Day one


Sketchbook drawing made over coffee this morning.

It’s day one of my life after leaving my part-time job at Toi Pōneke, and already I’m enjoying the space and time I now have. It’s a mindset as much as anything, and I’m feeling lighter.

I plan to use the next six to eight weeks as a chance to “Cocoon”. I’m splitting the time into four phases:


Resting is self-explanatory – an opportunity to recharge and reconnect. Reflecting will see me look at where I’ve been, where I am, and where I want to be (and what I might want to do). The Exploration phase builds upon the findings of the Reflection phase and sees me explore various possibilities and options. Discoveries and ideas generated from the Exploration phase will be tested in the Experimental phase, where I’ll create experiments to test my ideas against reality.

I realise none of the above mentions art or making explicitly. And that’s ok. I do not doubt that I’ll keep making, and I’m also open to the possibility of taking a pause. Much like my painting process, I’m keen to create the conditions, space, and time to see what emerges.



dothink drawing
acrylic on paper

Bigger paper, larger brush, more paint, unwieldy ideas, spacious feelings. Extra everything. Supersize that.

Is the idea muscular enough to disturb the universe?

Am I bold enough to disturb the universe?



Along with changing things up colourwise in the studio, I’ve been looking in the archives for the Individual Project Outlines (IPO) I made while at Massey doing my Masters.

The tool was given to us by the University and is designed to help plan projects. I found it helpful at the time and have often gone back to the format to get a handle on what I want to achieve and how I’m going to do it.

Here’s the outline for you:


S.M.A.R.T goal (specific, measurable, achievable (or attainable), relevant, and time-bound)


Provide a critical reflection on your previous work.

References, influences, readings

Include a briefly annotated list of artists of interest and influential figures, ideas and texts (bibliography) and relevant visual material.


Identify what you intend to learn by undertaking this project.


The how

Challenges I face

What obstacles do you face to complete this project?

A timeline

What’s happening and when

Knowledge I need to develop

What do you need to learn to complete the project?


Solutions to the challenges listed above

See also David Allen’s Natural Planning Model.

While planning models may not sound creative or arty, they help get things done.

More dothink


The first drawing (above), the fourth drawing (below).

The fourth drawing.

Somewhere in between the first and last drawings, I started thinking. Not that I wasn’t thinking while making the first drawing, it was just a different type of thinking. It was much more thinkdo, or almost dothink, whereas the last drawing was think—do, think—do, think—do.

Not that there’s anything wrong with think—do. It has its place and moves at its own pace.

I simply want more dothink for these works.

The way out

Today’s newsletter started as a handwritten draft about planning and my need for a clear goal or outcome. I then jumped to writing about the poverty trap of low-paid part-time work many artists fall into (myself included). It sounded, hmm, a little down. Instead, here are a couple of photos. The first is where I start to make my master plan or at least a goal. The second is the view from the studio and the way out.

View of the studio

View from thw studio window