My Blog posts are a sneak inside my head, a little insight into my life as a professional artist. Most of these posts begin as thoughts jotted down in the back of a sketchbook as ideas seem to flood in sometimes, a little like paintings. 

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    I was reminded this week of the importance of taking it slow. A student from my recent art workshop suffers from chronic fatigue. She was so enjoying her painting and trying to get as much accomplished at the one-day workshop that she didn’t notice that she was getting tired and needed to take a break. Although she had a wonderful time, it made her really exhausted the following day. Despite the popular myth of the tortured artist, you really shouldn’t have to suffer for your art - it should be a fun and exciting journey. 

    I don’t teach often and only in person, so my painting workshops have limited places and tend to sell out quickly. The artists who come are always a great bunch of people, supportive with each other, really keen to learn as much as possible, sometimes a little competitive or easily dismayed (because everyone else’s painting always seems better than your own!) but everyone leaves with a new idea, a mostly-finished painting and the inspiration to do more. I encourage them to go further than they think they are capable and I make sure we relax for lunch together, but this made me realise that I need to remind them to slow down sometimes. I also need to remind myself to slow down. 

  2. When I’m taking a lunchbreak in my studio, I make it a practice to read inspiring or art related books so my focus is always on art and not distracted by other things. When I’m procrastinating, I’ll tidy them up in colour order! Here's a little walk through some of my favourites on the book shelf.


    Some of these books are big door-stoppers, bought from art exhibitions that have left a positive impression on me. I read them over the course of a few weeks, getting inside the head of the artist and trying to skim across all the institutional art babble that distracts me from making my own judgement about the work. I like to understand some of the background and related art history, but mostly I want to know why the artist made those decisions, how they managed their lives and what helped or hindered them.