Sunday, December 30, 2007
Well Christmas has been and we are now waiting with anticipation for 2008 to arrive.
I have been writing a submission for an exhibition at a gallery in Sydney. Crossing fingers for success!
Whilst I was writing the submission I had a few more thoughts about my idea of cellular memory...what I call 'white man's Dreaming'. The idea that 'memory' is transferred from one generation to another is very interesting. However, how do these 'memories' affect our lives and how applicable are they to our contemporary lives? Can we release them if they are not helpful or if they are downright harmful to our enjoyment of life? These are questions which interest me as an individual, but can they also be asked about whole cultures/nations? Are there 'memories' which we need to re-discover in order to bring connection back to our world? I think there are 'memories' which are basic to all of humanity and a re-discovery of them could make our world more 'together'. So, how can the arts help uncover these 'memories'? I don't think the artistic product itself has the answer. I think the conversations people have about the art holds far more potential. But, how much art generates conversations which go beyond appearance and critique, monetry value and so on? Bring back the art of conversation!
Memory Traces Of The Land Gouache on paper 52 x 114 cm paper size.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
This painting is called 'Beyond' and it is one of my paintings in the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas Exhibition opening this Friday night @ 6pm. All the details are in my previous posting.
But, what was I thinking about when I painted this image? The tree-of-life is an important symbol for me and I have previously talked about the various aspects of its transcultural/religious power which excite me. It is easily identifiable across the world and thus takes people beyond simple comments about colour etc etc to places of similarity and story telling. I have experienced this in the Middle East at my exhibitions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi...more particularly in Abu Dhabi.
However, apart from the tree-of-life's potential to bring people togther it also has an affect on personal hope. I see hope as a seed...like a thought is a seed. After all, hope normally comes because someone thinks about something they want. But, is hope enough? Where does faith fit in? Is hope just hope without faith?
I recently had an insight...well it was for me.
Faith is very closely accompanied by the thought 'I expect...'. However, if the verb turns into a noun ie: an expectation, power can be lost because there is a tendency to dwell on or fall in love with an expectation and these can ultimately cause anxiety. With anxiety what happens to faith because surely faith can only exist without questioning [which anxiety implies]? So, the trick must be 'to expect' but not to have an expectation which you carry with you in your thoughts all the time.
The tree-of-life in terms of an individuals life can be like a map of our thoughts, hopes, faith and expectations. Each branch and twigg representing a moment or time of growth, activity, seeds sewn with some harvested and others not.
Beyond 25 x 25 cm [unframed] oil on canvas, $360
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This painting is called Radiance. It is large painting 92 x 208 cm and I think it is startling. This is what I wanted to achieve and from the comments I have received I am more sure that I have acheived this.
The painting's format is similar to Thank Goodness ie: a layered work which plays with perspective. The viewer seems to see the painting from many angles...from above, below, in front and even behind. Questions are asked...Is there a tree or is it a layer of the earth? Is there a sky or is this another layer of the earth?
I wanted to give the impression that the earth is 'radiance'...that every part of it is glorious...that even the minutae, unseen by the human eye, are part of the radiant light which reassures us that we and the earth are alive.
I wanted to create a painting that gave the viewer hope and confidence to face the sombre news we read each day about our affects on the planet. This is not to ignore that these issues are real and important, but more to invigorate people and keep them from despondency. The problems seem too large for the mere mortal to have a positive affect, but each and everyone of us can have a positive influence on the survival of the planet whether it be by planting a tree, turning the lights off, praying, joining an action group or envisioning the planet as healthy, rich and fertile.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I am only half way recovered from my 30 year school reunion over the weekend in Toowoomba. It was a fabulous weekend catching up with some girls I had not seen since the day we left school and others I had seen over the years. I had to make a power point presentation about year 11 and I took a great deal of artistic licence, but everyone laughed...because I told them to!
My talk 'Art, Artists + Conversations= Peace Talks?' at the University of Queensland's Peace and Conflict Centre on Tuesday 16 October went really well too. I spoke for abut 50 minutes and then there was about an hour of questions and discussion. Very positive response and I am thrilled. There are also other things brewing as a result of the talk which is very exciting.
I think I maybe stepping into what might be called quiet activism. I attended a session on art and activism at the ARC conference in Brisbane on the 13/14th October and I came away thinking that there was a place for me in this spectrum called activism. Promoting potential avenues for peace on our planet is my motivation.
My exhibition 'Prayers For The Planet: We are all the same' at Doggett Street Gallery continues and is attracting attention which is great. You can see it online @
http://www.doggett.com.au/ExhibitionFrame.aspx?ExhibitionId=864 The exhibition closes 4 pm on the 3rd November and is open Wednesday - Saturday 10 am - 4pm.
It is interesting how stepping up to action attracts more action. I am also thrilled that War Child www.warchild.org.au has benefitted from the exposure my exhibition has attracted. An amazing charity which has the ability to be flexible thus meeting real needs on the ground. It is certainly worthy of support and attention.
