Outside my studio window, it’s chaos. A woman chases another woman into the path of a car which brakes hard and leans on the horn. The pursuer keeps shouting over and over, “I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch, I never would hurt a woman!”.
The woman who is being chased runs a few steps then stops and waits for the other woman to catch up. They don’t get further than Cherry Street, looping around from one side of the street to the other. Then they quietly disappear together down the alley next to the Lowman Building.
In my mind, the same thing is going on. I’m chasing myself, getting no where. I think I have a really clear idea in my head of what I want to achieve but I work and rework the canvases.
I take the three canvases off my studio wall and work on them on the table. When I put them back up, none of the elements match up where the canvases join. One tree, the banksia, is upside down.
I put it to one side and work on something else. I distract myself. I’ve been trying to create works without drafting anything first. I start laying paper down to see if I can create the right shapes and forms.
Sticking with what you know, gets you nowhere.
It’s something I don’t do. Normally, my paper work is very structured with preliminary sketches. Outlines on paper or canvas, then overlaying those elements with paper and binder medium.
I have better control of the results this way, it feels plodding. There’s no serendipity. I start to make a cow. A simple work on paper. Laying down paper to create the shapes.
I make mistakes. I scrub them off using a wet rag. It’s a new technique for me. It’s effective. I can play with colour and contour and not be so afraid of fucking it up. When I really stuff up, I can overlay something different.
By experimenting I have found a new path forward. It feels uncomfortable, it’s the only way to grow.