Question your teaspoons


Recent sketchbook drawings

Question your teaspoons

In his short essay, Approaches to What? Georges Perec writes how the daily news focuses on shocking things going against the norm, rarely addressing the daily. Nurses striking to get better pay is shocking, yet the day-to-day reality of low wages for nurses is genuinely upsetting and can be missed.

Perec continues writing, turning to the importance of questioning the habitual – examining what we do, believe, and encounter (without a second thought).

Why do I walk this way to work? What if I took the other street? How can I make the journey enjoyable? Why not buy something unusual from the supermarket?

An artist may ask, why am I using this tool over that one? Why this piece of paper and not that one? How can I make this easy for myself? What can I change?

Perec notes the more trivial the question, the better.

I’m struck by the curiosity involved in asking these sorts of questions. I can see how questioning our norms leads to breakthroughs, new ideas, and insight.



St. Clair, Dunedin.

My routines are busted, the breaking waves are constant, my throat is sore (hence the rest), my drawing is sporadic amidst the change, and I am learning to use my new camera.

Today, however, I’m taking a break and recharging.

Picasso Monster


One from the composition book, September 2022

After years of distortion and twisting to please others, Picasso Monster starts regaining and finding some balance.


Everything has gone, and I’m:

  • Getting to know Dunedin.

  • Using the question, “What if I let myself be happy?” as my North Star while I define my Big Question.

  • Holding a space open for something new to emerge.

  • Rebooting my website.

Notes and observations from Everything Must Go


Everything has gone.

Written here as much as a note to self. I may explore deeper at a later date:

Seeing people looking at, enjoying, and buying work from the studio was good.

The dangers/difficulty of operating in the middle ground

People are buying works they’ve previously wanted but cannot afford. The challenge for artists is to sell work at 100s of dollars or for tens of hundreds of dollars. While I imagine there is room in the thousands of dollars range, somehow, I think (I have no evidence) there are not as many collectors (or there is not as much available money) in the middle bracket.

People have hundreds of dollars or tens of thousands of dollars to spend. Not the thousands of dollars. (Again, I have no evidence for this!)

The challenge of “pay what you want.”

People were often unsure what to spend when I said, “pay what you want” for work, even after I told them what pieces were previously priced. Putting a price on a painting makes it easier for people to decide if they can afford it.

Make it as easy for people to buy work as possible

As an artist, especially without representation, making it easy for people to buy work is smart. And yes, that means putting a price on the work; it means making it clear the work is for sale and making it as easy as possible for someone to buy it.

Reactions to destruction

I found reactions from people when learning I was going to destroy my work interesting: several were in the “Oh you can’t” and the “Let’s find a way to save or use them”. Once we’d talked, others could see my rationale and the possible liberation I was hoping for.

I do not want to continue to carry my work around with me. Psychologically, financially, and physically it is draining.

The work has already lived a useful life in many ways. I’ve learnt plenty from doing the work: improving my technique, testing compositions, playing with colour relationships, etc. Making one piece enables me to make the next piece. That a painting can find another life is lovely.

All up, Everything Must Go was a fascinating and valuable experience!