The thing that confounds us

You know we want to look at paintings. If you walk into a group show your eye doesn’t go to the thing you understand, it doesn’t go the the thing you like – I love apples. That’s a fantastic painting of apples. I can almost taste them! – We don’t do that. It’s the thing that confounds us. You know, What the hell is that? Why would anyone do that? That is so fucked up, you know. And you look at it. And you think about it and sometimes that’s really the stuff… If there’s something we are going to love… that’s going to be the route to it.

– Thomas Nozkowski

Transcribed from a video interview from 2012.

A few things from the week

I did some painting:

Acrylic on A3 watercolour paper

The top work reminds me of some of Phillip Guston’s drawings, which is no bad thing.

I read this article – What Happens When a Computer Runs Your Life.

Max Hawkins

I wish the article went deeper but having used and been interested in the random for my practice this is fascinating. Find the guy’s website here:

I rewatched this:

Webstock '11: Merlin Mann - Scared Shitless: How I Learned to Love Being Afraid of Pretty Much Everything from Webstock on Vimeo.

Webstock ‘11: Merlin Mann - Scared Shitless: How I Learned to Love Being Afraid of Pretty Much Everything otherwise known as The one where Merlin cries.

I listened to the Stone Roses a lot:


And this, from the Guardian, made me smile. (Did you have Panini stickers in NZ?)


And don’t forget there’s a new gallery opening in town tonight – Millers O’Brien.

I know Jhana and Laila have been working their arses off to make this happen. It’s been a long and crazy ride so it’s great to see things come to fruition. Launching both the gallery and their first exhibition, the doors open at 5pm. You can find the gallery at Level 1, Mibar Building, 85 Victoria Street (It’s the building Lido cafe is in, with the doorway between Lido and Vessel). It’s great there’s another galley in town so do pop in and support them and their artists.

Have a great weekend!

Good News

Ending the week with some good news…

I found out yesterday I’m one of the finalists in this year’s Parkin Drawing Prize. The last time I had work in the Parkin Prize was with my wall drawing Ape. This year I’ve entered 24 oil stick drawings. The winners will be announced at the official awards evening at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts here in Wellington on 16 July.


APE, 2014
acrylic paint wall drawing
450 × 950mm

Conversations and finding words

I’ve had several interesting conversations this week: one with a theatre producer about the challenges of making a living as a creative person in Wellington (or anywhere for that matter), another on receiving useful criticism of your work and a third touching on the challenges of how to communicate shifts in your practice.

Showing someone one of the new drawings I’ve been making (email #424) elicited a positive and surprised response – the work being perceived as a large leap from my flat, hard edged work of the last view years.

I forget many people who know my work aren’t necessarily aware of what I was making before I started my Masters, let alone before I came to New Zealand. While these new drawings feel quite familiar to me, a natural development of my previous work, I can see how they may be alien to people.

As I find the words to go with these new works part of the challenge is placing the new drawings in context of my existing practice, acknowledging what people already know (or don’t know) about my work.

Watch this space…