On Being an Artist – Deborah Keiller (part four)

by Geoff Hall on April 4, 2012

Day Four – What is the biggest challenge to you as an artist? 


"Life Drawing" by Deborah Keiller


Being a fulltime Mum, I used to think a lack of time or energy was my biggest challenge, but since I have had the opportunity to work fulltime on my art I have been surprised to find I don’t always have enough momentum in life to keep my creative juices flowing! Grrrr! I have found inertia as big a challenge as the distraction of other responsibilities!

I have come to realise it is better to embrace the ebb & flow of life and the seasons of the soul. To accept that no two days are the same, no two seasons look alike, nothing is constant & there are no formulas to success!

Every situation I face & every challenge that presents itself actually adds to the tapestry of life & so informs my work! So I have come to peace if I am busy, distracted & away from my studio for days, or have a window of time & attention to give to my work, either way my painting will be all the richer for reflecting my humanity…..my internal conflicts, my physical challenges, my success & dreams!


‘A painting must fertilise the imagination’ Joan Miró.


Interesting that fertiliser…the very thing that enriches & causes things to grow, comes from a waste product…I sometimes think my best work actually comes as a result of the cr*p (waste product) of life so I no longer try to circumnavigate challenges but face them head on & wait to see what emerges!



For me, Deborah’s art redresses the balance of sensuality and spirituality, which for centuries has been degraded as worldly and devilish. How do we bring a more balanced view (image) of this is not to ignore our bodily substance? We need to revel in its richness and regain a sense of awe for our physical creation. For too long we have blushed when we face of the nude, the glory of this form, this animated word, the word made flesh.



We’ll be taking a break over Easter, but will return with ‘On Being an Artist’ next week.

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