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Still painting; it has something to do with the time of year, when there is colour about.

Painting makes me anxious; I feel overwhelmed at times by the theory and discourse around painting; is it ok to paint? what does it mean to paint – as a woman – what would feminist painting now be about compared say to the 60s and 70s? Is there any point in painting (as a woman – Baselitz persists in saying women are no good at it)? Does it mean anything or does it have to mean anything?

Bearing all that in mind, I have just read an interesting essay by Helen Molesworth – Painting with Ambivalence which discusses work by Joan Snyder, Howardena Pindell, Mary Heilmann. All three use the grid, repetition and abstraction. She references Krauss’s text on the grid and the trauma of the symbolist window behind the grid and then, I think, goes further, arguing that the work by these artists “courts the traumatic inasmuch as it sits outside language.”

That bit about the grid and trauma, I find interesting and relevant to my own work.

I’ve also been looking at work by Ghad Amer who integrates embroidery into abstract painting: “I create materially abstract paintings, but I integrate in this male field a feminine universe: that of sewing and embroidery.

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As I may have said before, now and again I feel drawn towards painting and for a long time I have wanted to work with wax – I remember making a wax house during my BA which is a long time ago now. I don’t know where the piece is now; I was quite proud of it at the time. I did some other work using wax at the time – covering bashed up toy cars in it. The use of wax also resonates with a time in my childhood when I was happy: I used to spend many hours together with my mother doing batik – even now, we get on best when we meet through a creative project.

So, I’ve been trying out some very small painting experiments in encaustics – at the moment this is just a way of exploring my interest in materials. I am feeling a shift in practice coming on, but am not at all sure where that shift is taking me. Somewhere I think it is about bringing in some kind of narrative.

This piece is a response to an early spring walk with my dog – one of the first walks with him after he had an operation to remove a fairly aggressive tumour.