After 18 months I have finished and handed over the birthday portrait of my Uncle Graeme! It's always exciting when you feel a portrait getting close to completion. He came together quite quickly in the end. And I was able to add those final elements . I had a vision fairly early on for the work and it's taken a long while to finally be able to add that sweep of stars from the Milky Way across his chest and the sky.
I don't like to tell anyone what I have planned for a work while it's still being created because I have this strange sense that once it leaves my lips it somehow loses power. So the stars were a little surprise for everyone, but they give him a shamanic-godlike quality that works for me.
Now that he has left the studio and travelled to Sydney and the New Year presses upon me I find myself goal-setting for the coming year. A year of consolidation, I think, and of competition entries. Compositions are already starting to crowd in now that some space has been made in my mind; pushy little pictures that need to be painted.