Thursday, October 28, 2010


Detail of work in progress

                               Detail of work in progress-taken at an angle

The two images above are details from a large painting I am currently working on. My thoughts are about the creation of the Universe, or maybe seeing another Universe...with the idea of 'Universe' being about our external physical world, as well as our internal emotional/psychological world. Regular readers will identify with my play between the distances of the nano and universal, intimate and vast, macro and micro. In whatever case, my VORTEX ideas are propelling me. The VORTEX gives me the energy to tunnel in all directions! I have written about my VORTEX ideas is a link that will also take you to other VORTEX links too

But, before I leave the VORTEX...just a reminder that my solo show opening 22 February 2011 is called VORTEX. As you can see from the images above, my much loved transcultural/religious tree-of-life is my visual conduit into the life propelling realms of the VORTEX.

In this post, I have decided not to dwell too much on ideas, theories...heavy stuff. Instead I thought I'd upload some images of my studio and me.

Here I am in my studio where I paint my works on paper. I share this room with the hot water system and the fuse box. It is actually a kind of non-room, so it's perfect for making a mess in.

Here are some works on paper in progress. Regular readers will possibly see that these are the beginnings of some of my 'water' paintings. That is if they don't end up ripped to pieces because I am not happy with them!

Here I am in my studio where I paint my oil paintings...well... it is actually the garage and I share it with a lot of other things, but not the car because I have a carport for it. As you can see I do not have any flash studio furniture. Indeed an old washing machine suffices for a bench! The good thing is that I don't have to be 'precious' about anything.

And, here I am loading a big painting onto the roof racks of my car. Needless to say I do not travel long distances with paintings on the top of my car. However, around Brisbane it is ok, except when wet! Of course, on the odd ocassion I have had to collect my children from school, with a painting atop the car, I have been a complete and utter embarrassment! No-one elses mother has something as conspicuous as a painting wrapped in bubble wrap atop her car!

And now to a photo to show that I can 'glam up' a bit too. Here I am in an outfit, part of which I made! The black top is actually a gorgeous corset which I bought. It 's meant for underwear, but I thought it was beautiful enough for outer wear! [Now I won't go into what my kids said about that!] The tuille skirt and shawl are both made by moi. The shawl was easy. Just a length of tuille with little pink bows randomly sewn all over it. The skirt took a bit longer, because it has layers of pink and brown tuille attached to a lycra band, which I also made.

So that's it for today. Some lighter-note things, which I hope people enjoy seeing.

Friday, October 22, 2010


                                  Colour of Stillness Oil on linen 100 x 60 cm

I uploaded a detail work-in-progess shot of this painting a couple posts ago, but here it is finished. The previous post can be found at

This painting continues a number of interests of mine. Regular readers will be able to see them immediately. I have used my much loved transcultural/religious tree-of-life motif, the spiral/vortex and colour to play again with perspective and distance...literal and metaphoric.

The vortex is one of my latest interests, however, I do have some very early paintings where I have painted spirals. So, these early works are heralding from the past! The vortex and spiral interest me because they suggest an energy of the quivering kind that never stops. Both are spied in the universal world and the subatomic. Galaxies are spirals with black hole centres, and the DNA double helix propels life forces. And...for those of you who are regular readers and know of my interest in water...well how does water go down the plughole? I grew up on a farm and I loved whirly winds as they danced across dusty paddocks. Here's a link to some other posts I have written about vortexs...Oh! and my next solo exhibition 22 February - 6 March 2010 is going to be called 'VORTEX'

So, to this new painting 'Colour of Stillness'. As I have previously written, I imagine that inside the vortex there is a place of stillness, where we can hear things we did not know we could listen to, see things we did not know were there, and feel things we did not know could be felt. By finding this stillness we learn about ourselves and our relationship to others, the world and the planet. This is knowledge gained by self reflection and letting go of the turmoil of the outer vortex, its distractions and materiality.

If you look closely, there is a figure standing inside the vortex. She is painted green and seems to be floating in a cascade of light. For me, this light, is the reflective process which is revalatory. The light emanates from the pinnacle of the vortex errupting in a tree...a tree-of-life/knowledge. This tree then seems to bloom with seven smaller trees, each one a different colour. These colours are the seven colours of the rainbow, chakras and they represent further knowledge. The tree at the bottom of the vortex reflects the trees above, beckoning the beyond and its knowledge. The circle of leaves suggests a new portal, or the cyclical nature of life, or letting go what we are not and welcoming who we's up to you. The blue background dances with the secrets of the universe.
The process of self reflection assists us to find out who we are not... so that we can know who we are. Colour, as knowledge, is both good and error...not evil. It is about how we negotiate the distances between knowing who we are not and who we are. In this understanding new perspectives hopefully mean we are more compassionate towards ourselves and others. This is important if we are to live locally in an increasingly globalised world. And, where does that place us within a universal existence, where in the future humankind may need to venture beyond our planet to survive?

