12. Fostering Fatigue

Dear Sade,

Here is anothere enigmatic painting experience that I have encountered in my Art Walk. Although it is not nearly as spiritual as the one described in my last letter it is equally as mystifying. In the past I have found that many of my greatest 'Painting Breakthroughs' took place when I was dog-tired and pushed on into a realm governed by the Second Breath. Sade, look at it this way - when you visit someone in hospital after an operation you see character, not personality. Similarly, when you paint when you are really tired you can only be true to yourself as there is no hype or 'forced' energy involved. Here's an example: After pushing myself very hard for a full nine hours painting I was exhausted. As I had paint in my palettes and I was moving on to ceramics the next day I decided to push on. Pulling out a number of large sheets of cartridge paper, (I normally paint on a good quality Bockingford stock), I proceeded in my exhausted state to use up the paint as quickly as possible in order to close my studio for the day. However, after losing myself in my painting spree I surfaced a long while later totally refreshed and bopping around the studio to blaring music. Not only had I broken through the tiredness, I had also broken through into a new style - call it Expressionistic, call it Action Painting, call it what you like! For the first time in my life I had painted carelessly, with unrestrained abandon and it was great. I shall never forget that evening when I was served a slice of magic from a cake that I could eat from for the rest of my painting days.

Love Gramps
February 23 1999