The Tale of The Curious One

Photo: Marcus Mam

Photo: Marcus Mam

I am honoured to be invited by Clive to be a guest contributor to the Artlog, which is my favourite blog. I would like, by way of an introduction, to tell you a little about myself and how I found my way here.

I am a wearer of several hats, which are all linked to an incurable desire to know more about both the conscious and unconscious worlds. My professional career is in marketing, branding, trend forecasting and research, but I am also trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Jungian Psychological Astrology. My fascination with art is centred around the idea that looking at a picture offers me the great pleasure of engaging with the sensibility of another human being, even though many lifetimes may separate us.  As a viewer, I enjoy exploring the space where my imagination meets a work of art, which is when I tell myself a story of whence it came and its meaning to me, in order to best remember what I am seeing.

I created The Curious One at Pinterest to explore my love of British art, with my initial focus being on Modern British Art.  Collecting has been described as the ultimate expression of individual curiosity and, much to my delight, the virtual curating platform that Pinterest offers has given me the opportunity to create my own imaginary gallery, and to share what I gather with others.  At the last count, my Pinterest collection was welcoming between 700,000 – 900,000 visitors every month, which are figures that never cease to thrill and amaze me. My words of greeting to all the curious ones who join me there are borrowed from Oscar Wilde, and spur me on in my personal mission to never cease from wondering, “You are a wonderful creation. You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.”

In one of my regular searches for the work of the artists I admire, I first came across Clive’s blog. I instinctively knew I had found a kindred spirit in this compelling artist and storyteller. Being naturally shy, I remained a silent observer at the Artlog for quite some time, whilst becoming increasingly intrigued by the engaging wizard behind the curtain, and the online community he has created here. It soon became apparent to me that Clive is blessed with the gift of extra-perception and an ability to distil magic, myth and memory into both pictures and words.

Then one day, who should appear at my Pinterest page but the Welsh magician himself, Mr Hicks-Jenkins. We started chatting, regularly, and our friendship grew. Now, as I prepare to venture forth with The Curious One (more on that soon!), I am honoured that Clive has agreed to join me as a travelling companion.   As fellow Artloggers will have observed and experienced for themselves, Clive works in a way which is intensely personal, but also supremely collaborative, which draws people in and I am no exception to his magnetic pull.

Our collaboration, which has evolved from an ongoing conversation first started at Pinterest, is intended to be an exploration of some of the different ways artists can connect with their audience online. Not only does Clive’s working style have a powerful impact on his artistic practices, but it also translates into an interesting, authentic voice, which shines through on social media and, in my opinion, he deserves to be heard (and seen) by many more people.

The borderlands of the Mari Lwyd are the first destination on our journey, as I curate a board at Pinterest in the lead up to the Dark Movements exhibition at Aberystwyth Arts Centre this summer. But more on that in the second part of my guest post.

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Borderlands IV

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29 thoughts on “The Tale of The Curious One

  1. Pingback: The Tale of The Curious One - Modern

  2. Dear Sarah
    I’ve been a bit under the weather, lately, and so I did not really go to Pinterest until last evening. And to The Curious One. I am absolutely dumbfounded: there are so many windows to follow!!! There are wolves, and drawings, and books, and bookshelves, and all sorts of treasures to explore…

    I am not in Facebook, or Twitter, or anything, because I am afraid to get too absorbed . But I think this time I am going to let myself be swallowed whole.

    Thank you very much (to both Clive and yourself) for sharing so much with us.

    • Maria

      First of all, I hope you will be feeling better very soon. I noted in some of your earlier comments at the Artlog that you had recently been unwell. I had the proper flu for the first time in a long time at Christmas and it took me quite some time to recover, so please take care of yourself.

      I hope you enjoy my Pinterest page. It is my absolute pleasure to share what I find with you. And yes there is rather a lot!! Clive has promised if my obsession ever gets too much and they lock me away, he will bake a cake, with Jack in it, who will then rescue me. Clive and Peter will be waiting in a coach and horses to whisk me away into hiding, where I have been promised I will be able to continue to pin to my heart’s content! It sounds like a good plan to me!! (-:

      My very best wishes
      Sarah
      x

    • Maria, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been out of sorts. I do hope that you’re on the mend now, and will be back to full health before too long. I too have been off-colour, but I’m so used to working that sometimes I forget to give myself the time to be anything other than firing on all pistons. I suspect that you too have this kind of work ethos, and may not always listen to your body. It’s a failing of those of us who are committed to what we do. So please, take time out to get fully well, and take good care of yourself. We only get one body!

      Love from Wales. C xxx

  3. Hello,
    Risking overplaying the curious trope, I am curious as to what defines a British sensibility. Not being British, in fact hailing from that most un-British colony of all, New Jersey (I now live in that even less British hub, LA). I have for some time been intrigued by my attraction to British arts, folk traditions and aesthetic expression. When I stumbled upon Clive’s work, I was enchanted. I had found a home. Clive, as we all know is incredibly generous and he shares with his readers what he holds dear and inspirational. Invariably I swoon along with him. I will be interested (and from a quick peek, already delighted) in following your Pinterest board and perhaps better clarifying my own interests and sensibilities. Through Clive I have “met” many lovely folks (Phil, Paul…) and now you!
    Leonard

    ps-your portrait is just incredible. I would love for it to be a delicate miniature upon ivory.

    • Thank you for your very thoughtful response.

      I hope you will pay a visit to my blog, when it is up and running. In the meantime, I would heartily recommend reading Desdemona McCannon’s very interesting article ‘From Folk to Modern British’, which has been a real inspiration to me in my Pinterest quest, as well as paying a visit to St Jude’s and their ‘All Things Considered’ blog, as they are fantastic exponents of the work of some of the 20th century and contemporary British artists I feature at my Pinterest page. Clive is currently working with St Jude’s on his forthcoming ‘Hansel & Gretel’ picture book.

