Along with changing things up colourwise in the studio, I’ve been looking in the archives for the Individual Project Outlines (IPO) I made while at Massey doing my Masters.

The tool was given to us by the University and is designed to help plan projects. I found it helpful at the time and have often gone back to the format to get a handle on what I want to achieve and how I’m going to do it.

Here’s the outline for you:


S.M.A.R.T goal (specific, measurable, achievable (or attainable), relevant, and time-bound)


Provide a critical reflection on your previous work.

References, influences, readings

Include a briefly annotated list of artists of interest and influential figures, ideas and texts (bibliography) and relevant visual material.


Identify what you intend to learn by undertaking this project.


The how

Challenges I face

What obstacles do you face to complete this project?

A timeline

What’s happening and when

Knowledge I need to develop

What do you need to learn to complete the project?


Solutions to the challenges listed above

See also David Allen’s Natural Planning Model.

While planning models may not sound creative or arty, they help get things done.

More dothink


The first drawing (above), the fourth drawing (below).

The fourth drawing.

Somewhere in between the first and last drawings, I started thinking. Not that I wasn’t thinking while making the first drawing, it was just a different type of thinking. It was much more thinkdo, or almost dothink, whereas the last drawing was think—do, think—do, think—do.

Not that there’s anything wrong with think—do. It has its place and moves at its own pace.

I simply want more dothink for these works.

The way out

Today’s newsletter started as a handwritten draft about planning and my need for a clear goal or outcome. I then jumped to writing about the poverty trap of low-paid part-time work many artists fall into (myself included). It sounded, hmm, a little down. Instead, here are a couple of photos. The first is where I start to make my master plan or at least a goal. The second is the view from the studio and the way out.

View of the studio

View from thw studio window

New drawings, new studio


The process

Pin new paper to wall × 4.
Fill water jug.
Shake black Golden Acrylic Flow paint (the ball rattles).
Squirt a small amount of paint into a small ceramic cup.
Add a dash of water mix.
Sit on a chair facing the wall.
Meditate for 10 to 20 minutes.
Get up and walk to the paint and brush. Pick them up.
Stand in front of the first piece of paper (the one to the left).
Move the cup and brush towards the paper.
Load brush.
Load brush.
Paint, load, paint, load. Repeat until done.
Move to the second sheet of paper.
Repeat the load and paint process.
Move to third, repeat.
Move to fourth, repeat till done.
Step back and let dry.

The why

A way to paint without thinking, to unlock, to excavate and transform the black dust. Not an expression of something but a manifestation of something. The action, the (non) thought, and the feeling – combined.

Flexing the making muscle


Before and After

It doesn’t matter that the paper is not heavy enough for the amount of water I accidentally added to the high flow acrylic. I simply want to flex the muscle of making, of using my arm, of discovering marks, drips, and accidents, of finding forms, of losing them, and maybe, in a breath, somehow pulling it all together.