We become wise, sometimes by remembering

On change, collecting flowers and being vividly present. 

The studio is in for a massive shift. I have been saying it for months but I am never good at updating people although I tell people I will. I am sorry about this. But the time has come and what an exciting time it is. Last year was tough as well as the year before that. People say twins get easier when they turn three but really it just feels harder. The boys are their own little people and my daughter has grown more than expected in the last three months. There is usually alot of screaming and fighting more than there is peace. 

I've continued to work consistently. The studio has remained in a cycle of store updates, sales and new collections. The sales have gotten lower and I have grown tired. I decided last November I would slow down my practise to focus on larger, more conceptualised approaches to the work I produce. I always said I would do this when my children were older but the business model has not been working. It has been a risk and my sales have gone down by 85 percent on the store the last four weeks. The pressure of not constantly producing, updating and selling has been stressful but it has also been a wonderful space of inquiry, remembering and noticing. 

Around 2020 during lockdown I had by mistake bought a tube of Fluoro Pink instead of my usual Magenta. I didn't look at at twice. Late last year I had left the studio door open and one of the twins got in, opened and squeezed out the expired tube of it over an expensive piece of Fabriano I had just bought. I was admiring the deckle edge and I had laid out on the table. I was only gone for a moment. The paint stank it was so old. I remember not panicking and wiping the paint gently off the surface. I enjoyed the mark it had left. I began rubbing it on the page more and spreading the paint more until it totally filled the paper. It was stinky. I called the kids back in, handed them crayons and they began to draw scribbles on the page. I had let go of the idea that the work was sellable and decided we would just play on it; but then I saw a landscape. I doused the page with ultramarine blue, and suddenly the image revealed itself. I couldn't believe how much the bright fluoro paint begun changing the surrounding colours and deepening the blues. 

There are flowers at all different stages of life in the studio. I have studied them daily. Friends have messaged for flower collections. I have Uber connected them to my house like some sort of injured patient, tied up to dry and dated them. At one point the space really started to stink; I have stopped collecting as much and I think I need a better system. 

There has been so much curiosity in this space, so many moments that I think in the past might have gone unseen by me, in a rush to get a new collection up and ready for the next sale. I am so glad I had stopped to notice. I am so glad I remembered the delicacy, impulsivity that is the mark of a child. The stinky Fluoro paint began a new process on painting, mark making, masking, collecting and noticing. Over the last six months a new collection of work has been created. It has been a invaluable time of deepening my practise. 

All because of little hands. I still don't know which child did it. 


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