This self-portrait manifested out of a need to paint something familiar in order to make painting feel familiar again. After a few weeks of being slack with my time in front of the easel, this work was a consideration of my relationship with a medium that I felt I had exhausted after a semester of practical experimentation for my Honours research.

My bond with painting is always shifting. Sometimes a painting session is a chore fuelled only by the stress of deadlines; other times it’s a haze of unstoppable brushstrokes, paint up your sleeve, working until the sun isn’t up any more kind of thing. The choice to repaint the background bright pink was a result of the latter.

The time spent on a work doesn’t always pay off, but that’s okay. The only thing that seems to work is pushing through the boring days and the doubt, because I don’t really feel as if I have a choice to give it up. I can put the brush down for a while, but sooner or later the hunger always stirs.