In country music there is always someone walking the line, as my friend Richard Smith observed. Bob Dylan wrote a song about it and so of course did Johnny Cash. The line your blogger is walking right now runs from his studio straight through to September 8th, the date of his first Cape Town exhibition. The travels with Pierneef are now mainly in the confines of the studio as the brush meanders back and forth covering its tracks and time skids away. Small sketches proliferate in an attempt to pin down ideas for paintings. They help to quell the rising tide of panic.
 Note for a Hermanus site painting

I’m doing a biggish oil of the Hermanus site – it consists of seven small images. After three days I had three small images in place. Like a happy construction manager I was even figuring how many more hours it would be before the painting was done. But by day four, things suddenly started to look wrong. The canvas was cluttered and kind of formulaic in its intention. The thing that Hemingway called the “crap detector” was starting to ring, and I had to press  the Delete button. Day one, two and three’s efforts were painted over.  Day four’s too. It wasn’t their fault. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But I’m giving one of them a second life:

 the virtual fishing party

The saying “to walk the line” originates in the American Midwest. In the days of railway construction, parched and hungry construction workers would walk the line for miles, checking that all the beams were in place. Ahem. Your crap detector should be warming up now. I have no idea where it comes from. But it’s a good way of describing the need to make aesthetic or other judgement calls. And I’ll let you know how the big one turns out…

looking for the line...