I have been away from the studio for six weeks with Christmas and New Year and straight back into a busy work schedule (part- time work at the Sidney Nolan Trust coordinating the learning programme).
Familiar feelings of frustration, a drop in confidence and uncertainty about the value of my work had well and truly settled in! Before the break I had been making huge works on canvas about transition and took full advantage of the luxury and freedom of working on this scale without concern for its commercial viability – I was just doing it for me. Whilst away from this work I began to doubt its value and thought it over indulgent. I turned my attention to thoughts of new work on a far smaller scale (and suitable for the shows I have coming up throughout the year).
I was resolute, that I would leave my large work.
I came back into the studio this morning (which is freezing and cluttered!) and sat down with it again – it still excites me – its talking about the pulse of life and how we are pushed through whole chunks of time by nature itself – vulnerable, confused, changed. So many things are out of our hands. The work has a strong energy to it and in truth I relish the thought of continuing to work on a large scale.
I then took time to look at the materials I’m planning to use for new work – fine pattern paper, fabric fragments, dried foliage, fragile aged manuscripts, raw canvas, wax crayon and paint. It feels like an exciting recipe to me. I reflected on elements that I had included in the larger works, old browning paper sealed to canvas with thick layers of paint, pushed through lines drawn in black wax crayon.
I realise I need not leave last years’ work behind – I will pull it through to the new year with me and allow elements to effect smaller pieces. I’m looking forward to bringing things together and to moving forward.