Thursday, May 19, 2011

Creeping up on a tiger

Walking in search of the golden dancing iris at the airfield. There were ponies and foals and butterflies and orchids, skylark and linnets and the constant song of a calling cuckoo.
Back home. I have been illustrating now for almost 30 years and still I find the tyranny of the white page a strange torture. I have stalked toward this tiger for about three weeks, creeping up, hiding behind paintings of foxes, wolves, trying to catch the tiger while it was unaware . Now the piece is started, so the page is no longer blank, white, waiting. And now I just think, ah well, there's still time to spoil it.
So what is it about this process that I enjoy?
And what is behind the tiger that I am still stalking?


  1. It is so ever this way... I wonder if it will ever be different that we artists find some confidence in our elder years. I also wonder if the insecurity of "stalking" our work is in fact what makes it authentic... I guess its been said before, but I surely do feel that the each and every painting I make will be better than the last. Which sometimes isn't true, some are really, really BAD, but that in turn makes me stubborn about nailing the next one. Creative process, sure is a deep mystery.

    Taking your time tiger stalking looks successful. One probably can't "get" one without spending time getting to know the grasses where they lurk.....

  2. I have similar feelings toward my writing and the dreaded blank page. You always come through and create beautiful paintings.

  3. I suppose that is where the fear lies. That one day I won't. But I suppose the fear and the tension is what makes the creative cogs turn. And I don't think it gets less as you get older. I think what you feel is time running out and each mark having to be worth saying something, and the futility of everything, or just the joy in creating. Depending on your mood!

  4. same for singing.. I am terrified that I will open my mouth to sing and all that will come out is a thin elderly far so good, but it's indeed a worry. Perhaps your tiger is being stalked by those radishes. I'd look as worried as he does if that were the case.. :-)