Wednesday, 29 January 2014


I have just unwrapped three of my paintings collected from Prestige Picture Framing on Oak Bay Avenue.  I discovered these hidden works under a pile of sketches when I was going through my drawers in the art studio last month.   They are from 1988.

What awes me most is not the vibrancy of colour, but rather the audacity I showed in not making preliminary sketches.  The lack of fear, applying the bold lines with bravery and certainty. And then packing them away in a drawer.

Looking from the other side of seventy, it seems all the more remarkable.

When I'm in the studio these days, I'm more cautious.  My work is smaller, tighter    and more controlled.  Does this reflect who I am becoming as I age?!  What about the poem  "When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple"?  (written in 1968 when Jenny Joseph was thirty years old!)   
The poem gives the Old Woman permission to be outrageous-  to spend one's pension brandy and summer gloves.  And to learn to spit.  
                                      To be bold.

Bold doesn't need to be flashy or showy.  Rather it is a willingness to take risks, to be confident and courageous. To me, boldness implies imagination, with a daring step beyond convention.

As I have been musing on this post, coming back to it several times, I understand that my more recent artwork does in fact  display courage.  Courage of a different nature.  Two years ago I exhibited my Memory Shrines at Congregation Emanu-El in Victoria;  a gathering of objects and images in small bamboo boxes honouring  people lost in the Holocaust. They embrace my distant past, the stories and visions of ancestors, inherited memories.

I don't need to take a 90" x 90" canvas and paint blindfolded with primary colours to be daring.

1 comment:

  1. Quite right Jackie. The earlier canvasses were bold and direct but don't have the subtleness or power of your memory shrines.