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Just got back from a month in Manilla, NSW Australia. Even the locals were complaining of the heatwave we had. Intended to paint but my brain was frying and the most I could manage was a series of small watercolours.

Mostly horses. There were 10 on my stepdaughters ┬ávast 200 acre property. But also tried to capture the view from the verandah where we spent a lot of time just gazing and drinking in the amazing spaces. As well as drinking cool beers and wine! Unless you’ve been to Australia it’s impossible to truly appreciate the space. It’s monumental, daunting, exhilarating and impossible.

Returning home I immediately set about trying to recall in paint all the mixed feelings and impressions of Australia. So far I’m failing miserably.

The first big painting I started has rapidly degenerated into my former descriptive, figurative style. I keep shouting No!!! in my head but it still comes out as a figurative image. It’s as if I haven’t spent the last 6 years doing a BA and an MA and pushing my practice forward. Gone are the aspirations to paint from the memory of experience and to create an ambiguous reflection of time and space.

So here I am blogging about my struggles. It usually helps to articulate my thoughts by writing….thinking aloud on paper….well on a laptop but it’s similar. I’ve somehow got to inject the heat, dust, colour, joy and space into the image and at the moment, working in 3 degree grey UK after temperatures in the high 30’s and low 40’s it’s just not working. I’m lost as to how to do that.

Also spent time in the local pool and swimming in rivers and small lakes. Maybe I should start with that aspect…. more my natural element. Hmm now that’s a thought. Back to the drawing-board.