Deadlines are killers aren’t they? It’s all in the name. The idea is that if you don’t make it you fall dead on the line. Perhaps in a desk job, on Friday at 4.59pm when you are working for someone else. But for an artist it can be different.
The pressure of time is the essence of the best plein air paintings. In the studio as well, a deadline definitely helps. Not to say that the hours of following the muse, battling and learning are wasted, just that a due date aids focus! A commission, an art fair, exhibition or open studio is sometimes just what I need. And so it is now…
I was very honoured to be invited by two Melbourne artists, Steffie Wallace and Neil Wallace to join them in a small show in Sydney in April-May this year. Working towards that has been interesting. Notice I am not using “journey” – I have had enough of that metaphor. Reference: dark day in Rome.
With a general theme of Sydney waterways, who could not think of the harbour and its surrounds? I sifted through my collection of Sydney photographs for inspiration and found a nice little selection taken on the Paramatta ferry a year or so ago. The images included the Harbour, Paramatta River and lots of fellow travellers, tourists and locals sharing the journey and reacting (or not) to the passing scenery. Masses of raw material.
So, people and water, potentially an interesting combination. But in this small format it was a struggle. As interesting as the original photos were, the excitement petered out a bit and I couldn’t imagine drawing the series out to 8 or 10 works.
Even more pressure, but somehow more joy! Know the feeling?