Journal

Biro studies

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Biro studies
biro on filecards
128 × 76mm each
2021

Once Around the Bla

Once around the Bla
acrylic on canvas
405 x 380mm
2020

Scared

Scared
Colin McCahon
acrylic on paper
1095 × 730mm
1976

Biro studies made while thinking about Once Around the Bla, the last work I made for New Old Forms, with a hint of McCahon’s Scared.

Once Around the Bla provides the foundation for these drawings, it may be the bridge to my next body of work. While I could turn the small studies into paintings, I’m treating them as a way to explore how I divide a canvas. In making them, I am building a repertoire of moves, practising and rehearsing. Of course, using a brush is quite different to a biro, but one step at a time.

Proposal

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Untitled (night)
acrylic on canvas
200 × 250mm
2021

Proposals: Love them or hate them; they’re part of being an artist. Without them, you don’t get exhibitions, residencies, funding, and more.

Right now, I’m writing a proposal to exhibit my small paintings. I’ve been referring to a helpful document – Tips & Hints for Writing Proposals (122kb PDF) created by the Wellington City Council Arts team.

I’ve used it before with excellent results. It gives me a structure to work with and intelligent questions to answer.

One other thing I’ve discovered - of all the proposals I’ve written, the successful ones have an uncomplicated idea, succinctly explained.

If you’re struggling to write your proposals or are intrigued about what goes into writing a good proposal, this tips & hints document is a damn good place to start.

Peace and quiet

On a day when I retreat from roofers tossing corrugated steel from the scaffold outside my flat to end up at a coffee shop outside of which are the noisiest roadworks, here’s something without sound and with the peace for which I was looking.

Three small drawings

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I feel I’ve little to say this week as I haven’t been making much. I have been keeping my hand in, however, making these and other drawings.

These small drawings, being small and ephemeral, give space for the unconscious to roam without (too much) judgement.

Works on Wall

I also had reason to get all (or most) of my small paintings together on one wall. It was interesting seeing these works through someone else’s eyes. The conversions between the pieces, the shared colours, and the relationship with my work exhibited in New Old Forms.

To me, these works feel self-contained and independent, capable of existing in their own right without the support of each other — a development from the previous paintings.

Next steps? An increase in scale is one possible option, a refinement of the palette another. We’ll have to wait and see.

Strangeness and experimentation

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Ink drawings

I have been keeping my art ticking over by making some small ink drawings. The light, throw away quality of working on small paper allows for strangeness and experimentation. The bottom left drawing struck me as particularly odd – a ring on a stick and arrows, marks. More exploration required.

Brand New Me progress report

I am continuing to work on the Business Model You, Personal Business Model Canvas – looking at who I help, the value I bring, who helps me, and more. I may need to develop several Canvases for different roles. All very useful and stimulating.

Also, a beneficial conversation with a friend not involved in the art world, talking about the importance of story, selling work, sensitivity, putting yourself into your practice, and more.

Ideas are beginning to coalesce.