Acrylic practice – bath

This started as a woman standing in a tiled room, facing me, then became a woman in a tub with her back to me, then the mirror appeared and called for a reflection.

My process at the moment is: keep going until something starts making sense. Then stop – stop when there’s a glimmer of being near completion (at which point things are often unsatisfying in a way that I can’t put my finger on). After a few weeks or months, I can sometimes see what I could have done differently.


    • Thank you. I like this observation – yes, I did spend a lot of time looking at the tiles and tub and asking myself if I was going to change the shape to suggest perspective and depth. I’m not completely sold on the way I left it, but I’m still figuring out my style so I’ll see how I feel about it in a while!

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  1. Love the softness of this piece, and also the insight into your process. Question: Do you hesitate to post a piece on your blog before it feels “finished”? Or does it go out at a certain hard-to-explain point that feels complete enough, knowing that “finished” and “in process” are subjective and not static decisions? Would love to hear….

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    • Thanks, Cate. When I started the blog, I thought I’d post work in progress, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case. So yes, things generally go out when they’re “finished” in one way or other – and usually, being finished has to do with capturing a hint of something that I’m after. With the bath, it was the reflection/light in the mirror. (There are lots of paintings that I hit a wall with and those I just gesso over – there has to be some kind of story that comes through, even if it’s just in the composition or colours.) What about you with writing?

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      • Yes, that makes sense — being “finished” in one way or other. I really liked, in your process description of this piece, how it kept changing. A dynamic and slightly mysterious process. One seems to need both vision and a willingness to have that vision change as the work progresses.

        I was a perfectionist as a journalist, and that still carries over to my prose. Writing poetry has been enjoyable in part because I don’t have that expectation of “good” — I’m not even sure what “good” is — so I can let pieces go out into the world more readily. That said, I believe writing is almost always improved by letting it sit for a time and then tweaking before publishing, and reading out loud is a must. If it then feels good enough — whatever that is on any given day — out it goes, and on with the next!

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      • Yes, I get the expectation-of-having-something-be-good thing, It trips me up too. I have boards and canvases that I hit a wall with (because I was unwilling to keep going or uninterested, or couldn’t relate to what I painted, or thought they weren’t good enough) and those I just paint over – some masonite boards have had four or five paintings on them. Interesting about the different mindset you have with your poetry – I think not having expectations is working well!


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