Diary of an Exhibition – The Joy of Stuff and Clutter

Diary of an Exhibition – The Joy of Stuff and Clutter


The last couple of days  I have been thinking I want to write something about the joy of clutter and stuff, in response to the many articles around that are advocating clearing out and living in empty spaces as some kind of new years resolution!


I am an artist  – I make stuff!

Stuff to last into the future, hopefully investments into and for the future.


I love rummaging in charity shops and car boot sales finding interesting and inspiring stuff…

My philosophy is that all my stuff is only ever borrowed, loaned to me for a while, until it finds another home either in my lifetime or after I die  …. so why not enjoy your stuff while you are here, instead of feeling like you are less spiritual or less evolved than those who have fengshui-ed their environment to live in a white space!


Lovely – give me your white space to fill with paintings!


Stuff and clutter are ideas made manifest, mine or other peoples … how wonderful!




I want to live a life where ideas are inspiring me on a daily basis, not one that is sanitised and empty …


Nature abhors a vacuum anyway … Bring on the stuff and clutter!


Buy it … make it … enjoy it … give it away … sell it … give to charity shops … support other peoples needs …buy some more … let the stuff and clutter flow … transform it .. up-cycle it … recycle it… it has a life force too!


Enriching, enlivening, enjoyable stuff!


One of the interests I have in my painting is how to make a busy surface unified …

Creating chaos and clutter is part of the process  of finding the image, the way forward…


The painting surfaces are full of stuff … paint stuff, pigments from all over the world –

scratched and dabbed

scumbled and brushed

flicked and poured

applied in impasto smears with a palette knife or finger or back of a fist


I am having fun playing with stuff, making stuff, creating stuff, making a mess and making some kind of order at the same time.


Anyhow there are only 2 ways to make a living either

  • create something – make more clutter and stuff in the world
  • provide a service

I do both, I make stuff and I teach Alexander Technique.


But back to stuff and clutter –


For a start an artist can NEVER have enough brushes  – bring on the clutter, bring on the brushes!

Make me joyful and buy me brushes, any shape or size or quality will do, they all have

stories to tell!



The word clutter, comes from the medieval root word clot as in blood clot …


Clutter and flow belong together, they are linked!


Paint in a tube or even squeezed onto a palette is like a clot waiting to flow…

Add enough medium and it will flow …

The medium is your intention, your thinking, your action plus water or other carriers …


Your blood life force energy, your heart, is revealed in your painting.

I learned that in Japan – the more present you are the more present your paining is.

‘Unclotting’ a painting has nothing to do with physical stuff and clutter and everything to do with present attention.

Can you be present despite …. ? Despite a less than pristine clutter free environment .. despite ideas about perfection?


I guess everything comes back to water in the end …  A blog about clutter and stuff and I am thinking about water … the carrier of my watery ‘un – formed’ feeling onto paper and canvas … manifesting seascapes …


Today a day of creating more clutter and stuff for the world  – I set my intention to paint small seascapes in gouache and acrylic paint.

Minimalistic clutter free living?

No thanks, I am going to paint!



Detail – ‘Energy Vortex at Sea’ Oil on Canvas, 100 x 120 cm




‘Energy Vortex at Sea’ Oil on Canvas, 100 x 120 cm


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