Friday, December 29, 2006
Not much art being created at the moment, but there has been a purging of my home contents to create both practical and mind space for the great paintings I am painting in 2007! I am spring cleaning properly for the first time in 6 years. I KNOW my mind will be much clearer when my environment is more ordered. I am creating spaces for more prosperity to fill! In fact, I am inviting prosperity to fill the spaces.
The children are with their Dad, so I have time to contemplate too. Oh, what bliss. I hasten to add I am not spending every hour of the day spring cleaning. I am also setting time aside to read, think and contemplate. I am purging my mind of rubbish too! Sending it all off with no return address. And inviting inspiration and peace to take up residence.
So, I already have thoughts about my next series of paintings. I believe and have always found that periods of time without the paintbrush but with the brain at rest and thinking result in an outpouring of work. The creation of an artwork does not always begin with the act of picking up a brush. It often begins in the weeks and months prior to the first mark. The gift of thinking time is very valuable. The blank canvas is metaphorically and spiritually marked in my mind's eye well before I apply that first stroke. To others the canvas may appear to be blank, but to me it is not.
The Hidden Seen In My Mind's Eye Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
Sunday, December 24, 2006
In this painting the Earth looks at itself. The tree-of-life motif becomes not only a trans-religious and cultural unifier, but a 'system-like' representation of blood vessels, brain matter, underground rivers, cracked earth and so on. I like the fact that the viewer is almost in orbit outside the painting also reflecting back upon 'life' and History.
History and Interpreation Oil on linen 120 x 150 cm
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I grew up on a grain farm on the flat plains of the Darling Downs in South East Queensland. I grew up with the knowledge that rain/water is precious. I remember living through droughts where my two brothers and I had to bath in same water and we were not allowed to shower. I remember city visitors causing my parents extreme anxiety at bath time, because the visitors really did not understand the concept of a short shower or turning off the tap whilst brushing teeth. I remember my brothers and I doing a rain dance which involved costumes, shouting and gyrating in a circle...it actually worked. We had about four spots of rain from a clear sky [maybe it was a bird's offering!]
Actually I remember some ghastly occurrences on the farm including a mouse plague where the mice would scurry across my body while I was sleeping. And the locust plague was incredible! I recall watching tv with these large insects jumping off my face, arms and legs. They covered the curtains and other furniture and ate my Dad's crops.
But, back to water. After attending University, and doing a stint as a curatorial assistant at the National Gallery in Canberra, I moved to Goondiwindi, a small rural town on the border of New South Wales and Queesland. I lived there for 18 years during which time water became an incredibly valuable commodity due to the irrigation needs of mainly the cotton farmers. In the late 70s/early 80s water irrigation licenses to pump from the McIntyre River were easily available for a relatively small fee. Then the Government decided not to issue any more licenses to assist in regulating water flows etc. This forced the market to make a license a saleable item. They have become increasingly more and more valuable some reaching the millions of dollars.
I noticed that as the years passed the hot dry climate of Goondiwindi changed to a hot humid climate. I put this down to the increasing number of large dams which were built to house water for irrigation and the evaporation from them causing climatic change. These dams are hectares of land. People go sailing on them! From a light aircraft the land around Goondiwindi, Moree and out to St george, and further, is dotted with large water storages/dams.
Now to Brisbane where we are on level 4 water restrictions. City people are now having to think about how much water they use. This is second nature to country people. Water and rain are always in the forefront of their thoughts, either because there isn't enough, and then sometimes there is too much!
I have driven many long stretches of road out west watching strips of rain on the horizon hoping that a strip is hovering over my place or my town. That utterance "There's rain out there" is full of hope. It is almost like a short prayer.
The painting above is called Rain Out There. It is a small gouache on watercolour paper painting. Actually it would make a great Christmas present for someone. Let me know if you are interested!
