I had this wonderful image all ready for my post yesterday. The Gardener and the Bear – a page from the manuscript of the Anvar-i Suhayli (the Lights of Canopus) by al-Kashifi (detail) Iran c. 1550-75 from the British Museum. Once again from that wonderful book on Grayson Perry The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman.
The story goes in reward for the man’s kindness, the bear seeks to kill a fly on his face with a stone. The inscription reads “A clever enemy is better than a stupid friend.” Let’s just say I feel like a gardener this week and this fable seems to reek of rock. I have taken to the paintbrush today at last but it was to paint a pot.
The moral, Stop painting pots, I need to get out of the garden before someone chucks that stone!
This series of works done over a period of time came from a variety of places. I was somewhere where it was working and finding my way following a stint at Bundanon then a period of upheaval, both personally and art-wise meant that I was trying new approaches at the same theme. I was constantly trying to look back and draw from that same place when my painting was good (or felt good). Some of the new approaches meant a change in palette and medium. I look at some of these works and wish I hadn’t done them but we all have the good, the bad and the ugly.
The majority of these works as well as some drawings became my first solo exhibition, I dubbed it the “No Frills” exhibition. I didn’t want it advertised, no opening etc. Maybe I knew that I wasn’t ready at that stage or just downright ashamed.