Just rediscovered an old gouache painting from around 20 or more years ago!….very abstract and vivid in colour, it was made by using my left hand only. I remember it being strange to paint with the unfamiliar left hand, as it has so little control. But this resulted in a very unplanned piece, yet still very harmonious. It’s like entering into the psyche and popping out something unexpected, unpredictable and exciting, and full of symbols like moons, water, circles of life and so on…hope you enjoy also!
This month I’ve decided to show “Road to Tarin Kowt”. This painting was initiated by a response to the knowledge that a son of family friends was joining the Afghanistan conflict in the ADF. This was a shock to us, and I’d seen many images of misery and death on TV, in the vicinity of Tarin Kowt. My eldest daughter was present at her friends home just an hour or so after his birth, and said she remembered seeing him as a new baby, not imagining that 23 years later he would be deployed in the army to fight in someone else’s war. We were sad, as was his family.
I made this painting soon after, and it’s colours and forms show a contortedness and violence….quite powerful, even disturbing, yet the work still remains harmonious in its appearance, and the colours are vivid, strong. I wanted the painting to reflect the idea of combat, and ever present danger of IED’s along the road to Tain Kowt. Perhaps the viewer can observe this also, when looking at this artwork.
Decided its time to put the new abstractions up….the colour is amazing…the photos don’t do them justice. They have a jewel like quality when you actually view them. These paintings have taken a few weeks to complete, and give very little indication of my starting point under the layers. My best and most vigorous work happens when I act with spontaneity, not becoming too precious with little parts underneath that I liked initially. If things need changing then I just do it…even if something is lost as a result. Intuition is my guide, and if followed then a powerful vibrant painting is made. Finally I check if a harmonious artwork has been made, and I’m satisfied with that.
They will be shown from 11July at Graydon Gallery in New Farm, Brisbane. Hope you like them both!
This month I’m reviewing three photographs that make use of shadow and reflection as subject. When I approached these subjects I was looking for a fresh, simple, and immediate response….how to make a balanced and harmonious image using only a few elements. The two “Shadow” photos make use of light as well as shade to create an almost abstract image. I was interested in the pattern created on the wall surface, and repeat pattern is a principle that can easily be applied to both photography and painting. I use knowledge gained from my painting experience and apply this to photography in order to balance elements such as contrast e.g. dark/light and large spaces/pattern. These images are almost monochromatic in colour scheme.
The other image I’m reviewing is that of “Rocks and Reflection”. Taken in a fern house of the local botanic gardens, this image shows double layers of interest….that of the pebbles and water, overlaid with reflections from the overhanging fern trees. The colour is also limited, which prevents the subject from becoming too complex and distracting. I also like the way the multiple layers bring forth different textures, and the elements in the subject possess a delicacy which creates visual interest.