Then it’s not if I win but how I play that matters, right? – 8th February 2021

We all have to start somewhere. I was always interested in art at school because it appealed to the part of my brain that could utilise imagination rather than drier subjects that required adherence to some sort of order. Weirdly I did well enough in those subjects though. Anyway, art just felt like the easy pass.

Of course, painting wine bottles and flowers didn’t really appeal and I wasn’t mature enough or my imagination broad enough to conjure anything worthwhile. I think I actually ended up doing more artistic things at home more than in class. Two pieces particularly stick in my mind and I don’t recall doing either at school. My most prominent memory of my three years of art class was finishing off a bottle of vodka and leaving the bottle in the classroom for other people to draw in the future. That was first year of high school – we were 13 years old. 1980 or 1981.

Like the other times I’ve had to draw on my education, such as Maths and English tests when applying to University, I’ve been able to dig deep into my memory and apply myself somehow. So, now I’m sketching when I have the chance and I’m digging into those art lessons I honestly don’t remember anything. What I learned about perspective I got when studying photography back about 12 years ago and watching YouTube videos about pavement artists and force perspectives.

Now, what I really learned, and learned from punk rock and my mother, is about just doing it. Getting on and doing it. When I look at these sketches again I can see the imperfections, the incorrect spacing etc. But when I look with kindness I think, wow, that’s pretty good (for me!).

Rather than set my expectation too high and demand perfection or failure, I choose the middle ground. Do it, finish, move on.

These sketches are from my morning coffee spot, House. My enjoyment with these was due to the very strong perspective of all the straight lines in the room.

First sketch

After making each drawing I gave them to Guey, the owner, and, if working from a photo I took, deleted the photo so all I end up with is a digital file of my sketch. I will do the sketch within 30 minutes, not as a rule but more that I have found the feel and if I went any further I would be getting down into detail that would take it beyond a sketch. Through these 3 sketches (over 3 or 4 days) I could feel improvement each time and they made me really happy and gave me a small sense of achievement.

Second sketch

When I find some more free time and inspiration I will do more but I think I’m done with House now, though they have a cute dog and a challenging garden that would be fun to draw. Hmm….ok – tomorrow!

We got that attitude! – 16th December 2019

Today I asked Kru Tam how she thought I was doing at my job. She gave me positive feedback saying she could tell how much I cared for the students to learn. She did imply that sometimes I have to pull back a little – I think that is more related to my expectations than to my lessons.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for the beautiful sunrise I see every morning before school. It’s a reminder of the bigger things, the slow, slow movement of the universe. Nothing we can do but get on with it.

He’s the rebel on the underground – 17th November 2019

If you could travel back 5 years what would you tell yourself? What lessons have you learned that you would like to pass on?

I think about 5 years ago I had just embarked on working at Woolworths after helping May with Doodee in Sydney. Working at Woolworths was a weird change of pace for me that ultimately didn’t work out for me. I put my heart and soul into new work and I do that for myself. That internal reward drives me but I guess, looking back now I would have to tell myself that that reward is good and should be enough.

I also needed the positive reinforcement from other people such as the manager who behaved in a very undermining manner towards my work. I needed to be able to accept that rather than go through all the difficult times I did. I tried to make the best of a difficult situation in the end until a better opportunity arose. I think I could have jumped ship a lot quicker if I had been that confident in my abilities.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to sit this morning as the sun rose and pick off the grass seeds from my trousers. The countryside was quiet except for birds and critters making their morning noises. The sun was warm against the cool air and the somewhat arduous task became easy.

All you’ve got to do is do it – 28th January 2018

After just posting a couple of days about not being stressed about the move to Thailand I woke up mid-sleep in a panic.  This is real.  Once I’m there, I’m there.  No turning back, no running away.  I’d like to try and figure things out for myself without relying on Amy too much, though I do hope she can provide me with the emotional support I know I’m going to need!

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.  Right?

The nervous energy I felt whilst winding down time in 1994 is not apparent now.  I’m more composed and more reflective.  I guess I have some idea what I’m in for this time.  I’ve been to Thailand previously, which is at least a step ahead of when I moved to Australia.  It is a massive culture difference though.  I look forward to that but also curious how I might handle certain situations.

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.  Right?

Anyway, I wrote this long after I woke up mid-sleep and I easily fell back to sleep after the panic.  It wasn’t that bad I guess.