Many people have recently been kind enough to enquire as to the source and origins of my work, and I have been able to sit back and take the time contemplate and explain all the various inputs that go into what I produce.
Whilst I do not totally agree with it, this quote attributed American artist Chuck Close comes pretty close to describing what goes on in my head and hands: ”Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Sitting around and waiting for that cliched lightning bolt to come and get you going is a recipe for disaster.
I can best describe, as a crude comparison, the process I use is like going for a purposeful walk through the bush – which I love to do. Seeking fresh air for the lungs, never know what is around the next corner, what bird, or lizard, or strange animal is going to set off a new thought pattern. What beautiful plant, what exciting vista, is going to ambush me and add to the already extensive bank of imagery (not just visual) in my mind. I have to, and want to, be alive and make a definite conscious decision to be open to all sorts of possibilities – whether I like them or not.
So what is the source of these ‘conscious ambushes’ for me?
– memories & experiences. Over half a century of doing life leaves a deep imprint, which I draw on continually from actively thinking about certain items, to knowledge of skill sets and putting them to use, and to trying to remember so much of what I have already forgotten!
– research and experimentation. These go hand in hand. There is many, many hours of study and practice going it to not just the what-to-make, but also the how-to-make it.
– spiritual encounter. A necessarily vague and almost overused term, but it is the only way I have to describe it – and I know many people see it as irrelevant these days. We will have to agree to disagree there. I actively seek this concept, and my work is based on what can only be called an other-worldly expression of beauty that I see all around me in this world, and I want to share that experience with my work’s audience.
So, all this adds up to an often riotous cacophany of stimuli going around inside my head – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!