      The portrait is one I have used to represent the character of The Curious One by a talented photographer called Marcus Mam. I agree she is totally wonderful and I have very much enjoyed being associated with this amazing creature. However, she is soon to be replaced by a brand new illustration from an artist familiar to us all! So, please watch this space!!

      • Hello again, I will do that , from what I have glimpsed , the McCannon article it seems very interesting. I will also search out St. Jude’s. Looking forward to your blog… and your new avatar.
        Be well,
        Leonard

        • Thank you Leonard. It’s been lovely to make your acquaintance here at the Artlog.

          Another recommendation in your quest to better understand your fascination for the British art you describe is “Romantic Moderns” by Alexandra Harris, which is a wonderful book and is available to buy in the States.

          • Dear Sarah,
            I will do that, because Romanticism seems to be at the heart of it all. Clive has used that descriptor when speaking of several artists he admires. I have a sense of it all still a bit ill-defined. So off to Amazon…A welcome relief as I am now in the throes of writing a paper on Aryan Fascist art of National Socialists : whether it is indeed art or not, Arno Breker, populism/Degenerate, etc. A world apart.
            StJudes is a marvelous place , thank you for the suggestion.
            I’m delighted to have met you.
            Be well,
            Lg

            • Leonard, I hope ‘Romantic Moderns’ provides you with some escapism from Aryan Fascist Art! I wouldn’t even know where to begin on that particular subject, but am intrigued nonetheless. One last book recommendation for you is ‘A Crisis of Brilliance’ by David Boyd Haycock, which is also available on Amazon. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to St Jude’s.

            • It’s not as gruesome as it sounds, fascinating actually; but when I’m through , i look forward to a gentler vision! thanks for the Boyd Haycock suggestion.

  4. I also have wondered from time to time who is the Curious One, as I enjoy your comments, and also your Pinterest board. The art log is also my favourite place to hang out and see what Clive is doing, and also to read the heartfelt comments that arise from it. It can also be very funny at times.

    Welcome, Sarah to our community of art loggers and I look forward to your collaboration with Clive.

    • Thank you for your very kind welcome Janet. I am delighted to hear that you enjoy my Pinterest page.

      Like you, I very much enjoy my regular visits to the Artlog. I often point people I am advising on social media in this direction, as to me the Artlog is a perfect example of what a blog should be.

  5. I’m so glad that Clive invited you to be guest blogger: it means I’ve discovered The Curious One on Pinterest! Too late to start looking carefully now, but a quick glance shows how much I’m going to enjoy looking through your boards tomorrow.

    And a collaboration with Clive is bound to be a fascinating journey.

    • Thanks Harry. My Pinterest board is a real labour of love, so I hope you enjoy yourself there.

      I am thrilled to be collaborating with Clive and I am very much looking forward to finding out where the journey takes us.

  6. I’ve been enjoying your input on the Artlog for some time now Sarah so it’s great to read this post and find out a little bit more about you and The Curious One! wishing you all the very best in your new endeavours.
    Your comments here, and the fab links and pics you manage to find, are always spot on and I look forward to the blog.

  7. How wonderful! Believe it or not I was wondering yesterday as I walked the dog, who is Sarah the curious one? Not being hooked up to Pinterest I couldn’t find out anything about her through wordpress ( I was curious about the curious one you might say!) I have read Sarah’s comments on the Artlog with great admiration, she always expresses herself so beautifully and sounds as though she has a compellingly attractive inner spirit. This collaboration is definitely going to be fascinating. I love the idea of you travelling together like constant souls who have hooked up together again, I am sure we shall enjoy it!xxL

    • Liz

      As someone who has worked behind the scenes all my professional life, the prospect of being centre stage is both exciting and slightly daunting! Hence the masking device of The Curious One!!

      After many years working in the corporate world, I am now relishing the prospect of being able to use my skills to highlight the talents of truly creative individuals like Clive. His support means a great deal to me.

      I am greatly encouraged in my plans for the future by the wonderful community of people, such as yourself, who I have found at the Artlog.

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Sarah
      xx

      • Thanks for replying Sarah, don’t be daunted you will be fab! I have a feeling I must be missing something because I am not subscribed to Pinterest , do you have another outlet like a blog ? If not, I will join Pinterest, (not being altogether sure of what it is…).XL

        • Hi Liz

          I will be starting a blog very soon, as well as Facebook and a website for The Curious One. Clive is helping me with this, so I am sure there will be more news to follow at the Artlog as soon as I am ready to launch myself upon the world. (-:

          At the moment I only exist on Pinterest, which is my social media hangout of choice! To simply describe Pinterest, it’s an online inspiration or mood board. I save images of all the things that inspire me at The Curious One and I also follow the boards of people whose tastes I share, so I can see what they pin. If there’s a topic that particularly inspires you, you can do a search and hundreds of images, related to the topic, will appear.

          I recommend you give it a go, but I must warn you it’s rather addictive!

          Best wishes
          Sarah
          x

  8. How very exciting. Being an enthusiastic follower of both the ‘Artlog’ and ‘The Curious One’ I look forward to your contributions with eager anticipation.
    With best wishes.
    John

    • John

      I am really flattered that you enjoy what I do over at Pinterest. The curious of nature can be rather nervous and shy when placed in the spotlight, so it is really lovely to receive such positive encouragement, as I venture onto the Artlog stage.

      I am genuinely excited at the prospect of my collaboration with Clive, so I do hope you enjoy what comes next.

      Thank you.

      Sarah

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