Thinking Man


It sometimes seems to me that we must have an accompaniment of suitably weighty words to validate our creative activity. This can be distracting and misleading. However, it would be foolish to think we could not, or should not, talk and write about what we do. No-one paints 'empty-headed' because, when working on a piece, any number of things are in play. It maybe the 'moment'–the act of painting itself–where the artist responds to every mark made and its relationship within the whole. It can be the influence of art history most easily identifiable in those internal, often informal, conversations with other artists, living or dead. These conversations may find a way into a work directly or obliquely–an act of reverence or reaction. There is the starting impulse, conceptual, emotional, stylistic etc., and the burden of expectation, sometimes personal, sometimes cultural. None of these are neatly compartmentalised–They overlap, elbow one another, ebb and flow through the creative process… And, out of it all a painting emerges. Even this discreet little image, small in scale was subject to such things. Finally, when a painting takes its place beyond the studio a new conversation begins and certainly not one that is neatly controlled by our words.

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