Sending Love Gouache on paper 30 x 21 cm
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
This painting 'Sending Love' will be in my exhibition Prayers For The Planet: We are all the same opening October 12 @ Doggett Street Gallery, Brisbane http://www.doggett.com.au/
It is self explanatory really. We can send love to anyone/anything anywhere at anytime. What it 'looks' like will be different for each person. When I imagine sending love I imagine a white light emanating to encompass the person, thing or even the Earth...and yes even the universe. I've painted this image as if the white light spills from the tree-of-life going forth to wherever the viewer thinks it might be going. The viewer can tell their own story.
I am very pleased with the interest in my exhibition. I will be interviewed on radio and there may even be a TV gig. And there will also be some mention in various other paper publications. Very exciting.
But, as I have previously explained I am donating 9% of sales proceeds to War Child Australia http://www.warchild.org.au/ I am delighted to be able to do this and hope that people who buy my work feel they are helping to contribute to an organisation devoted to assisting children affected by war. War Child currently has projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
I will not know until the end of the exhibition how much I can give War Child. But, in the last two blog entries I have described how money could help. And I am doing this again with this entry. Did you know:
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, around $3500 will build a kitchen at one of War Child’s drop in centres for street children.
In Afghanistan, around $3500 will fund the development of a year-long legal support programme for children in conflict with the law.
The money which will be given to War Child Australia will be sent with the scaffolding and warmth of love.
Sending Love Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
The last week has been busy. And I had my birthday! As my middle daughter said, 'Mum, 21 is so young.'
As mentioned in my last post I was one of the 70 shortlisted artists for the Tattersall's Club $20,000 Landscape Award. I did not win but there's always next time! However, I think my painting looked great at the exhibition in the Club.
There is a chance for the public to see all the paintings as they have been moved from the Club to Waterfront Place in Brisbane. They will be there for two weeks from Monday 17 September. Or you can view them [plus what seems an expanded list of paintings] @ http://www.tattersallsclub.com/art-prize.html
Also, my exhibition at Doggett Street Gallery is just around the corner opening October 12. Your invitation is @ http://www.doggett.com.au/Art.aspx?ExhibitionId=864&ArtId=18281
As I have mentioned before I will be donating %9 of sales proceeds from my exhibition to War Child Australia www.warchild.org.au Here's an example of what can be done with, what to us is a small amount of money. Did you know that $40 will cover the costs of kindergarten for one child for two weeks in Herat, Western Afghanistan where around 60 children live in prison with their mothers? War Child collects these children in a mini-bus and takes them to kindergarten where they have the chance to play and socialise with their peers, receive a hot meal and have their clothes washed. I have other examples which I will write about over the next few weeks. I really hope that as I sell my paintings those people who buy them feel excited about what they are helping to provide.
The painting above will be in the exhibition. Joyful Praise gouache on paper 53 x 62 cm framed.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
I have chosen to upload this painting called Golden Lives because I painted it well over ten years ago and it reminds me that the tree-of-life motif has been evident in my work for some time. This is a mixed media work on paper and represents energy and life. Ten years ago, I don't think I even realised the possibilites of the tree and the life it would take on in my work.
Upon reflection I see a very gradual development in my work creating a thread which I hope and believe will be seen as having integrity, deep thought and being antcipatory.
The tree grows above and below the ground. It is inside and out. Maybe there is a promise that we as humans can go inside to grow. Inside is where our emotions and our subconscious lie. It is a place where love hopefully lives brightly. If is doesn't then maybe our world in which terrorism and war live is revealing what is inside us [or some of us]? I perceive a movement of conscious thought and prayer gathering strength around the world eg: www.millionmeditations.org The energy created by mass thoughts of love and peace coming from inside us will manifest the same on the outside...we can live with hope and that is empowering.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I love using landscape elements as metaphors for life. What are our horizons? Do we limit ourselves by not 'looking' beyond? Once we have reached what seems to be the horizon there is always another. What can this mean for our lives?
In the past I spent many hours driving along western Queensland roads watching the horizon. Yet, what about my own personal horizons? Well, I think they are constantly moving and changing. Also, I have rediscovered some. Maybe our dreams are our horizons? As adults I think we lose sight of our dreams when busy lives close down the distance and space we need to dream. We need to keep our horizons in sight.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
This gouache on paper painting was completed a few years ago. I re-discovered it in one of my folders because I've had a request from Dubai for lots of images. This is fantastic and hopefully will lead to some purchases. Time will tell! But, the exciting thing is that as I looked at the various titles of my re-discovered paintings I realised I have been somehow connected with unseen vibrations for a long time.
This painting above is called 'At Close Distance'. How can distance be close? I wanted to suggest the idea that distance is not something we sit outside of. We are actually inside distance and therefore it is all around, emmersing us. Distance is both temporal and spatial....we have a distance from ourselves over time, but we are connected to this time rather than being separate from it. This line-of-sight gives us the gift of perspective. It is up to us how we perceive this perspective and how we adjust our thoughts and behavours if we don't like what we perceive.