NOTE ADDED 6 Dec 2010
This painting sold a few months ago. And as I write this, rain has been falling for weeks and floods are causing destruction.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Well. It is party time and I've been to a few parties over the last 10 days. Thus, I have not had the time or the disposition to post anything for awhile. Also, my computer had to have some loving attention from the Computer Fixit place [Concorde Computers ...very good]and I was without my conduit to cyberspace for four days.
Firstly, parties. One of the parties I went to was a fantastic 60th birthday party with a theme inviting guests to really dress up. I was extatic as I have had this pink number in my wardrobe for about five years and have only worn it once before. So, here was a great opportunity to doll up and wear my fab pink, backless dress. This is the dress that enduces my youngest to tenderly say to me, "Mummy, when you die can I have your pink dress?" I reply that I will die when I am 100 and she will be 63 and I am sure she'll look terrific in my backless pink evening dress.
I have posted this photo because SO few photos of me all dressed up are taken... and I am getting older...and while I think I still look ok I am going to show off!
My eldest daughter straightened my hair for the party...no mean feat. She also helped me with my hairdo. The only blight about the hair straightening episode, which took place in her room, was that when my daughter finished she put the straightener on the floor and I promptly stood on it. I lay screaming with pain amongst her strewn clothes and debris as the intense heat scorched the sole of my foot. I lay there crying, "Ice, Ice, Ice!" My daughter did actually feel sorry for me and ran to get the ice which she placed on my foot. Teenage children do not see parents in intense pain often and I think it is an eye opener [and possibly a bit scary] to see us vulnerable.
But, even with a scorched foot I headed off into the night to the party and had a great time. My foot is now very, very itchy.
Now to the experience of being without my computer for four days. This is slightly worrying. I really, really missed it!!! I pined for it and I dreamt about it. My daughter says I am 'sick'. I did reassure her that I miss her so much more when she is not here! But, what is this? Missing my computer? I have to think about my relationships!
The painting above is called 'Force Field' 30 x 30 cm, Oil on board. You can have your own guess at what it might mean in light of my revelations above...and more.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Now whilst I have said this woman is me I'm pretty sure I really don't want to attack anyone. I'll sleep on this tonight asking my subconscious to reveal anything I should be aware of!
Bring It On 30 x 30 cm Oil on board will be exhibited at the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas Exhibition, 85 Doggett St, Newstead- Friday 15 December 6-9 pm and on Saturday 16 th December 10am-2pm.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Often the questions we ask in frustration about events and things which happen repeatedly give a hint at self-sabotaging patterns lurking in the subconscious. Peeling back the layers can be excrutiating, but it can also be amazing. I love those AAA HA! moments when things reveal themselves and some understanding of self and others occurs. Probably means more questions will follow though. I read somewhere that it is the questions we ask which take us further than the answers.
I am going to focus more on the figure over the next few months. I have really enjoyed creating the work for the Doggett Street Christmas Exhibition. I have lots of ideas running around in my head. This happens...where the ideas germinate and grow before I really get into the actual work. The thinking time is so important. I learnt that years ago. In the meantime lots more sketches of me in front of the mirror.
This painting will be in the Doggett Street Christmas Exhibition Friday 15th December 6-9 pm until Saturday 16th December 10am-2pm. All work by all artists will be 30 x 30 cm.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
I will admit to standing in front of the mirror to do some preparatory drawings for this series of work. It has been awhile since I have focused on the figure and I've really enjoyed this latest inclination of mine.
I went to the opening of the revamped Queensland Art Gallery and the new GOMA on Friday night. What a party. 4,000 people were there and it was great. I didn't really pay attention to much art....now this astonishes people when I say this. But, I know I will return, many, many times. Also, drinking bubbly out of a straw [Yep, that's what was provided!] certainly turned my head into a totally aerated space. As an artist stuck in the studio you don't actually meet a lot of people unless you go out. I love going out and having a good time. Also, the networking is tres important...the nuances of the Art World are like shifting sands of time!
This painting above will be in the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas exhibition opening 15 Dec and closing 2pm 16 Dec.