The Awful Artful Case Of The Missing Mojo

I’m bored with my landscape impressions, expressions, and abstractions.
My oil paints and canvasses don’t have that tempting siren call they should have.
No need to bind me to a mast with my ears plugged with wax to stop me answering the call to spend my precious time doodling and splurging in my studio.
My brushes and knives sit idle. My turps evaporates alone.

It’s a post-mid-life-crisis… surely that’s what it is – introspective ennui.

The last exhibition was praised by a good number of people, both in words and by a few sales.

Yes, but for me, seeing my paintings hanging together was something of a let-down
– it’s not that they were poor paintings – people assure me that they are good, some “very good”.
It’s just that they made me feel a bit 😑
(flat, bored, disappointed, unsatisfied.)

An experienced artist friend tells me that this is normal. It’s the usual feeling experienced by artists after an exhibition, and it’s good news.

This certainly has been my experience after the few exhibitions in which I have participated.
But “good news”?
Maybe, maybe not.
Perhaps this let-down is the thing that keeps the creative juices flowing.
I hope so.

Really, I want to get on with painting new works, but I just can’t get my mojo working.
The blues are all very well, but I should use the yellows and reds too.

I’m thinking I should explore semi-figurative abstractions more like this one from 2016.

The Mamre Incident’ c 31X24cm (painted surface) – oil on Arches Oil Paper – Ant Fox 2016

… or even like this (but better, of course 🙂 )

Trees and Rocks … from my sketch pad – sometime in the 1970s

Or am I whining about nothing?
Just wasting my time?

THE EXHIBITION THAT WAS

Opening Day – The A.Fox Collective – Amelia, Joy, and Ant.

You know, it takes a lot less time to take down an art exhibition than it does to hang one.

The Slow Hanging


We sold a few pieces, more than enough to cover our direct expenses.
But was there an overall profit?
No, nothing like it.
Of course the experience could be classed as a “profit” even though no money changed hands.
The knowledge that I have sold more paintings in my lifetime than Van Gogh managed has to be priceless!

Gone

We took our time over the deconstruction.
We could have driven there in the morning, taken it down, and driven back that evening, but somehow the overnight stay seemed the better option.

Really Gone

Mind you, it was a fairly expensive option.
The hotel room was comfortable and fairly well appointed, but the price was a bit steep for a room in a small country town.
Yes, the room tariff was less than we paid on our last stay in Sydney, but not all that much less.
In Sydney we stayed on the top floor of a tall hotel in the centre of the city, where we had stunning views of high-rises, sunsets, and the road heading to the harbour.
In our small country town hotel, we were up one flight of stairs with a walkway balcony outside our window and a view of the drive through bottle department.
Still, the bed was comfortable, the food in the dining room was OK (if not wonderful), and the wine was great.

The start-of-winter journey there and back was picturesque, through country we love, tinged the faintest of greens by the breaking of the drought.
The wrapped paintings in the back of the wagon muted road noise and any rattles, and the roads were quiet.

The Skies of Winter
Way Home Tree

It was a good exhibition we are told.
It was fun to set up.
It was a buzz to listen to the praise at the opening.

5 paintings – 3 (centre ones) sold

But … I think I have come to the conclusion that my paintings might be a bit – well … boring.
I’ll work on a new direction for inspiration … perhaps I’ll look back to the 1980s when it almost (almost) felt like I had something.

Me and Two of My Works


But for now now, two months after the hanging,
the A.Fox Collective “Abstracted Landscapes” has left the building. 

The Exhibition That Was

The Exhibitionists!

There has been some low-level scurrying and snuffling in the Fox Holes.
We threatened to stage an art exhibition, and now we are.
The two Vixens (Amelia and Joy) and the old worn Dog-Fox (Ant … i.e. me) have got together under the guise of A.Fox Collective.
Our exhibition “Abstracted Landscapes” will hang for two months at the lovely Rain Moth Gallery in Waikerie by the River Murray in South Australia’s fruit-growing Riverland.

We call it “Abstracted Landscapes”, but perhaps that is slightly – just slightly – misleading. Some works are more like “abstracts landscaped”, some are “fibrescapes”, some “buttonscapes”, some “lightscapes”.

Amelia captures, in fibre and photo, the subtle light of landscape and experience.
Joy repurposes buttons from the past, some mundane some flashy and fashionable, bringing wearable hints of history.
My paintings attempt to show what landscape feels like, rather than record exactly what it looks like.

Mother and Daughter Hanging – Amelia and Fibres

If you are passing through the Riverland, pop in – supporting the rural art scene is a good thing, and supporting us Foxes would make us very happy.
We are friendly and house-trained!

Up North (oil on canvas)
Buttons
Openings
Selectings