'At Close Distance' is a vast landscape on the one hand, but a detailed inventory of the forces of energy within the landscape. It is macro and micro, combining the two. This is also about perspective and our ability to see the big picture but also see its components and how they affect each other. The question then is how can we change these associations if they are not helful to us?
Some exciting news! My next exhibition 'Prayers For The Planet: We are all the same' opens on October 12 and continues until November 3 @ Doggett Gallery, Brisbane www.doggett.com.au I have teamed with War Child Australia for this exhibition. I will be giving %9 of exhibition sales proceeds to War Child which is an international relief and development agency dedicated to providing immediate, effective and sustainable aid to children affected by war. www.warchild.org.au More on this in future BLOGS.
I am also presenting at the University of Queensland's 'Australian Centre For Peace and Conflict
Studies' under their Art, Culture and Peacemaking Project. The title of my presentation is Art, 'Artists + Conversations = Peace Talks?' and the date for this is October 16. More on this in future BLOGS as well.
At Close Distance Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm unframed
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I cannot believe I last posted on the 18th July. It only seems like yesterday. My middle daughter has had her birthday and last weekend we had the 'joy' of six 13-14 year old girls sleep over. They watched videos for hours, ate rubbish and then slept...for a few hours.
I am busy working towards my next show at Doggett Street Gallery opening October 12. The exhibition is called 'Prayers For The Planet: We are all the same.' The painting above will be in the exhibition. It is called 'Thank Goodness'. It is a large painting 92 x 107 cm. I wanted to weave the tree of life into the strata of the earth. I also wanted the feel of rain and the appearance of this rain penetrating the strata. I wanted the sense of looking beyond the surface.
How many times do we exclaim 'Thank Goodness!'... or 'Thank God!'? If you think about it these exclamations are really about gratitude, relief, love, hope. I've noticed when I say/exclaim them and then stop to think about what I really mean, my feelings normally reveal complete relief, hope and an almost exasperated 'it's about time!' However, when I have stopped and thought I try to elliminate the exasperation and focus on being truly thankful.
When rain falls from the sky during drought times people exclaim 'Thank God!' or 'Thank goodness it's raining!' I've lived in rural Queensland for most of my life and I have heard these exclamations many times from friends, my Father, myself! I now live in Brisbane which is suffering from severe lack of water due to drought. When it does rain I hear the same things.
These exclamations are normally said with emphasis and emotion. They are really prayers of thanks, prayers for the planet...as well as being heartfelt exclamations of relief.
My painting above is about rain, thankfullness and looking beyond the surface of things, words, actions and life.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
When I lived in Goondiwindi [on the border of Queensland and NSW] I used to exhibit in Brisbane and other places in S.E Qld. Since moving to Brisbane seven years ago, and having exhibited internationally, I have been asked to make some presentations about creative industry export. One of my 'lines' is to say that exhibiting in Brisbane from Goondiwindi was like exhibiting in another country! The only differences were not having to deal with foreign currency exchange rates and huge cultural differences. I say 'huge' because there are cultural differences even between rural and urban Australia. They are subtle, but they do exist.
Recently I havebeen asked to make some public comments about trade and export. I have thought about this quite a lot. The world's history can be mapped through the impetus to exchange goods ie: trade. From the earliest of times when bartering took place 'trade' has fulffiled various needs. As civilisation becomes more sophisticated these needs are accompanied by wants.
Needs and wants are very basic human characteristics. Maslow and various other psuchologists have tried to identify the impetus and the motivations for human endevour. I think trade and export are fundamental oucomes of human existence.
Trade and export rely on relationships between individual people, small and large commercial enterprises and countries doing business. Without these relationships other types of interaction maybe different ie: political, diplomatic. Whilst world trade and export activity is highly complex their existence relies on being able to fulfill human needs and wants. In the troubled times in which we live trade and export are important conduits to keep lines of communication and connection open.
Driving Into The Distance Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I have mentioned before on this Blog the idea of ridding oneself of thoughts, beliefs and feeling which are not useful to an abundant life. Letting go and releasing thus making space for positive thoughts, beliefs and feelings is enticing and achievable with sustained effort. I say 'effort' because for me it can be an effort to rid those automatic responses which pounce when things are depressing or difficult. However, I am pleased to say that I am winning the battle! I now notice that there are new automatic responses which are far more useful to me and I am sure to those who live with me! Namely...my children!
The painting above is called 'Inside The Vastness'. It is essentially a landscape showing the energy within the vastness of our land and how this energy forms our landscpae. I also like to think of the human psyche as a 'Vastness'. Whilst looking at the landscape we can say we have perspective. When we imagine being inside the landscape we can say we have perception. So it maybe the same for us as human beings. We can have both perspective and perception...perspective of the world around us and perception about our internal lives.