By Elsie Brimblecombe----MY MUM!

Maleny artist, Elsie Brimblecombe, is exhibiting her zany and colourful paintings in an exhibition inspired by a book of poems, ‘Fanny The Flying Housewife and Other Stories’ by Brisbane poet, Ynes Sanz.

The poems are about remarkable women including Australians, writer Dorothy Hewitt; the Australian Mermaid, Annette Kellerman; founder of Meals on Wheels, Doris Taylor; war hero, Irene Drummond and Blessed Mother Mary McKillop. O...ther inspiring women from elsewhere in the world include the genius, Gertrude Stein; the pilot, Amy Johnson; the singer, Kathleen Ferrier.

Elsie Brimblecombe’s exhibition PAINTINGS ABOUT REMARKABLE WOMEN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY follows her successful 2009 exhibition ‘Invisible Cities’ which was inspired by a book of the same name by Italo Calvino. Elsie’s new paintings reflect the off-beat, brave and remarkable lives of women who have helped make history.

PAINTINGS ABOUT REMARKABLE WOMEN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY opened at Maleny’s Upfront Club on Thursday 21 October at 6pm. The exhibition will continue until Tuesday 16 November.
31 Maple St, Maleny, Queensland, Australia
07 5494 2592

Here are two paintings from the exhibition:

Motor Power-Isadora Duncan, Acrylic on canvas

                               Gipsy Moth-Amy Johnson, Acrylic on canvas

Sunday, October 17, 2010


                                            Airspace Above The Dam Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Water is a major issue here in Australia, and indeed all over the world. In Australia, newspapers are currently covering the release of proposals about water allocations, including supply of water to farmers in the Murray Darling food bowl. Farmers are not happy and local communities are worried that reduced allocations will mean loss of jobs and social instability.

As regular readers of my BLOG know, I have long held a fascination for water, how it used, allocated, and costed. I am a farmer's daughter and also lived, for 18 years of my adult life, in Goondiwindi, a small rural town on the border of New South Wales and Queensland. As a child I watched my father stare at cloudless blue skies, and also despair when flooding rains ripped top soil away and spoiled bumper crops. Goondiwindi was the same, with farmers staring at the sky, but it was slightly different, because irrigation played a significant part of the rural experience. Cotton is a substantial crop grown in northern NSW on the border with Queensland.

Water is also an issue with the surge in coal mining, and particularly coal seam gas extraction [CSG]. Water, is a 'byproduct' of the extraction process, but under legislation this water does not come under the control of Water Resources. So, there are a number of issues now confronting communities at large, as well as those immediately affected eg: Dalby [where I grew up] and district. These issues are various, from the potential to reduce underground aquifer levels, to how to deal with the salt water byproduct, to potential contamination, to broader issues of adequate infrastructures of all kinds. The major risk, as I see it, is that lack of foresight...lack of stringent risk analysis...could lead to diminished soil and water viability, and thus the reduction of food growing capacity. I have written  about risk

I have written previously about all of the things I have mentioned above. But, with water being such a current [I like to play on the word 'current'] issue I thought I'd make an online 'gallery' of some of my water paintings. This is certainly not all of them, plus I have ideas for more. I will be exhibiting some of the newer ones in my solo exhibition 'Vortex' next year 22 Feb- 6 March. After all...water disappears down a drain pipe in a vortex! But, metaphorically the turmoil, stress and strain fraught by water and its various issues, are akin to what I imagine the frantic whirling of an outer edges of a vortex to be like.

Enjoy my 'gallery'.....................................and look for the small $ signs and quotes from newspapers. The far and close distance perspectives are important reminders that we must always look and also see!

