Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I have been very busy lately. Apart from feeling like a yo yo Mother I have been exploring the possibilities of widgets, Twitter and other online distractions. I have loaded a Widget called FEEDJIT onto my BLOG and it detects visitors to my BLOG. I have revamped my TWITTER with a background of one of my paintings. I am also on FACEBOOK which embarrasses my children as I am too 'old' for these sorts of things. Well, apparently we 'oldies' have taken over FACEBOOK as well as the TWILIGHT series of books. If you have not heard of this series...well ask any 11 year old girl and she will tell you about them! Actually ask any woman on the street and she will also be able to tell you ...probably!

But, I have also been painting. I am working on the large oil which I talked about in my BLOG post 'SOAKED'. The painting is progressing and I am completely absorbed with it when I am with it! Hours pass by and I am looking forward to, but also anxious about, seeing it finished. Painting is also an bit of a yo yo experience. One minute everything is going well....the paint glides off the brush, my arm stays steady, the colours meld well and then...all of a sudden....I realise I've put too many lines, or I've been thinking without looking, or the paint does not behave as I would like it, or I get up to move away from the painting to see it from a distance and I realise it is not quite right. The process is a constant movement from contentment to...sometimes the extreme of hopelessness.

Yet, I love it. The positive and negative aspects of creating a painting stimulate a movement which feels right to me. The problem solving stretches from practical issues to conceptual concerns. On the one hand the paint might not have the right consistency, but when I look at the painting does is actually 'say' what I want it to? Both the practical and conceptual fuel each other.

I know I must love what I do because when I have a problem it does not get me down. I don't become stressed in a way which makes me wake in the middle of the night to ruminate and catastrophise. In a way I enjoy the problems as they stretch my intellect and imagination. I remember my Mother telling me something a doctor once told her. That is, if a job or activity causes the kind of stress which leads to sleepless nights then it is unhealthy. But, if a job or activity causes the kind of stress which fuels your energy at all levels then it is a healthy place to be. It has taken me awhile to sort out what jobs and activities are really suited to me, as sometimes parts of a job or activity do satisfy, but how one copes with problems is the litmus test I think.

The gouache on paper painting above is called 'Answer To A Prayer'. it is from my "Water" series. But like most of my work it says a lot more than its obvious intention which is about being grateful for rain.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Since my last post I have finished the work on paper above and started on the large oil painting I wrote about in the last post. This work on paper continues my interest in water. I was watching the rain fall only a few days ago and fell into wondering about the smallness of the rain drops, yet the impact a deluge of them can have. This impact can be devastating or truly remarkable and wanted.

I have read that the human body is made of around %70 water. This makes me think of a number of important details. One is, that by looking after our planet's water supply we are honouring our bodies as well. Another thought is that water, from one drop to a mass, can be absolutely beautiful. This beauty then must have potential within us too.

Water has the capacity to seek out and seep into places thought to be impenetrable. By doing this it strokes the landscape's intimate parts where any kind of distance or space is unknown or difficult to imagine.

Image: Rain Drops Gouache on paper 55 x 115 cm unframed 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009


In the last couple of weeks I have received some really good news. My entries for the Prometheus and Moreton Bay Art Awards have both been selected as award finalists. The two exhibitions and the announcement of the awards both take place in May.
My painting 'Sending Love' oil on linen 80 x 180 cm has been selected for the Prometheus Award and 'A Frisson With Distance' oil on linen 85 x 147 cm has been selected for the Moreton Bay Art Award.
I am working on another large oil painting and so far I have created the underpainting. This process takes time and lots of mess. The time is because I layer paint and each layer needs to dry before I pour/paint the next one. The mess is caused by the highly diluted [with turps and oil] paint spilling and dripping onto the floor and me walking in it! I do have the garage door open when I am doing this as the fumes are strong.
This afternoon I will start painting the surface image. I have ideas running through my head. I want to paint an image which from a distance seems to be almost moving waves of colour, but when up close the colours are distinctly discernible. I will use my tree-of-life motif to create this vast yet intimate image. I am thinking that a map of the world loses its manmade boundaries when viewed from a distance because they just cannot be seen. Yet, up close the boundaries are clear reminding us of difference. Perspective is a wonderful long as you keep moving. With my new painting I want to show that whilst the colours are distinct they actually grow from their neighbouring colours. In other words I am replacing borders with a fusing of colours to indicate connection...of all kinds. And, from a distance the sense of wave-like movement suggests a connectivity that is vibrant and fluid. An alternative to the rigidness of a map.
So, it will be intersting to see how the painting works out. Generally if I have thought about it for awhile it just flows...with the odd moment of frustration!
The painting above is a recent work on paper again focusing on my previously mentioned interest in water. However, I have loaded it up today not to talk about water, but to describe how my works on paper influence my oil paintings. Some of my thoughts for my new large oil painting have grown out of the processes involved in creating my water paintings. As I have said before I actually use water to help create the effects ie: wetting all or part of the paper before applying colour, using a spray to 'wash' the paper and to generate changes in the way colour performs and so on. I really give the paper a work out. The idea of a wave-like work in oil came to me after working with watery effects on paper.
So as the weeks ebb by I will keep the BLOG updated on progress with my new large painting.
Soaked Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed 2009