Frustrated, Inspired & Experimenting!
First published. 26 Apr 2012 (2325 days ago)
Right now I'm trying to literally force myself to work a bit each day. In between the time I spend on the computer & working around the stuff needed with the Penang Heritage Trust, I find that the days go too quickly & I'm not doing what I love best- putting colour on to a surface & making an image!
With artist Strawalde
However, certain things have happened in recent months that have helped me make a clear decision about my work & my approach to it. Several young people, my age, close to me, have suddenly died. Not just 1 but a few....& it makes one sit up & ask a few questions. I certainly don't want to go through my life banging my head against a brick wall for a lost cause & ending up just frustrated & angry. The lack of law & enforcement & non- compliance going around our home here in George Town, & making me question the whole 'liveability' of the place, is totally frustrating & it has definitely blocked my work for the last few years I've been here. It's not what I really want to admit. George Town is most wonderful & we as a country are so lucky to still have such a fine site that captures our past histories, but it frustrates me how there seems to be no general pride for it. It'll be too late when people realise what we have now & have lost, 20 or 30 years on.....
The sudden death of a childhood friend & also of my lovely brother- in- law, just a couple of weeks ago slammed home the preciousness of life & value of family & friends, & wonderful neighbours. My sister- in -law has been overwhelmed with help & support from her neighbourhood in London. These are reminders to be with family, friends & to choose a life that encompasses a balance of happiness & satisfaction, & a respect for the planet as a whole. This in itself is inspiration.
There has also been other huge inspirations for me. Strawalde, an 80 year old German artist was plonked into one of our apartments by his agent to paint for a month. He was totally inspired by George Town & from the outside this is really easy! And he painted & completed a huge range of canvases.
His zest for life is wonderful & the guy acts, looks, feels young! A case perhaps for an attitude & understanding that life is not to be taken for granted. He went through many dreadful hardships as a child & then as a painter in East Germany. He worked like a madman but also come down to my studio occasionally & talked to me about my work. He has told me I have to work with oils & that I should stop thinking! I would like to stop thinking about all the things that frustrate me here....so I'm attempting to take his advice!
A bit of painting everyday will lead to more painting every day & each time I work on a piece ( I have about 4 pieces on going at the same time & rotate as I work around them all.) I feel that this is definitely meditation & it clears my head! I'm a happy person at heart & I know that when I feel good I feel well.
My images now are bolder than they have been before & less 'detailed' or 'worked'. I'm trying to let my brush loose a bit & not worry about what the image looks like on a micro level. I'm liking a bit of sticking & tearing bits & texture mixed up with everything. This harks back to a student when I did lots of collage & everyone gave me a hard time for it then, & of course, to my weaving...I sort of want the paintings now to look like tapestries.
I have been travelling a lot on Tiger Blue- Irian Jaya- 3 trips since Christmas & the place is stunning, the colours phenomenal underwater, the sea life totally outrageous in all ways & have had the 'absolute' experience of swimming with whale sharks- what gorgeous creatures! All of this is going on in my head & trying to get it out bit by bit is hard.
In the mean time I'm taking deep breathes when I get frustrated with the authorities..........I'll keep you posted!