Inside The Vastness Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I am really very happy with this painting as it takes my attention every time I look at it. It is currently leaning against a wall in my living room. It took forever to complete as the line work is very detailed and needed a few coats of paint. The dark background tends to swallow colour if layering does not take place. I wanted to create the feeling of past and future history with a nod to the present. I wanted to give the feeling of history taking place against a backdrop of the history of the Universe. Puts things into a perspective where understanding can take place I think.
Shared Destinies Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm
Thursday, May 31, 2007
There seems to be so a lot of talk about how our thoughts attract to us what we are thinking. So, beware if you are thinking bad thoughts because then you should expect bad things to happen to you. The solution [apparently] is to switch to positive thoughts all the time. This is a little difficult especially if you have not worked through the issues which seem to cause the bad thoughts to perpetuate. I do believe that thoughts are more than just ephemeral 'things' which once 'thought' are lost forever. There are questions which entice. Like...Why do some people have the same thought at the same time? Is there a collective thought process and an individual thought process? Is thinking about something too much likely to actually expell or repulse? Why do fleeting thoughts seem to hold so much potential? Why can someone ring if you have been thinking about them?
Recently I have been taught more about releasing and letting go those thoughts which really are not useful to me. What I have found is that as they are released certain insights occur as to why the thoughts were there in the first place. Further irradication must take place at this point otherwise those pesky bad thoughts want to revisit a fertile ground. I am e believer of the notion that positive affirmations have their place. My expereince lately is that the irradication process leaves more space for the affirmation...or faith to take hold.
Living Thoughts Oil on linen 55 x 80 cm
Thursday, May 24, 2007
When I was painting this work I was thinking about those aspects of ourselves which we inherit from our ancestors. Even those aspects of our consciousness and subconscious which we live with but are oblivious to there source/s. We assume our thoughts and the way we think are totally stimulated by our own experience. But, how much of the way we think is due to inherited traits or even cellular memories of the human race? Another question to ponder is how can we irradicate or at least control those thoughts which are not useful to us? Firstly we may have to unravel our thinking process to find the core belief/s which [unknown to us] are influencing our lives. Unraveling is a courageous process because there are some aspects which act as crutches or protection which are no longer needed or perhaps were needed by those who have preceeded us. Identifying these thoughts/beliefs honestly as not useful and sometimes harmful can be a difficult confrontation with self. Letting them go is the next step.
I also believe that we can look at behavious caused by inherited cellular memory at an individual level as well as a collective level.
This painting 'Inherited' shows complexity through the tree-of-life signifying life, history and
geneology. The visceral appearance is about the body/brain partnership.
Inherited Oil on linen 55 x 80 cm photographed by Priscilla Bracks.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I have a small exhibition coming up soon at the most hip and happening place in Maleny...The Upfront Club opening Thursday June 28. The painting above will be in the exhibition. I will aslo be giving a talk about my work on the opening night. The Upfront Club is in Maleny's main street, Maple Street. I'll be putting more infomation on my Blog as the weeks go by.
I am Chairman of a Chamber Of Commerce and I have to say one of the best aspects of taking on the position is the people I have met. Because it is a Chamber of Commerce the focus is business, trade and export. On the weekend I met with a Consul General and a couple from an aviation orientated business. I have learnt so much about all sorts of different businesses. One of the outcomes for me personally is a deeper understanding not only of business but the amazing skill, pride, effort and creativity people give to create their lives. The types of business I now know a little about include recruitment, aviation engineering, honey production, the huge variety of seed merchants, lighting, all sorts of engineering, developments in security and crowd management systems, scaffolding and the list goes on. It really is fascinating.
I have also learnt that trade and export are not just business. They are relationships which come from a desire to fulfill needs and wants. One way to maintain relationships throughout the world is trough trade and export because there is a common thread of need and/or desire which seems to exist in all countries. I think the world needs trade and export for other reasons apart from economic reasons.
Shared History oil on canvas
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I am steadily working towards my next solo exhibition in October at Doggett Street Gallery, Newstead Brisbane. The paintings will be simpler than previous work...at least I think this will be the case. I am enjoying the 'tree-of-life' and all its possibilities; love, faith, connection, vibration, similarity, difference, spirit, joy, the earth and so on. I am toying with calling the exhibition 'Sending Love'.
The painting above is called 'Heaven and Earth' which I can be translated into human and spiritual existence.
I visited Sydney last weekend with my eldest daughter. We had a great time looking at some galleries, a possible educational institution for my daughter in the future and lots of dress shops as we were also on a mission to buy a formal dress. We walked Sydney and I was surprised at the dearth of long frocks suitabley priced and lovely for teenage girls. We did finally find a gorgeous dress which was outside my initial price range but certainly within reasonableness...I suppose!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I am very pleased. My entry in the Prometheus Art Award has been preselected for the final judging. (www.prometheusartaward.com.au) The painting I entered is 'Earth's Pulse' which I have previously written about on this blog.
I attended the Open Day 'Maximal' exhibition at Robyn Bauer Studio Gallery yesterday. I have two oil paintings plus a portfolio of unframed work in the exhibition. There are 19 other artists in the show. Each of the artists spoke a couple of times during the afternoon. It is a good exercise because it makes it clearer in my own mind what I am trying to achieve. It also opens up new ideas or extensions to ideas. It is also interesting to hear other artist's motivations and thoughts.
