Why I paint? When I think about why I paint, l find it difficult to put it into words. The answer is complicated and complex. I know that as a painter l learn something new every day. I stand in front of the blank canvas, not knowing what is going to happen or how will the work develop? When I am painting, I feel like I am doing what I am here to do. It is easy to assume I already know how to do it; however, everyday painting teaches me that I have so much more to learn. I feel exhilarated when things go right. However, the other… Read More »Why I paint?
behind my work
Making a better painting than I did yesterday I stand in front of a blank canvas. All the thinking and preparation is done. Inspiration from direct experience and reference material is in my head. New ideas are no good to me now, my overthinking mind needs to stop. I have a conviction; to make a painting. I want to make a better painting than I did yesterday. However, as I stand there, I realise the act of painting is a mystery. Without hesitation, all I can do is pick up a brush and focus on the first mark. After that, I am painting. I like to add a coloured… Read More »Making a better painting than I did yesterday
Overcoming fear by taking one brushstroke at a time I want to share with you, a story about how I overcame my biggest obstacle and my biggest fear. As I look back to when I finished my post-graduate course in Fine Art in 2007, aged 29 years, I am still surprised how naive I was. I thought I only needed to display my artwork in a proper gallery, it would be seen by someone in the know, and I would be an overnight success. How wrong can I get it! I realise there is no such thing ‘god’s gift’. Unsurprisingly quick success didn’t happen. Instead, shortly after graduation, I had a… Read More »One brushstroke at a time
Pretending to be a painter When I hear a negative voice in my head saying, “I am in over my head, they are going to find out,” this little voice reminds me I am not good enough. It seeks to devalue myself worth causing me to underestimate myself. Then I come to the conclusion that l must be mad about choosing to be an artist. I realise that l have volunteered myself for all this self-doubt. I feel like l am pretending to be a painter. If l am not careful the voice gets out of control and my self-confidence is eroded. It is hard to break the psychological… Read More »Pretending to be a painter
What do I love about being an artist? I love what I do. I want to go to my studio every day and have a perfect day. On my perfect day, I want to express something of significance. Once I am in my studio, my mind starts to make connections. By fostering a studio practice with risk-taking and openness, I open an infinite space. Every painting l create opens a new conversation about, What if? I like to stay open to the possibility of generating tension in my work. I don’t want to overthink what I am doing. Words have never been a strong point of mine, so l stick… Read More »What do I love about being an artist?
What to paint – The recipe for failure I remember just starting out as an artist, and I didn’t know what to paint. The choice seems so vast and momentous. I was often lost in thought as I was worried about making the wrong decision. I wasted a lot of time and energy when l should have just got started. Recently I heard this advice from Herbert Swope (b 1958) the editor and journalist, “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: ‘trying to please everyone all the time.” Although these words of wisdom do not come from an artist, it… Read More »What to paint – The recipe for failure
A painting has to stand up by itself Often when a viewer looks at works of art they ask themselves, ‘why did the artist make this?’ However, I believe that understanding the original idea or intention of my work defeats my ambitions for this artwork. Instinct led me to paint this painting. A painting has to stand up by itself. By trying to understand my instincts my aims are never going to be clear. Creativity is instinctive, and it is buried within me. I’m interested in this part of myself. I am curious about exploring what I am hung up on. I’m not in control of what comes out. Braque… Read More »A painting has to stand up by itself
Rebound from a failed painting I was taught at school that everything had to be right. I was encouraged to conform so that when I grew up I would make a good employee. Education was stifling. I was urged to aim for perfection; however, I was a long way away from achieving that. Sketching and doodling were discouraged, learning from failure was hindered. As a consequence, I had no idea how to rebound from a failed painting. When I started to learn to paint I use to stop, look and make a judgment about my progress. I worried I was wasting my time and making a blunder. I hated being wrong.… Read More »Rebound from a failed painting
The need to make sense of this world through painting began a long time ago. The oldest known cave paintings were more than 64,000 years ago. Why do I paint? I feel a deep need to communicate something. Something I can’t put into words. Painting is my way of finding kindred spirits. When I look at art from the past, I realise I am not that dissimilar to my ancestors and painters of the past. Studying art from the past allows me to explore the many different ways that artists saw the world during their time. It helps me to broaden my perspective and understanding and allows me to see how… Read More »Why do I paint?
I needed to find my new painting in my last painting When I started out and sought to develop my work into an artistic practice I often used to get very frustrated and disappointed when I felt I had made an unsuccessful work of art. As the piece was near completion judgemental voices in my head would take over saying, “this isn’t good enough,” “you’re not good enough” and “you’re never going to make a go of this”. But over time I have learnt that I need to find my new painting in my last painting. After a bad day in the studio, I use to stare at the canvas. I… Read More »My new painting in my last painting