Blue Gold Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Cyclical Gouache on  paper 30 x 42 cm

Truth Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Water Harvesting Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Great Artesian Basin Gouache on paper 30 x42 cm

Risk Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Phantom Water Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Tendering Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Hope In The Distance Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm

Thank Goodness [It's Raining] Oil on linen 90 x 207 cm

Earth For Sale Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm

Lifeblood Oil on linen 90 x 207 cm

Cheers, Kathryn


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


                                                Detail of new work I am currently working yet untitled

I am working towards my next solo exhibition, which I am going to call 'Vortex'. I have previously written about some of my vortex thoughts. Here are a few of the links:

As you can see the new painting, I am currently working on above, continues with my vortex compulsion. I will finish this painting in a day or so and will upload a full image of it then. However, I will write a little about it now. As with some of my other vortex paintings, which I have written about in the above links, this new painting is an outpicturing of my imaginings of being inside a vortex, in that place where the turmoil of the outer vortex finds peace and stillness. A place where thoughts can be heard, where we listen to things we did not know made sound, where we see things that we did not know could be seen, where we feel things we did not know could be felt. A place where the conscious and subconscious hold hands to expand towards an embrace of our sentient and spiritual experiences.

In this new painting I am painting multiple trees-of-life which errupt from the pinnacle of the vortex. There are 7 trees, representing the colours of the rainbow, the colours of the chakras, the days of the week and so on. But, whilst the number 7 is significant, for me, colour is the most important element, because colour signifies knowledge. Colour, as a metaphor for experience of all kinds and thus knowledge gained, paints our psyche and our soul. I have written about colour and knowledge previously;

With  this new painting I am thinking about the knowledge gained from stillness, from listening, seeing and feeling in a place where peace clears the muddied waters of the exterior vortex. Revelations, insights, new perspectives are all possible in stillness. We can see, feel and hear ourselves in a different way. Yes, this kind of knowledge is self-knowledge...and finding out who we are not in order to know who we are.

I have recognised unhelpful default thinking processes in myself when I have made the time to be still. And being still is a problem for someone who is hyperactive. However, I have found that imagining being inside vortex is very helpful. Ahhhhh.... a wonderful thing our imagination!

The exhibition B Aware which I mentioned in my last previous opened  last Friday. It was an excellent opening. This curated exhibition is themed on the 8 Millenium Development Goals. The show continues until Thursday Oct 21, and is open daily 9.30-4.30pm. All the paintings are for sale St. John's Cathedral, 373 Ann St, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Check out my website 'gallery' B Aware where I have uploaded images of the 5 paintings selected for the B Aware exhibition.

Until next time.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


                                                                      Remembering The Reason Why Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm

I have finished the painting I mentioned in my post 'Spinny'. The woman, whose body is created with small trees...[tree of lifes], is placed amidst a tapestry of multi coloured trees, as if all volume and space hold the same energy.

In my post 'Spinny' I mentioned my memories of the spinnies of sheoaks I planted in my Goondiwindi garden. I reminisced about the whistling 'songs' made as the wind traveled through the thin leaves. To me, it was a reminder that unseen energy forces can be sensed in other ways, if only we are prepared to feel, listen and see with our imaginations.

So, with this new painting, a number of thoughts have come together. I wanted to create an image which showed the human body as an intrinsic part of a much larger energy and force. So, whilst the body is painted with essentially one colour trees, these are seen as small versions of the multi coloured cascading tree. I wanted to give a sense that nothing is disconnected. I wanted to fill space with the promise of some kind of primordial template. Thus, the tree is my much loved transcultural/religious tree-of-life. Its primordial essence is provoking in a way which urges us to look, see, listen, imagine and remember.

When I say remember, I mean a kind of remembering which rustles our DNA, which pokes our subconscious, which hints at ageless knowings. I think the tree-of-life provides us with secrets which we know, but don't necessarily realise. Its vascular-like manifestation with branches, twigs, leaves, roots and so on, suggest an ultimate system, a core masterplan, a memory of all and possible systems and conduits...

I have painted a female because...well...I am female. She is long and lean...a bit like me. So, I hope no-one says she anorexic or not typical of most women! But back to being serious...the remembering concept in the title Remembering The Reason Why reminds us to listen for, to see, and to re-know Mother...Mother Earth...the essential feminine force of a Divine Mother...the Sacred Heavenly Mother. We have all been physically connected to Mother, via the umbilical cord. This vascular connection gives us a physical experience of connection, but it also provides us with other knowledge which stirs memories of primordial and universal systems.

I've written about the Sacred Feminine are some links to earlier posts:

Opens tomorrow...Friday 8 october, St. John's Cathedral, 373 Ann St, Brisbane. 6-8pm
The exhibition is themed on the Millenium Development Goals.
Check out pages 22-23 where my painting Shared Destinies has been reproduced.

Also check out my website 'gallery' B Aware  where I have uploaded images of the 5 paintings selected for the B Aware exhibition.