Some Things will Not Be Rushed

As some things will not be rushed, the last couple of weeks have been an exercise in letting go.

There are some ideas in my work I have been exploring for the last 18 months or so. This exploration began with charcoal and pastel drawings on paper.

I can remember the moment when it happened quite clearly. A distinct “what if” moment.

I’m in my studio and I want to draw with charcoal. I grab some paper and start making abstract shapes and lines. Big swoops. Swipe my hand through the shapes. The scritch of the charcoal. Turn the charcoal on its side to make larger shapes, press it into the paper. It crumbles, I rub at the marks. Oh, I like that, what if I used some of my lovely unison pastels? Maybe that toned paper? Go bigger.

I played like this for a few days. The resonances from this spread into my large work gradually and in different ways. These drawings were a catalyst to explore space, on how to achieve a feeling of space alongside energetic mark making.

This exploration has continued to take me in some interesting directions and led to new processes and ways of working. For example, working on paper fixed to wooden panel which then stimulated a different use of acrylic paint because of how the paint and paper interact together. More recently I have been exploring working on primed calico and canvas. Both these ideas have led me to see that the relationship of how materials and surfaces combine, work together and my part in this alchemy is another fundamental interest to me.

So, with a solo show coming up and an exhibition at the Manchester Art Fair I need to add to my portfolio and have new work to show. However I was finding it very difficult to progress work following the themes I have identified above. Resulting in paintings that were stuck, not working and filling me with frustration.

When I turned away from these new ideas and allowed myself to stay with something more familiar the work began to flow again. New elements were springing up and showing through but I wasn’t trying to work on something that was taking me completely out of my comfort zone.

So as I said at the beginning of this newsletter, some things will not be rushed. Much as I would like to have a resolution and clarity about the new direction in my work that I’ve been exploring it’s not going to happen in the next few weeks. It means staying with the not knowing, uncertainty and confusion. To be open to what might come next, relax and let the ideas and expression emerge in their own time and not to a deadline. To accept that I’m not ready yet and I need more time to live, paint, explore and be me and see what this thing is I want to say.

Is this something you are familiar with? How did you navigate your way through not knowing? Do drop me a message with your experiences I’d love to hear from you.

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Published by Lin Cheung

I am an artist and teacher and I love working with people to help them be more creative.

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