I'm looking through digital records of the work I've done over the last three years, thinking about what to have prints made from for the show in September. It's quite interesting to see things that I'd completely forgotten about, and to see them now as the pathway to where I am now.
I remember, for example, doing this drawing very early on. I could see that there was something that interested me in it, but it was also somehow inconsequential. I couldn't see it as 'going anywhere' in particular. At the time I was writing here about feeling completely lost, about not working enough. I kept stopping and starting, and wondering what was going on.
Now I can see clearly how this drawing had the seeds of the very thing that has become my thing. I can see how the ideas here recurred again and again throughout the years, slowly repeating themselves until finally I began to realise that this is what was coming through, like it or not. Natural forms, repetition and novelty; the patterns of froth and webs and oil bubbles and tree bark.
The painting knows how it wants to come, just as the songs arrive whether or not I like the sound of my voice. My only job is to do, to respond, to let the stuff come through.
Also, to stop fretting about how much work comes through. I don't have to paint like a demon from early morning to late and night. That might be some people's way, but I've found that this work has found its way out despite being slow and gradual. My habit before was to concentrate and apply and sustain and push. This is the greatest learning of all, for me, the greatest miracle of my creative life so far. That nothing has to force and worry and push at all. In fact, this work seems to have come out precisely because it was left to do its own thing.