I've been affected badly by my recent trip to Melbourne to be with my father. I was glad to be able to support him while the extent of his cancer was investigated. But so many long-suppressed tensions and resentments were resurrected between us that by the time I returned to Sydney, I was a wreck. Now I'm gripped by a deep, irresolvable depression, unable to think straight, unable to work with any constancy.I'm also experiencing the usual, irritable anxiety I get just before a high-profile auction of my work. There are less than 18 hours before Lolita At 16 goes under the hammer at Menzies Art Brands. I have no financial stake in the outcome but I'm pragmatic enough to recognise that it is yet another test of my still-new standing as a 'bankable' artist. An executive at the auction house has told me the overall market climate is "difficult". I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If demand for my work remains strong, collectors will continue to buy it – at auction and from me – despite the recession.