The image above comes from my Children's Series and is an unframed gouache on paper in the portfolio I have left at the gallery. This painting was inspired by seeing my children pretend to be the person they thought was required at school. They hid behind masks from a young age to please teachers and peers. I call this the 'Good Girl Syndrome'. It is an insidious problem and one which does not get attention. How many anorexics suffer from this I wonder?
'Maximal' continues until31 May. Robyn Bauer Studio Gallery, 54 LaTrobe Tce, Paddington. Wed-Sat 10.30-5
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
One result of the way I paint is that I end up getting paint all over me. So, if I am at the physio or trying shoes on I often have to explain my multi coloured feet, or the red streak across my back, or my deplorable finger nails. My children die of embarrassment when I turn up at school with paint on my face [and I don't know it is there].
The image above is called 'Assimilation' and is part of my bride series. I was thinking about how the country bride becomes part of the land. Her spirit imbeds itself in the community and the earth as she becomes absorbed by country life. When your very existence and survival is dependent on the land and weather you do become very attuned to the earth's rhythms. I have a plethora of female ancestors who married country men. These women were pioneers marking out their own identities and contributing to thier communities.
I am included in a group exhibition with 19 artists 'Maximal' at Robyn Bauer Gallery, 54 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, Brisbane www.robynbauergallery.com.au The exhibition opens this Saturday 21 April, 12 noon-6 pm. Robyn is calling it an open day as the artists will be there to chat to people. Gallery hours are Wed-Sat 10.30-5 pm. Please come along.
Assimilation 80 x 100 cm Oil on linen
Monday, April 09, 2007
I have spent the last four days agonising over a large work on canvas. It is the first large work I have painted for a few months and it takes time for me to get back 'into the groove' so to speak. However, I am happy with the way things have progressed today. From experience I know the agonising is worth it!
One of my problems is that I have so many ideas running through my head that I find it hard to focus on developing one of them. So, the painting in progress is a large canvas 120 x 160 cm and I am inspired by the idea of shared destinies. This fits with previous [and continuing] ideas about shared histories. I am interested in how and why individuals or groups of people come together or cross paths. Is there a reason....some say there is a reason for everything and that it is our purpose to understand these reasons.
I am also interested in how crossed paths or more intense long term relationships can become part of myth, landscape and story. Do myths etc assist in leading into the future or do they hold us to the past? I think landscape holds many of the most powerful secrets including the fact that holding onto the past is impossible although many of us try to. Climatic and seasonal changes ensure that nothing ever stays the same. Yet, love of the land and nature will ensure we are constantly sustained.
The painting above 'In Joyful Praise' has been sent to Korea. It is in praise of those energies within the landscape. This painting is a prayer for our planet.
In Joyful Praise gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I am very excited about being included in an exhibition opening next Thursday 12 April at Gallery L in Seoul, Korea. I will have 4 oil paintings plus possibly some works on paper in the exhibition.
It is also exciting as my work is being exhibited with paintings by Muk Muk Aboriginal artists (Australian art centre based in the Northern Territory). Gallery L is an exhibition space offered by Gallery Yeh, one of Seoul's best known quality galleries. The exhibition has been organised by local contemporary art lover Mr Chang-Ho Han.
Support for the exhibition has come from Queensland Trade & Investment Office and Austrade.
The Australian Ambassador, HE Peter Rowe will also be in attendance.
The painting above 'Life's Vibrations' will be in the exhibition. When I painted this work I was thinking about those elements of life which are common to every single person living on this planet now, in the past and the future; those vibrations of our breath, our pulses and the energy forces within each cell. The tree-of-life is a trans-cultural/religious motif which conjures up thoughts of oneness, similarity and sharing. At the same time this 'tree' has a brain-like appearance, or a system-like appearance. I have often had comments from medical people remarking on my paintings. A medical professor once asked me if I had studied histology. I have not...yet I do love the connections people make when they look at my work.
The exhibition at Gallery L continues until April 25.
Lifes Vibrations Oil on linen 78 x 107 cm
Friday, March 30, 2007
Amazing to think that great forces of energy are not discernible by the human eye except with the help of technology. I have always been interested in scientific ideas and the lives of scientists. As a child I devoured biographies of famous scientists such as Flemming, Pasteur and Madame Curie and many others. Doing science was never a great love, but thinking about ideas has always fascinated me. The recent talk and debate about String Theory is one of the latest ideas to grab my attention. I like it when there seems to be an element of other world-ness or a beyond.
Having said all of that, ultimately my works are also landscapes. I cannot seem to depart from thinking in both macro and micro landscape mode. By micro, I mean the minutae which makes up our landscape ie: sand, cracks in the earth, the movement of leaves. By macro I mean those images of vastness which are so familiar to Australia. However, as one delves deeper the micro often becomes the vastness when smaller elements of existence are discovered. What once seemed small becomes immense.
