Today, I'm starting this blog. Strangely I feel of late I have a few things to say, about art, education, life and other things. I am inspired by a few lectures I attended recently at the AGNSW in Sydney and at the NGV in Melbourne and by recent not insignificant life experiences.
As many know, particularly via my Facebook posts, I have had a tumultuous past year or so. A motorcycle accident last year, complications and a long recovery certainly gave me pause to stop, think and re-evaluate. Without question all has informed the life choices I have made since that fateful day and given me some perspective on all that came before, on the mistakes I made and on those important to me and inevitably helped me refocus, in time, on my art practice.
I have given this all now much thought. Without wishing to compromise the intuitive nature of my art practice I have consciously sought to take my work to a higher, more meaningful level. A struggle all artists know only too well. To this end, engaging with fellow artists, curators, commentators, friends and dare I say, critics has I feel lifted my spirits and self-belief and for the better affected how I paint - and more importantly, what I envisage my painting will be - all going well - when initially confronted with a blank canvas. These voices are important as the art of painting is a solitary thing otherwise.
A comment on my Facebook page this past week particularly made me smile and spurred me on. "Your work takes me on a drifting sea, on a ride to another place. A comforting abyss, inspirational in the same breath".
This made me think I at times may too often overwork a painting, trying to dictate my view of things - search for a perhaps missing element, that really when added only confuses and degrades the composition. So I will keep it simple. I have some ideas on this now, and will work them out in the weeks ahead.
I'll let you know how I go.
So today, I have few words and will instead just make a mark.
Andrew McIlroy is a visual artist, living and working in Melbourne, Australia
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