‘I am eighty and for awhile now the subject matter of my painting has shifted from the landscape to my house and garden. My mind is never far from the farms and animals and they too are very close to where I live.
I remember a film made in 1956 when Picasso was a little younger than I am now. The French filmmaker was Henri-Georges Clouzot. The drawn images of Picasso were spontaneous and from memory. He went back over several motifs and I saw that in old age the artist had a whole visual history that he drew from. There was no sense that the artist should hesitate before re reading the images of his life.
I did a great deal of teaching in Colleges and now if I am asked what advice I would give to young artists, I would say make a life, create your art out of this life.
I am indeed fortunate that I made this life with my wife and family and they provide the life-spring for my art. This is always related to where we have lived – in the suburbs, on farms and near to the sea and some travelling, eg. to the Carnarvon Gorge in Central Queensland. My day includes music and this helps me to allow intuition to resolve my work. It does take perseverance to stand for hours and larger works need weeks of primary work and months of return visits. A fresh eye can reveal if there are adjustments necessary for a full resolution. I welcome the direct and honest responses of children to my work and I feel I am at my best when I have no need to explain what I am doing.
There is a short poem by Afanasy Fet (Russian 1820 – 1892) which seems to say what is important and what is left:
Art is a solitary pursuit and my books provide the images of great art that I can no longer travel to see. This solitude includes my wife and is how I work now’.
– William Robinson, 2016.