Amanda Thesiger

What Next?


Confined to a table-top studio during this period of lockdown has been both a relief and a revelation. A chance opportunity to teach oil painting online – and what painting can be about more generally – meant that I started to do something I thought I never would, which was to make small paintings about the scenes in front of me. An abstract painter for decades, I’d begun to cross-over into semi-figuration with drawing but have now been able to enjoy these ‘stilled lives’ from a painter’s perspective.

The subjects for these small tableau were garnered quickly and without much thought because I began them purely as research for the classes…. But the paintings have begun to give me so much back in terms of balancing my days – and to be the most satisfying and pleasing distractions away from the strange and fractured territory we’re now experiencing. The chance to look properly, to focus, to reflect. My last studio was basic, but large with a high ceiling. It’s occurred to me that I might not feel so comfortable in there now and that this table-top studio is a world in itself – it’s all I need. You are your studio.

The woven piece is something I’d begun ages ago, when playing with the different possibilities of small textile constructions. I’ve often collected ‘Y-sticks’; they seem to have an intent and inner strength, and I love the negative space they present. Keen on the tactility and process of weaving, I picked this piece up again during lockdown. Something about the repetition and backwards forwards motion is very soothing and focuses your mind. I’m not sure how I will finish it, but working on it every now and again has been very grounding.

Click here to read about Amanda’s frottage and mono print Zoom workshop held on 22 May for the Dover Printfest 2020