out and about and seen so many freshers! (They're the ones that push in at the bar and don't have the decency to point the bar man toward you when you've been waiting half an hour to order one single pint as opposed to fifteen weird and exotic cocktails!)

I definitely feel like I'm a grumpy old man, I think my cynicism is something I need to show in my art.

Anyway, I'm starting to whinge so I'm off. I'm having a break from crap DJs playing crap songs today and seeing some live music instead. Should be good.

I'll keep you updated. Peace.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Mummy, why is Richard not on Blue Peter anymore?

I've been doing some text based sketchbook work recently based around current affairs and topical stories.
I've then progressed from this with the idea of using the theme of children's TV from the 90s, when I grew up. I think the subject matter marries the themes of childhood, humour, fun and the forgotten, obscure celebrity, all of which I have been playing around with all ready, perfectly.

I've done a few quick doodles and written a few one-liners in a similar style to my p
revious work.

Here are a few, but you can see the rest on my flickr.

I'll update more when I creat some larger scale painted/printed pieces.
Don't forget you can follow me on twitter.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

First update in ages.


It has been too long since I last updated. No excuses, althought I haven't been up to much.
I've been doing a lot of sketchbook work, working with text again. Hopefully I'll get some scans up soon.
Stay tuned.

I've been trying to do some photography, I won't repost the pictures here just yet but you can see some of my new Zenit-E photos on my flickr site.

Also... I was on the Jeremy Vine Radio 2 show today giving my views on Southampton City Council potentially selling a large number of paintings including Picassos, Turners and Monets.
It was quite embarrassing and I sounded like an idiot but I'm laughing thinking about it now.

Keep an eye out here for new posts.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Almost there.

Ok, my hand in is tomorrow. I'm pretty much happy with what I have so far.
I've taken a new set of photos incorporating my signs.

I had planned on taken some black and white 35mm photos, but my Zenit-E spool spring seems to have broken and I've lost three films in two days. I'm looking at buying a replacement. So I will keep this updated with my photographic progress. I'm enjoying it more than any other medium at the moment.
Remember you can purchase my book "Where Are You Marcel?" on blurb.com.
And also check out my flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/timjim99/

Friday, 1 May 2009

Where are you Marcel?

Where are you Marcel? is the title of my new self-published book which links in with my current project work. It's a collection of doodles, sketches and stories relating to my work over the past few months covering my use of imagination and humour in my work.

Imagination, humour...
By Tim Hodge

Check it out, preview it and purchase it if you like. Any purchases go towards funding my future degree work. Thanks!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

More Photos of Exhibition Work

The exhibition has pretty much ended now.
I've got a big day of taking everything down and trying to find somewhere to store it tomorrow.

Here are some more pictures.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Today has been stressful and hectic.
I've been setting up for the first year exhibition entitled "My First, My Last, My Everything" at Winchester School of Art. It's running from Tuesday 21st to Thursday 23rd April.

After a long day working and some major stress I finally got the piece up, though I had problems with the sound and did not get it working in time for the private viewing.
All in all, I'm quite happy with how it's gone. I'm both nervous and excited about having a critique of me work. I want to hear people's reactions but fear I will let myself down trying to explain my thought processes. (If you're interested, I outlined them in the previou
s post.)

As for now, I have an essay to work on and am looking towards self publishing a book relating to the project which should hopefully include a number of short stories, quotes, illustrations and maybe a photograph or two. I also have about three unfinished paintings which I should get round to doing.

If anyone is in the Winchester area, the exhibition is open to the public. It's on the West Side of the Winchester School of Art campus.

For now, here's the best picture of the finished piece I have so far.

The piece is untitled as yet and all rights are reserved by the artist Tim Hodge.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


I forgot to write a key part to my blog yesterday, the concept behind my current work.
Yes, I started out trying to take away all concept and meaning, but something will always develop. With the spontaneous and humourous nature of the work I've been doing, I started thinking about the meaning of the work to me opposed to the meaning of the
work to other people. I suppose in a way the work reflects my own thought processes and is sort of just the scribblings and doodlings of the random things that come to my head. This is a thought that I liked and decided to explore the idea of taking these thoughts and works which obviously have some significance to me and presenting them as they are to an audience.

I think I've done this best through recordings of my short stories, as a computer voice cannot read the words properly or always gauge the intonation that is appropriate. As a result you're left with a robotic, disjointed string of words and phrases and I believe this sort of sums up what I was exploring, that if you put private thoughts through someone else they will always come out with a different interpretation.

I'm going to display this sound alongside my large scale text based installation. Hopefully the phrases written on the boards and canvases will have a simil
ar baffling effect on the viewers who will be unaware of the relationships between each phrase or what exactly they are referencing.

I hope that makes sense, I'm going to fine-tune that speech so I'm ready to blast it out when it's my turn to be critiqued.

For now, I leave you with the photos of the new cameras and the new shoes. More photos of work will be up asap.

All photos are from eBay.

Zenit-E with case - took some wrestling with, but it's good fun and can't wait to see the results.

FujiFilm Instax 100

New kicks - Adidas Originals High Tops.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Much needed update.

Well, finally I update my blog.
It's been too long. I'd like to say I've been too busy but really I've been too forgetfull and lazy.

So, I have my first year exhibition in a couple of weeks so I'm preparing for that.
My work has changed considerably since I last wrote on here.
I got so fed up of trying to find meaning or heavy concepts in my work or to inspire my work that I started afresh by taking all meaning out of my work and trying to have FUN! Yes, fun in art!
I tried to be childish and imaginitive and ended up with a number of ideas happening at once.
These ranged from stamp collecting, making my own fictional band ala Jamie Shovelin and Lustfaust, writing funny notes and stories and leaving them for people to find, playing with Monopoly money and obsessing over musicians and celebrities.

These ideas intertwined and morped into what I'm doing now.
Currently I'm working on an installation that will feature a number of canvases and boards painted with text (see Bob and Roberta Smith for my inspiration), which will be mounted and displayed in a sort of large scale collage, along with a number of other written works... and hopefully some sound recordings.

The sound recording is something I have enjoyed playing around with. I originally wrote a number of funny short stories over the pages of some old books, I then took this text and typed it on the computer before transferring it into a speech programme and playing it loudly while recording it on an old kiddies cassette recorder I picked up on eBay. I also played around with recording what I heard in an average day around uni and in Winchester town centre.

It was fun playing around with cassettes, which have become a forgotten format in this digital age. I picked up single copies of Blur - Parklife and Crowded House - Four Seasons in One Day which were a joy to listen to in all their distorted, crackley glory. I also dug out my dad's old Earth, Wind and Fire and Dire Straits cassettes.

I'm going to try to digitally record my stories now and have them playing along side my written works in one large installation... if all goes to plan.

So, that's pretty much where I'm at now.
As of tonight I have twitter: http://twitter.com/timothyhodge but I'm still getting used to that.
Also I have some sweet new sneaks. Some white, red and blue Adidas Originals High Tops.
Pictures of art and shoes will be but up when I can. :)