Melancholy has descended. I’ve never much enjoyed examining the past and there’s been rather too much of that going on here. My life at the easel been so all-consuming over the last decade-and-a-half that there’s little enough time for present matters. Sifting through the boxes of photographs and old diaries consigned to cupboards has not been on the cards. Until now!
One of aspects I like less about being an artist is the custom for compiling biographical ‘lists’ that get printed at the backs of catalogues. To have my life reduced to the equivalent of a job application filled me with dread. As it became clear that for the monograph I was expected to either compile a list myself or be reconciled to the fact that someone else would, to deflect the editor’s expectation I rashly volunteered to produce a ‘brief biographical essay’ in lieu of the list, and ever since have been heartily regretting it. Now it’s done and ready to go to the printers, though every fibre of my being bristles and rebels at the idea. Peter keeps reassuring me that I’ve made a good job of it, but still I chafe. For the fourteen months I’ve been writing for the Artlog I’ve known that this has been on the cards, and I’ve been able to try things out here in order to try and get used to the autobiographical process. But the difference with the Artlog is that I can go back two days or two weeks later and change what I’ve written, and there will be no such get-out with the book. Hence the melancholy. I’ll get over it.