Friday, October 23, 2009


Some of the images below have been posted to my BLOG previously, but a few conversations over the last couple of weeks have prompted me to reload them as a group. These conversations have been about that age-old and very important topic of water. When weather conditions are perfect water is not necessarily a topic of conversation, but when there is not enough or too much water, then anxieties, hopes and frustrations are expressed in conversation. Currently , in my part of the world ie: SE Queensland we are experiencing a severe lack of rain. Whilst there were good falls earlier in the year they have not continued. Gardens are dry, farmers look imploringly at the sky, bush fires are raging in the dry conditions, dust storms have recently enveloped us and so on. Not surprisingly people are talking about water and rain.

Seeping Into The Intimate Vastness Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm 2008

As readers of my BLOG know I grew up on a grain farm outside Dalby on the Darling Downs, Queensland. My parents farm was in what is known as 'God's own country' as the black soil was rich and deep. In fact, on the Pirrinuan Plain, where my parent's farm sat centre stage, the top soil is the deepest in the Southern Hemisphere. My grandfather farmed on this land for over 40 years and my father took over in the early 60s when weather patterns changed and he [unlike my grandfather] could not rely on rain arriving at the right and same times every year. I've seen my parents and other farmers despair over the lack of rain, as they watch newly sprouted seedling crops strain under parched conditions. Yet, I have also seen the horror of severe flooding where top soil is wripped away, and beautiful crops are flattened by heavy rain and often hail. From a very young age I knew that rain and water meant many things, but I also knew it meant money, prosperity and more relaxed parents!

Lifeblood Oil on linen 90 x 200 cm 2008/9

Lifeblood above, is a large painting where I have painted the strips of rain in small $ signs. The underground water and surrounding soil are also painted with $ signs. The red ribbon like vein in the sky is painted with $ signs. From a distance the viewer does not recognise that this painting contans any $ signs, but when up close they are revealed. Readers of my BLOG know that I am intensely interested in the viewer's experience of close and far distance and the impact this may have on developing flexible skills in perspective. The viewer's experience is a metaphor for how we need to 'see' the globalised world in which we live locally. We need to be able to see another person's point of view, understand another's culture, put ourselves in another person's shoes in order to have compassion for ourselves and others.

Here is the link to my previous post about "Lifeblood'

Thank Goodness [It's Raining]! Oil on linen 92 x 207 cm 2007 This painting above was inspired by those exclamations farmers make when it does rain. 'Thank God', 'Thank Goodness' and 'About bloody time!' These sorts of exclamations are really expressions of gratitude with all the emotions gratitude contains. I have used my much loved, tree-of-life motif as a visual conduit which could represent underground systems, mountains, a strata of the earth as if cut in cross section. The 'rain' falls from a dark blue sky, but the rain is red. I often paint rain in red because this colour represents fertility and a sense of vascular life forces. Rain and water are like the blood of the earth.

Here is the link to my previous post for 'Thank Goodness [It's Raining]!

It Looks Hopeful Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed 2009

The sense of hope which farmers must have is like a faith. I wrote about faith in my last BLOG post and I have to say that as a farmer's daughter I have witnessed incredible expressions of faith from my father and other farmers. I also saw this when I lived in the small rural Queensland but highly diversified town of Goondiwindi for 18 years. Faith is a kind of 'knowing' which seems inexplicable but is felt at deep core levels of our being. Faith and hope are two of the most important characteristics farmers or anyone living in rural communities must have.

Now I am going to write something which may seem odd, but artists are like farmers! We must have faith in processes which we may or may not understand. We must get to a point where needing to understand is not paramount, because we recognise that creative forces are never ending. We must have faith that we can tap into these forces, and that when we have impasses where things do not seem to flow, we 'know' to walk away to 'let' the congestion unravel. We 'plant' after we have made all the necessary and technical preparations and then as we work we 'manage' complex creative and technical processes simultaneously. Our medium becomes an extension of ourselves, just as a good farmer after making all the necessary technical applicatons and seeking appropriate informaton can 'know' at his/her core if something resonates as the right thing to do.

Water Harvesting Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2009

I have written previously about this painting 'Water Harvesting'

Answer To A Prayer Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed 2009

Being grateful for rain!

Cyclical Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed 2009

Here is the previous post I wrote about 'Cyclical' . Quite interesting if I say so myself!

Fertile Sky Gouache on linen 30 x 42 cm unframed 2009

Some other 'Water' posts:

I am still working on my latest large painting which I am going to call 'Halo'. It is 90 x 200 cm and I am spending hours working away and going through the inevitable ups and downs of the creative process.


Unknown said...

And 'Cheers' to you, too. And to your Art. Lovely stuff, that.

I have a friend from Cleveland, Ohio, who, as an artist, takes on politics. Thus his Art has something of a narrow audience - but I enjoy the political satire his stuff often represents.

His blog is and I'm afraid you'll have to kind of pick through his blog to find his Art - he normally does Art related posts on the weekends. But take a look. i think you might find his stuff interesting.

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox said...

HI Lou,
Thanks for visiting again. I have been following Fred @ Moneyplusthoughts for a couple of years and not only love his satirical art, but also find his economic commentary really interesting. It is amazing to think of the links between you, Fred and Ron and now me! Truly global connections which have happened just like that!
And cheers again,