Digging around in my old paper drawers, first to find those old sketches of my daughter, and then in a vague and unsuccessful attempt to sort through and throw out to make room for the growing piles of newer paintings, I wondered, not for the first time, if my work is actually improving, or getting worse over time! These two bring back a happy period when I was painting only once a week, meeting with a friend and sharing a model. I seemed to immerse myself far more in the process back then, going home exhausted from a morning of concentration and expended creative energies. Donvé and I both worked on really large paper - the one bottom right is 55x75cm/21x30" - and were avid admirers of Charles Reid's figure and portrait study books. My palette was clean and simple and the brushstrokes look much surer than I seem able to apply them lately (although the one on the right is very unfinished-looking). I think I am rushing through paintings now, for various reasons, and I need to find bigger chunks of time to devote to the process, and perhaps another fellow-painter to help create that atmosphere of industry (Donvé moved away to the Cape).
I definitely need to clear some space in my studio, so my 'Autumn Clean' shall continue - so if I'm a bit scarce for a while, that's what's going on, hopefully with a productive outcome at the end of it.