My current circumstances: grieving the sudden death of my sister Peta, five years younger than me, I have also recently torn a cartilage in my right knee; am ill with a persistent cold and my partner Nicki is absent in the Western Desert. Am currently struggling to make a portrait of Peta, not wanting it to be a photographic cliché but wanting, nevertheless, to make it feel like her.
Yesterday all of this overwhelmed me. I began to feel intensely pessimistic about the validity of producing paintings and drawings in a world on the brink, quite probably, of environmental catastrophe.
This morning I had an early appointment in Carlton. Afterwards I took coffee at the University Café in Lygon Street. I began to draw the scene in front of me: people sitting in the café terrace, socialising and drinking coffee. Quite soon I am beginning to engage, getting glimpses of their separate Realities. I begin to feel healed by this sense of contact with Life. And, once again, I realize: the proper subject, for me, of Art in out time is: everyday reality. The challenge is to be able to draw or paint even a fragment, freshly experienced, of the awesome and incomprehensible Mystery we call "everyday life".