(this next line could be the start of a very long book…) One of the many problems with painting is that you just end up making all this stuff that, unless you are very lucky and can sell it, just accumulates and has very little interest to anyone other than you, the artist, and even you end up looking at stacked up against the studio wall, occasionally taking it out to have a look at it, only to wonder ‘what was I thinking of? ‘
It’s during these times that it’s a good idea to recycle some of the stretchers: take the paintings off, roll them up, and store them somewhere, or even destroy some of them, and make room for more work that only you want to see. You can ask yourself does the world really need another painting but it’s probably best to ignore the answer and carry on regardless. But I don’t want this in any way to diminish the act of painting and the role painting has. It’s as good a way as any, and far better than many, way to communicate with the world, and an endlessly challenging and satisfying thing to do, it’s just that sometimes when you want to make more paintings, and I always do, you have to face up to a reality check with all this stuff sat there silently in the studio, and make some decisions about it. And remember it is just stuff after all and have a purge.
I’m pretty lucky in the sense that I may not sell much of this stuff, but most of the time I do have the opportunity to exhibit it and make a fair bit of income from my practice in other ways. Selling is not really the point, it is not a commodity, it’s my expression and this means far more to me. If you wanted to make money from it, well, maybe you should think about something else, or are missing the point. Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying I chucked loads of stuff out of the studio the other door and it felt great…I feel better about making some more paintings now.