The landscape is also a metaphor for emotional 'scapes', either individual or collective.
This painting above [along with various others] has been sent to Korea for an exhibition at Gallery L, Seoul opening 12 April.
Hidden Energy Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I just cannot believe it is a week since I posted. However, it is!
I have been busy organsing multiple paintings [both oils and gouaches] to go to Korea for an exhibition opening in Seoul on 12th April. It has all happened very quickly, but it is also exciting. Maybe later in the year I will get to go to Korea.
Dancing can mean lots of things not just literal dancing with or without others. One can be lead on a 'merry dance'. Deal makers can 'dance around each other'. Dancing can also be used as a metaphor for a certain kind of existence. I often use titles such as 'The Earth Sings', 'Dancing Mountains', 'My Heart Sings'. I find these short utterances very inspiring and stimulating. My imagination 'sees' pictures which translate into images on canvas or paper. These short statements sum up a vast array of thoughts and dreams. They are not pithy statements designed to be clever. Like the images I create I believe these titles can be taken at many levels and thus expand in potential.
Dancing is also a great way to descibe the energies and vibrations which give life. This Universe is made up of endless components each dancing in ways which complement. A perfect dance.
The Universe Dances Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I have had quite a few paintings leave recently ie: sold which is fantastic. So, as they have left I have hung some older work. This is one of them. I painted it in 2002 not long after my divorce. It has always been a favourite of mine and as I hung it the other day I saw things in it that I was unaware of at the time of painting. It has also been in storage so I have not seen it for awhile and 'new' eyes and time can help with further insight.
I called it 'Memory' because the bride has memories of her childhood dreams of romance, weddings, love. I know that not all little girls have these dreams but as the mother of three daughters I can say that a vast number do. This is despite the rigours of divorce afflicting society today. I also know I had those dreams. The grown woman always carries the child-self within her.
However, I now look at this painting with some more thoughts. I still carry the child-self within. But I see the unlimited potential for discovery. It is a discovery of those subconscious core beliefs that dictate our responses to life. These core beliefs are deep within us and very difficult to uncover or unravel. As time passes and as life's circumstances happen we learn more about ourselves...and I think we can become more empathatic towards others. In fact, we can be more empathatic towards ourselves too.
When I painted this painting I was very sorry that my childhood dreams had been destroyed by divorce. I think now that the painting is more about growth encompassing a range of human emotions rather than anything to do with simply and only sorrow. I really like this painting because it makes me think and after five years it still makes me think.
Memory Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm 2002
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Some great things have happened in the last week or so. Sales, people coming to view my paintings, offers to represent from overseas!! plus some 'unrelated to art' things which have just made life a little more joyful.
I am painting some a work on paper at the moment which I feel compelled to paint with small strokes. I do not know what comples me but it happens. The only thing is that I have a sore arm and my eyes are seeing double!
I have some new stretcher frames being completed at the moment. I cannot wait until they are ready to pick up as I am very keen to paint with oils again. I have had a break for the last couple of months while I have concentrated on the works on paper. But, I am keen to put some of the ideas I have developed onto canvas.
I am fascinated by the things we cannot see but we can feel. I am wanting to explore how these 'feelings' might look if we could see them. For example the concept of sending love is intriguing as I know it works. But what does this 'love' look like as it transmits itself through the ether? This concept does not mean the sender expects anything back...it is unconditional. How can I envision the the idea of 'unconditional'? How can I portray the energy within such powerful gifts? The idea that thought has an energy is also a fascination for me.
So, looking forward to the new stretcher frames being here with me.
Inside Substance Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Over the weekend I went to the inaugural Interfaith Festival at Maleny. I could only go for one of the two days, but I am so pleased I got to go to one day. The first session was a panel discussion with representatives from the three Abrahamaic faiths, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The host was Rachel Kohn from the ABC Radio National program The Spirit of Things. She was excellent hosting the event, asking very deep and penetrating questions about the meaning of 'faith' for each of the faiths, what issues were the most pressing within each faith and so on. The responses from each of the panel were thought provoking, revealing and heartening. Each spoke of love, embracing similarities at the same time as respecting differences, the profile the media gives to fanaticism and extremism.
One of the most insightful comments for me was that to be a 'moderate' does not imply ambivalence but rather a position which is held passionately, deeply and thoughtfully. The very word implies something other than passion, but in reference to religion to be passionately 'moderate' makes sense and certainly does not conjure up images that the clashes of fanaticism do.
The last session " God is Not dead: Religion, Truth telling and Hopefulness" given by Prof Kevin Clements from the Peace and Conflict Studies Centre at the Unviersity of Queensland was also excellent... except he really needed 3 hours rather than 30 minutes. I came away feeling that there are pathways for abundant leadership and a caring community. His comment that the arts/creativity have an important part to play in the environmental circumstances for peace to be understood and gained gave me some hope that there is a purpose 'Out There' for me.
