Monday, April 30, 2007

Blogger's Block

I am living in Japan, I should be blogging so much more than I have been, but I feel rather uninspired of late. Creatively that is.

I am having a love-hate relationship with many things at the moment. Though it sounds far more dramatic than it is.

I think I need to get out of the city for a while.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A New Chapter

After 5 days of late rising, resting and a couple of pleasant day trips, I got myself down to my favourite art store in Osaka today to buy some materials for my next body of work. I met up with a Japanese friend of mine, who also happens to be an artist, at the art store, then we had lunch at the gallery she will be exhibiting in next week.

It seems I am not the only one who has felt a little uninspired of late.

I guess after every exhibition I have, there is a kind of lull, as I have focused so much time and energy on one particular body of work and when it's all done, there is a sense of satisfaction, relief, followed by exhaustion. Creative exhaustion, not wanting to sound too dramatic...but it can sometimes take a while for me to get motivated again. The lull is always temporary. I must say though, that this year finds me terribly disappointed in the commercial gallery world. It's no wonder more and more artists are turning to self management and using vessels such as the world wide web to promote themselves and deal directly with their clients. It seems that is a good way to avoid the communication breakdown that often happens with a middle man.

I feel somewhat despondent.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Stranger in a Strange Land

I arrived back in Osaka on Tuesday evening.

It felt somewhat surreal as I flew into this city for the fourth time.

It was a whirlwind visit to Melbourne, the two weeks just flew and before I knew it I was flying back to Japan. For someone with a fear of flying I have certainly done a lot of it recently.

I felt a little awkward being back here. My heart has two homes right now. My mind is still racing from the pace of the past few months, my body is telling it to slow down. I am trying to meet them both somewhere in the middle. The ongoing strive for balance.

Since arriving here in February, I had been so busy that I did not get an opportunity to visit Kyoto, one of my favourite places in the world, due to the preparation for my Melbourne exhibition. Yesterday, however, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity and time to visit that wonderful part of the world, and although the cherry blossoms have almost disappeared, I was able to see the last of the season and get an idea of just how beautiful Spring is over here.

I am still inspired by this place.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Comedown

I have stopped. Stopped to take a breath.

My exhibition opened on Wednesday evening.

Another year, another opening, and other body of work.

Today was my first day of doing nothing in a very long time and it felt good.
I will return to Japan on Tuesday, perhaps to bare blossom trees and warmer weather, and start a new body of work soon after that. I have some new ideas that I am quite excited about and I look forward to exploring them.

For the next few days, however, I am happy to forget about- (or put aside)- art or at least the process behind my creation of it, and just reflect.

The works can be viewed here

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Neither Here Nor There

Age is a funny thing. I often forget my own, temporarily. I have to keep reminding myself of how old, or young, I am. It seems irrelevant at times.

I have not been asked my age by many people since turning 33 in February, so I am still inclined to answer 32 when prompted. I’m still the same person, just 12 months older.

Have I really changed in the past year? In the past 5 years? Longer? I still like sad songs and red wine. I still don’t eat meat. I still possess, and am pursuing, my artistic dreams and desires. I am not, and have never been, married and I possess no desire to have children. Is the latter selfish? To some maybe, to me it’s just honest. I still make mistakes that I don’t necessarily learn from and I still have many, many questions – some that I am almost certain will never be answered. According to my mother, I am still impulsive. This was recently said in a way that suggested perhaps I am getting a little too old to be this way inclined but it was not said with a vindictive tongue, just that of a caring and concerned mother. I guess mothers have a way about them, although I can only really vouch for my own. I love her dearly and I would have to suggest that she knows me better than anyone else, and, usually much to my dismay, perhaps even better than I know myself at times, which, on the other hand, can also be somewhat comforting on occasion.

Do I feel 33? What is 33 meant to feel like? I feel tired, mentally and physically, but not defeated or ungrateful. My body feels as though it has lived every moment of at least 33 years, but I say this not in a negative sense. Some days my physical aches and pains, which are neither great nor insignificant, remind me of how fortunate I am to have these 33 years under my belt and still be here. They, along with more pleasurable feelings can make me feel as though I have lived. I don’t like taking things forgranted, but I admit I often do.

I currently feel a little ‘in limbo’. I suppose it is not surprising given my current situation. That of having relocated to Osaka, Japan in early February this year. At the moment I am home, well, I am in Melbourne, the place I have at least always thought of as home. I have come here for two weeks due to my exhibition at Jackman Gallery, which opens next Wednesday evening, April 11. This will be my fifth consecutive year showing with them and as much as I am looking forward to again seeing a new body of work on their white walls I am feeling as though I am entering a transitional phase as an artist. I am in two minds about having an annual exhibitions in commercial galleries.

The art world is a funny place, not necessarily in a ‘ha ha’ way either. Being an artist can be incredibly trying at times and although there are times when doubt creeps in and I come close to taking on a defeatist’s attitude, I could not be any other way. It is a necessity for me to make art, even when I do not really like what I am creating. It is a process, something that is ever evolving. It is a passion. One that I cannot control, for it controls me. It is my life. I don’t know if anyone, other than another artist, can really understand this and other things involved with being such. Though I could be wrong. Passion covers much ground.

I am rambling, yes, but not whining. I can honestly say I am truly grateful to be in a position that allows me to explore and pursue the life of a so called artist. It is in no way glamorous but it is always interesting.

By no means do I consider myself a simple person, in fact I have been told by many that I am the complete opposite, that being complex. I do however, at times, desire the simple things in life. Even if just to give my over active mind and imagination a rest for a while. It does not often work. I laugh at myself sometimes, not out of humour, but for the fact that if I do not, I could cry. I think people have a tendency to take life too seriously at times, and I am certainly no exception. However, it is not my desire to be careless nor callus either. A good balance of frivolity and compassion would be desirable. Balance being the key word.

The Game

The words are stuck
To the inside of my skull
Though even if
They were to escape
They may possess no answers
No solutions
Perhaps not even one single suggestion

They could perhaps
Be as useless
As words on a scrabble board
There for no other reason
Than a game

Such is life
One big game
And every day
We play

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Sort of Homecoming

Home. Or at least in Melbourne. Where or what is home really?

I arrived in Melbourne on Sunday and it felt rather odd to be back here. Although I had only been away for 2 months, living in Osaka has had quite an impact on me. Having said that, in other ways, it felt almost I had dreamt the whole thing and the only reminder of reality were the two 100 yen coins on the dresser next to the bed.

I delivered my paintings to Jackman Gallery today, after finishing the final one on the evening I arrived home. I was a bit nervous about having them stretched in case any got damaged, not having painted on unstretched canvas before. However, I was pleased with the final outcome and happy to have been able to find someone who could do the job in such a short turn around, and for less than half the price I was originally quoted by another framer.

I feel a slight sense of relief and also one of achievement. It's been a very hectic past few months.