Updated: May 26, 2020

sketch : gift giver (2019) watercolour on paper one of the first I decide to try out

I decide that I will paint something from my sketchbooks, trying to translate it (but not copy); by which I mean taking the sketch as an inspiration and aiming to end up with something like it.

Now this is a change for me as typically when I make work I start off using the sketchbook as inspiration but then put it away and let the painting in front of me become my focus. This ‘removal of intent’ works because I just keep going with something until I get a result I am happy with.

As I said I have decided this is a cop out. To really be good at this art stuff and have a practice, as opposed to a constant desire to paint or express myself in paint, I have to be able to identify an end result I would like and go ahead and make it.

In this sense I need to regard all I have done in preparation (sketchbook, study etc – however loose) as a rehearsal for the performance I am about to make.

An actor would be ill advised to go on stage to do Macbeth and after a few speeches decide he’d rather ramble on about his laundry and the day’s weather and retitle the whole experience ‘in lieu of Macbeth’.

This new sense of pursuing a determined direction will be hard because up til now my mantra has been : respond to what’s in front of you, let the painting become what it wants to be, let it evolve, do not control it. And all my painting process – working wet-in-wet, layering, using multiple media to make random marks favours this (well kind of precludes any other) approach. But I begin nonetheless.

I am sure of what I am doing and why...but completely unsure of how to achieve it.

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