Anne Truitt: Wanting What I Can’t Have


“Artists are thrust straight up against the wave of their ambition in the world as well as their ambition for their work. Unless they like being rolled over and over on the sharp pebbles of their inconsistencies, they have to dive through this wave into understanding” Anne Truitt: Daybook The Journal of an Artist.


I have curly hair, I always wanted straight brown hair and I can still hear my mother’s words – “you always want what you can’t have” as she yanked the brush through wayward tangles, snapping my neck backwards.  Not only do I still want smooth, brown, tangle-free hair, but I also want my art to be as sleek and ordered as a brunette on a still day. Having just finished reading Anne Truitt’s Daybook I couldn’t help but feel it doesn’t matter what we want, we find comfort in others like us. She found that moment in the work of Barnett Newman and I, in her words. Despite the comfort of knowing other artists feel the same insecurities, the pebbles of inconsistencies still roll around my work.


A Surreal Experience in Abstraction

Canberra is a funny place at the best of times. Surreal I would say.
Driving in yesterday to prepare for the symposium on Abstract Expressionists I pulled into the traffic behind a smick minimalist Lexus with HAWKE as the number plate.
Bob HAWKE, former Prime Minister was a beer drinking Labour legend- Pollock would have liked him in his early days.
I think the abstract expressionists would have been more at home in Sydney, it’s about the space.
Maybe Canberra is hard edge abstraction- clean lines, crisp edges. Today there is a cold crispness to the light against concrete edges here.
Today I will be lost amongst the abstract expressionists at the National Gallery. At last.