Substance Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Friday, March 09, 2007
I cannot believe it has been a week since I last posted. It only seems like yesterday. I have had a very busy week. As Chairman of an organisation I have had to attend various functions, organise others and respond to a great deal of correspondence this week. So, at the end of the week my energy levels are running a little low. More so because a couple of things which took a lot of time to organise fell through...somewhat frustrating. I have come to the decision that a few of my extra activities have to be let loose for others to tackle. But, this will take a little time.
Many of my paintings over the years have had something to do with vibrations and energy. I have felt compelled to paint these things. Sometimes the detail surprises me. Although, recent physio on my right arm [after last years RSI in my right elbow] tell me that my painting arm [and my computer arm] needs to be well looked after!
I have had a few 'Ah Ah' moments recently when reading various literature on spirit and energy, scientific discoveries and questions. I have always been interested in scientific discovery and thought. As a pre-teen I devoured books about the lives of famous scientists and I wanted to be one. My grade 4 and 5 teacher put an end to that dream! Another story for another time.
I am fascinated by unseen forces. We may know they exist but it is only through other senses other than the normal ones that we 'know'. It is a feeling kind of knowing...but even this does not describe it appropriately. Most of my work is fundamentally 'landscape'. I seem to fall for it every time. Even the painting above is a 'landscape'...one of the internal forces which make up our world. The micro and macro exist within each other. The closer you look the more the vastness becomes intimate details, each with its own 'landscape'.
Spirit Energy Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Saturday, March 03, 2007
The swinging of a pendulum can be mesmerising. However, extreme limits of the pendulum can be agitating. If we allow the emotional pendulum of extremes to exist within us it can be very scarey. But, when you think about it there is a natural balance.
So, this go me thinking about those days or moments when you can go from a state of great pleasure to complete depression. The emotional pendulum exists within the individual but a pendulum also exists in the collective out in the world. If we use too much water then the natural balance is the extreme we are experiencing now. If we pollute our air the natural balance seems to be the extreme distress out planet is under at the moment. The latter certainly gets people rallied to help which is part of the natural balancing. Let's hope the pendulum is not allowed to swing to the extremes in the future.
So, at an individual level how do we ensure the extremes of the pendulum are not allowed to cause us scarey moments, days, weeks, years. With great will power, imagination and thought, wisdom and self knowledge the pendulum can be made to swing less vigorously.
As an artist I am only too aware of the power of the imagination and how it can cause the extreme swinging of the pendulum. Vivid imaginations mean a great ability to catastrophise about almost anything. Imagination also equips you to create great bliss and beauty. The latter is so much more fun.
Pendulum Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Intimacy in the Vastness 104 x 129 cm framed
Sunday, February 25, 2007
This was my entry for The Archibald Prize. I struggled with painting a more traditional portrait of myself ie: my face. Everything I did just was not capturing what I 'see' in myself. I could have given up but it became a quest.
One day when I was on an early morning walk dressed in gym gear, hat and sunglasses someone I knew called out to me. However, they were behind me. They had recognised me by my long plait hanging down my back. This was not the first time this had happened. In fact, many people do not recognise me from my front when I am walking and I often have to say, 'It's Kathryn' when I say hello! So, this got me thinking about identity. And certainly my hair has been a defining factor in my life.
I started to think about a 'portrait' of myself from my back. However, I wanted to paint something which went beyond physical identity. My inspiration for the heart came one day when I was driving my youngest daughter to one of her many extra-curricular activities. We were alone in the car and miraculously there was silence. I had my thoughts to myself when suddenly my daughter said, 'Mummy, why do you look sad?' I was totally unaware that my thoughts were showing on my face. My daughter's observation was not the first of its kind as over the years all three children have asked similar questions. Each time I have been totally unaware of my face changing with my thoughts. I hasten to add that sometimes my children's queries are about why I look happy too!
This made me think about those people who know me really well. It is not just my facial features which they see. They also see my heart. They identify the subtle nuances which others may not sense.
So, my 'Self Portrait' shows my most defining and affective physical element and my heart.
I painted this image while my children were away over the Christmas holidays. When I had finished it I put it somewhere where I could see it with 'new' eyes each morning. I do this with all my work to make sure I am happy with the painting once I am no longer involved with creating it. When my children came home they all immediately commented on the painting 'of you Mummy.' To them I was instantly recognisable.
Anyway, along with many other artists I did not get shortlisted for the Archibald. Next time!
Friday, February 23, 2007
But aside from jobs to do there has been plenty happening that has made me feel content. I read a great article in the Australian Financial Review Magazine today. It was about the CEO of ANZ, John McFarlane. What an incredibly interesting man. He openly discusses his spirituality and his quest for further understanding, his faith and his joy of life. Let's clone him I say! And to top it all off under his leadership ANZ has become one of the world's leading banks. It has won an International Spirit at Work Award. I did not know these kinds of awards existed. But, how wonderful that they do.
