Thursday, March 10, 2011
I've taken a few days away from the heat and humidity of my studio in Brisbane, away from the city, its oppressive suburbs, and the ghosts of my past that haunt them. I'm staying for a few days in a hotel by the sea. The air is cool and at dusk I stand on the terrace and inhale the salt-laden spray that descends on the beach like a gauzy shroud. Inside, my room is also cool, the wide, double-glazed windows shutting out all sound and imposing a restful stillness. The only sound is the tapping of my fingers on my laptop keyboard. I write in my diary. I read a book – Man With A Blue Scarf: On Sitting For a Portrait By Lucian Freud – and watch a documentary, Lucian Freud: Portraits, on YouTube. Thinking about my future, I look to artists I admire to be inspired by their larger lives as well as their work.I'll return to Brisbane in a day or so. I have a lot of work to finish. Nothing matters more to me than my collectors, who invest in and support me but I have learned, the hard way, that I have to take better physical and emotional care of myself. After the death of my father, the flood, and a long hard slog in the studio in the final months of last year, I needed a break.