The theme of my musings here is all about space and time. Driving and walking the streets of London there seems to be a lot less space. The pace of the news leaves very little time for digesting. I look at my calendar, no space. I look at my watch, no time before I'm late again. I looked at my paintings, and guess what... they reflected this lack of space, not much room for the eye to rest, and the brain to absorb!
My work is often about a moment in time, often increased in complexity through layers. The truth is we never really see it all in a moment. We barely scratch the surface, and respond habitually, from the comforts of what we "know", not what we could potentially discover.
It's not only the new discoveries that count, the news we read, the learning we do--it's also making the time and the space to absorb those discoveries--time and space to pause, to be still, to absorb, to reflect.
Then, and only then, do those new discoveries have a chance of becoming what we "know", and what we can leverage off of the next time we have only a moment to truly see and respond to what's surrounding us.
I've been on a search for space, in my head, in my work, in my understanding of things. I've spent a lot of time since my last missive making new discoveries, and allowing those discoveries to permeate my understanding of my painting, my practice, and the world around me: intense sessions wrestling with the colour and line choices of Lautrec, the tonal and line choices of Hokusai, and the compositional and subject choices of Kyosai. All artists expressing and responding to the complicated worlds and times surrounding them.
I've visually dissected paintings on three continents, and in countless books. And I've spent as much time as possible with a brush, charcoal, pastel, my iPad, or other drawing/painting implement between my fingers and my brain, as physically possible.
I often get asked: "How long did that take you to do?" I think it's interesting that the time it takes an athlete to set a world 100m record, or to score the winning goal, and then to reap the rewards for their fans, their team, and themselves is never questioned.
It is assumed it took that athlete a lifetime to achieve those results. So it is with artists. Every mark we make, every colour we choose, every shape we create is embedded with a lifetime of studies, thoughts, and spaces where we took the time and the effort to absorb, and then to express .
I'm hoping you find the impact upon my work, of my searches-- to make space, to discover, to pause and absorb-- pleasing. And that my work gives you all a reason to find the space and time to pause, to discover, and to digest new discoveries in your own complicated lives.