Doing is thinking in motion

Pink disc painting (working title)
acrylic on canvas
200 × 250mm
2024

Mix paint, load a brush, and mark the canvas. While I can think as much as I want about a painting (and often do and need to), tangible progress is only made in the doing. Doing is thinking in motion.

“Everyone has a plan: until they get punched in the face”
– Mike Tyson.

Of course, once the paint hits the canvas, any plans often need to be let go. As I frequently hear in the rugby commentary, you must adapt to an ever-changing game and play to what’s in front of you.

While I’ve started introducing figurative elements to my work, I’m not yet comfortable with them. The face in the above painting wasn’t sitting right, even when turned upside down. The figuration felt forced (perhaps because it was), so it got painted over. Plans were abandoned and adapted to what was working or wasn’t working in front of me.

That said, I think there’s value in using an “inserted provocation,” adding a random element to my painting to ask, “What if…?” Like Edward De Bono’s “Po” tool, using a random word to spark new ideas, there’s value in pushing at the edges of my practice, working in unchartered areas, and discovering what I’m (un)comfortable with.

→ Momentum