Crikey… It’s been a while since I last posted! Such is life when you work full-time and have to fit in your painting practice in between that and everything else!

This painting (oils on 40 x 40 inch stretched canvas) has been a while in the making. It started as an old painting I didn’t much like, and morphed over a couple of months into something completely different. It is similar to where I was stylistically when I stopped painting a few years ago, but with a lot more going on in the ‘negative space’ areas. The result is certainly more energetic and more vibrant than those previous paintings, which I have to say I kind of like.

There were times though, during the painting process, when it was pretty hard going. And, it brought to mind how challenging the whole business of making art can be. I say that because, at least for me, the painting process can often be a mixed bag emotionally. I tend to start off with lots of excitement and anticipation – the iPod’s churning out music and I’m feeling pumped. I’m singing, I’m dancing, I’m chucking paint around like there’s no tomorrow.

At some point though – it might be a day later, or a week later – there’s a distinct feeling as though it’s time to start getting down to the business of pulling it all together. And, that’s where (for me at least) the sense of freedom and playfulness starts to transmute into a quieter sense of consideration and analysis. Now I start thinking about where I’m putting the next mark and whether the overall composition is working or not. The rock and pop tracks give way to less distracting soft jazz and classical pieces to give me space to think. And, from there-on in, what happens is anybody’s guess.

I believe it’s important, at this stage, to acknowledge that creating art isn’t always ‘fun’. Sometimes it’s an exercise in problem solving, or worse, damage control. On occasion, this art making gig can make you feel like the biggest failure out…

The Creative Process
(by Marcus Romer)
1. This is awesome
2. This is tricky
3. This is shit
4. I am shit
5. This might be ok
6. This is awesome

I’m sure you can relate. You’d think we wouldn’t have the stomach for it, and plenty don’t. The trick is, of course, not to give up but to forge ahead. Not that the creative cycle ever gets easier – it doesn’t, so far as I can tell. But, you can at least come to recognise that it’s through this awesome process that we get the chance to truly come to know, and express, ourselves in all our imperfect glory.

Any creative process is about being in a territory which isn’t secure, isn’t necessarily familiar, and isn’t convenient in any sort of way. And that’s the excitement of it.
Susanne Bier