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Listen


It’s the end of a busy week, going from one show to the next. Orkney was a magical time and so worthwhile. Now the focus has shifted towards an exhibition ‘on the continent’, as people say here in the UK.


I’m finalising a new body of work, and taking a slightly different direction with it. Anyone passing by the studio door will catch sounds of hammering, sanding, and the possible occasional smell of spray paint. At the moment, there is an equal amount of slopping brushes and paint across canvases as there is nailing and sawdust flying out of the door!


The process of discovery and intention happens in equal measure too - a constant back and forth; a dialogue between the material and the paint. The key is to see, and to listen to what the different aspects of a work are saying; to follow a direction, a leading, and sometimes to purposefully build direction, and make a decision. When in full flow, there does not seem to be tension between these two things, just a lot of momentum, leading to a solidity of purpose.


Listening is key. Someone mentioned to me the other day that the same letters in the word ‘listen’ are also in the word ‘silent’. One thing I’ve found is that listening takes a certain amount of silence - of the heart, of the mind - a kind of stilling. It’s not that we don’t feel or love or think, but at a certain point of the creative process it is time to silence everything, to listen, and then step forward, trust, and ‘do’.


Time to do just that.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!


“Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.”

― Madeleine L'Engle, Swiftly Tilting Planet

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