It seems there is a growing observation of Spirit at work and present in our lives. Not just the kind found in religious denominations, but in everyday life, living and thinking. I see it in many levels. I am curious that religious beliefs and activity have become something politicians will allow the media to report. I read an interesting article about Hilary Clinton's religious experience recently while I was waiting for my daughter at the Physio. Other politicians, including Australian ones, allow the media a photo opportunities as they exit or enter church. I wonder.
Substance gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Substance Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
And of course there is the rest of life to get on with too!
This painting is part of my Sending and Receiving Series and the Substance Series I have previously mentioned. I imagine this space 'out there' filled with the unseen and often unsaid thoughts and wishes of people from everywhere and every time.
Irrisistible Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Sending and Receiving Love Gouache on paper 30 x 21 cm unframed
Friday, February 09, 2007
Sending Love Gouache on paper 30 x 21 cm
Sunday, February 04, 2007
I've been reading about the concept of receiving, opening the self up to receive. The idea that to keep a balance in life one needs to both receive and give is very appealing. Many people give and give and give but find it hard to receive without feeling obliged or beholden. The act of constant giving brings them closer to some perception of goodness. The act of accepting brings up all sorts of core concerns about self worth and propriety. Yet, some people take and take without a thought of ever giving. I suppose this also indicates some hidden beliefs about self worth.
A balance of receiving and giving in one's own life provides a easy flow uninterrupted by human concerns of propriety, self worth, assumption, beliefs about goodness etc. I like this idea. I like the idea of balance and ease and unconditional abundant flow. Indeed I welcome it.
Sending Love 3 Gouache on paper 30 x 21 cm ea
Saturday, February 03, 2007
I have been working on a series of works on paper for my exhibition in October at Doggett Street Gallery, Brisbane. I plan to divide the space under separate headings but with one umbrella idea. At the moment I am inspired by the concept of substance ie: that which is 'out there' for us to understand yet not necessarily see with our eyes...only with our faith and imagination. Faith is something which we must embrace to combat the doomsday tidings which plaster our newspapers. This does not mean we need to bury our heads in the sand and ignore issues. It means we feel/know we can do something about the world's problems...that as a human race we have the capacity to solve, invent and flourish.
Substance gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed
Friday, January 26, 2007
I attended a multi faith Australia Day service hosted by the Premier of Queensland last night. It was fantastic. The service took place at the Nepalese Peace Pagoda at Brisbane's Southbank. Representatives from Hindu, Jewish, Taoist, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Baha'i faiths each spoke about oneness within diversity. Many of theprayers had the same words and metaphors. It was a very moving ceremony. The common threads through each of the short presentations are to be rejoiced and I believe everyone attending the service felt the same. The service finished with the Brisbane Birralee Voices singing Adiemus. It was truly beautiful. I just wish this sort of event could be front page news to help balance the negative images the media seems to prefer.
A Beautiful World Oil on canvas 40 x 60 cm
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
My children have returned and Mum's Taxi Service is back in full swing! I think I filled the car up twice while the children were away which was nearly 4 weeks. I've used a near-full tank in the 5 days since their return. Fuel consumption would severely drop if mothers of the world said 'no' to the constant requests to be taken places! However, half the issue is that the mothers of the world don't want their children vulnerable if the alternative is walking alone, being on foot at night, waiting for public transport at night and so on. Of course we could just say 'no' to everything, but then that would cause its own problems. I seem to remember my mum getting away with more 'nos' than I seem to be able to get away with though.
The painting/s above is my Beyond Series of four 25 x 25 cm each. They can be hung in various configurations. We all seem to look beyond. We catastrophise or we have hope. We are fed catastrophic possibilities by a plethora of people from scientists to politicians. Recently the Doomsday Clock was put forward a little. My middle daughter was quite traumatised by this thinking that the end was immanent and therefore she'd never have children! I believe children should grow up with hope and I wish there was more reporting of the good news to balance the bad.
I prefer to see that 'beyond' is a place of possibility and hope. A hope and a trust in the human race and processes to ensure that life goes on. A place of balance.
Beyond 50 x 50 cm [in this configuration] oil on canvas.
Friday, January 19, 2007
It was my poor Dad who missed the crops due to lack of rain. He took over the farm in the 60s and the weather patterns definitely started to change. It is a soul destroying experience planting seeds on minimal subsoil moisture knowing that the crop will fail if there is no follow up rain. This happened.
My experience growing up on a farm and then living in Goondiwindi for 18 years certainly made me very aware of the vagaries of the weather and the affects of these on farmers. I find myself periodically painting images that remind me of my very early childhood. These memories are of days of soaking rain, thick grey clouds, not being able to see even a few metres when the rain fell heavily, playing in the thick black mud, tanks overflowing, frogs croaking. As I have said before on this blog these paintings are like prayers...prayers for rain, prayers for the planet.
Wet Weather Please Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed
Monday, January 15, 2007
All I can say is that the older versions of the Prayer have inspired me. They are poetic and stimulate imaginings. I wish I knew more about comparitive religious studies because I know beautiful words exist in other religious prayers and meditations too.
Vibration of Life Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm