Doubt

Doubt accompanies all you do as a painter, at least if you think about what it is you are doing. There are times when everything works and makes sense, but there are other times when you question even the simplest things you do and the whole business seems to fall apart.

I have been thinking about the processes I go through to sustain the work in the studio; walking and drawing in the landscape, going to places that have to be accessed on foot, only recording with basic drawing materials on A4 paper. I never feel any one drawing is complete in itself; they are phrases or sentences in a continuing dialogue and so in order for this dialogue to continue the places need to be close to the studio. And then I think that there is nothing that is familiar, the longer you look the stranger it all becomes; you cannot exhaust the world.

Then the doubts come in….

Am I unnecessarily limiting what I do by having a narrow subject. In positive times I think the narrow and familiar allows me to be freed from topography, allowing the close observation of the particular to be about painting and other important stuff and not just what something looks like. At other times I question whether limiting the source also limits the outcome, whether the work is tied too much to a specific place and the outcomes are then seen as regional or provincial.

I  try not to talk about the paintings in terms of landscape but as painting - the landscape being the painting.

I do like the tenacity and single-mindedness of Constable…