Wednesday 8 December 2021

(Re) Finding Direction in Art and Life

Another post started and not posted…

The draft of this post is dated 8th December. I’ve had to revise and edit to make the content relevant but the essential premise is still valid. Periodically an artist need to stop and assess one’s creative path. 

2020 - 2021 - 2022

It’s been an odd time - it’s been an odd two years plus for everyone, I guess. The pandemic has changed the way we live. It’s added extra pressures, forced us to find new ways of working and living. In some ways, I think the slowing down which fosters more introspection has helped many find out what’s important. 

COVID 19 forced health matters to the forefront, we cannot ignore its presence. Experiencing the pandemic now rather than decades ago, makes me particularly thankful for the extensive developments in medicine. We have vaccines to protect us just as in the past vaccines eliminated Smallpox, Polio and Diphtheria as well as a host of childhood infectious diseases. Now during this pandemic people mistrust the science, mistrust the long standing defences against disease. It becomes a divisive element in society.

Art matters

My blog, Art Matters, has a sub heading my thoughts on art and life. I added this primarily because eleven years ago when I started the blog in preparation for my move to Australia I hadn’t settled on a format or content theme for the blog. The subheading gave me leeway to divert from strictly art content. I’ve mostly stayed true to the art content plan. A recent post about my visit to the Emergency Room was a rare diversion. 

I’ve always considered myself to be a healthy person. I’ve never been the sporty type but in recent years I’ve given more consideration to diet and exercise. The events of September 16th brought this all into sharp focus. I’ve realised this year more than ever that how we feel gives direction to the type of art we create.


It’s almost eleven years since I arrived in Australia - a decade plus of living here. I decided that I need to give my home a makeover. I engaged a painter, added new bench tops and sinks to the kitchen and replaced the carpets. That quick sentence makes it sound so easy but the reality is somewhat more complicated. 

I needed to tidy, sort and de-clutter to make the renovations possible. There were boxes of items that had travelled in the container from South Africa and many had remained largely unused. It was time for them to go. I realised I had been extremely productive. There were so many paintings -  too many to hang in my home, just too many. 

Consequently, I’ve been taking a more minimalist approach to painting. The driving desire to paint large canvases just isn’t here anymore. Maybe it will return, I really don’t know. 

In the last six months I’ve done more work on paper, more drawings, more watercolour and a lot more digital work. Both my iPad and my sketchbook have become my constant companions. It’s almost a relief to work small.

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