Monday, April 11, 2011


Asleep Gouache on paper 28 x 37 cm

My household is back to normal. The house has been de-flood proofed, I've completed the mind numbing MYOB entry and crunching of numbers to give to my accountant for my tax return, my exhibition VORTEX is over with only one more painting to deliver to its purchaser, the lawn is mowed. I can now see my way ahead for those more exciting projects which have been lying dormant...asleep.

And... I do have a couple of really exciting ones I can now devote time to.

'Asleep'...above...I am pretty sure the rabbit was a much more interesting character than the plodding old tortoise!

One of my more interesting projects is a picture book I am self publishing with a company called Balboa Press in the US. The company is division of Hay House. I received a phone call from Balboa just before the Brisbane floods asking me if I'd be interested in publishing a book/manuscript I had previously sent to Hay House. Well...YES! So, my publication is essentially a picture book with a very small amount of text. I am now collating all the images and tidying up the text, working out short-grab marketing lines, title [I have a title in mind] and so on. The book will be for all ages and both sexes. So, keep tuned!

The images I have uploaded on this post are a taste of the kind which will be in my book.

Alone Gouache on paper 28 x 37 cm

Another project is my forthcoming exhibition 'Paradise' @ Purgatory Artspace in Melbourne 8 September - 8 October. 170 Abbotsford St, First Floor, North Melbourne. This is a brief summary of the exhibition:

Paradise is an exhibition of oil on linen, and gouache on paper paintings, exploring notions of paradise, including paradise lost. I use the age old trans-cultural/religious tree-of-life motif to weave historical and spiritual contextual threads through various aspects of the human quest for paradise ‘out there’ and within. By examining paradise from various distances of time and place the exhibition reflects important contemporary considerations of perspective, as we live locally in an increasingly globalised world, where space research proposes the existence of other universes and spiritual explorations suggest vast inner manifestations.

'Paradise' will include paintings exploring the story of Adam and Eve [a story shared by the three Abrahamic religions], environmental degradation [particularly water and soils] and cosmological possibilities. Each of these themes will delve into concepts of 'paradise' in the outer physical world as well as 'paradise' within our inner psyches.

Let Them Go Gouache on paper 37 x 28cm

The painting above 'Let Them Go' will be in my picture book. I painted a series of work in 1997 which explored my feelings about education. This series has never been exhibited. In 1997 I had two small children, with another on the way, and we had experienced our first encounters with the regidity and confined approach to education. I saw my children's lust for learning very quickly abate as conformity, repetition, low expectations, and a one size fits all approach dampened their spirits. I painted this image as a plea to let kids fly, let them enjoy learning, let them explore...don't hold them back with low expectations, and ridiculous accolades given to such things as neatness!!! Thank goodness secondary school curriculums are more stimulating than primary school!

However, I have realised, as time has passed, that this series is really not just about education. It is more about psyche, soul and our inner child. Indeed, many of the core beliefs we hold deep within us, stem from early childhood experiences at home and at school. Some of these core beliefs, which we subconsciously hold onto into adulthood, are not helpful or healthy and need to be 'let go', so that the child within is acknowledged and loved, and we can move forward as confident adults comfortable with who we are. The 'them' in the title 'Let Them Go' need not be about physical entities.

This painting 'Let Them Go' has meant more and more to me as my children have grown. My eldest spent a gap year as an exchange student in Brazil and my second child is currently in Italy as an exchange student. Letting them go was difficult, but the life experiences, independence and compassion for others that they have gained are invaluable. As a result of their exchange experiences I believe they are better equipped to live in this increasingly globalised world in which we live locally.

'Letting go' has many connotations and I leave this painting [and my others] with you, so you can interpret and explore the way you want. As regular readers of my BLOG know, I believe I do not complete my work...yes, I physically finish the product...but the real completions happen when people are stimulated to have conversations with me, themselves or others. Each conversation provides another completion and thus, my paintings exist dynamically beyond me. I've learnt to 'let go' of my paintings and what they might 'say', and in 'letting go' they have spoken to me in many other ways.



learn to oil paint said...

I like your blog. Great Article....Daniel

Audubon Ron said...

I thought the story was the tortoise and the duck. No?

Louis L. Hay. I listen to Louise Hay all the time. She’s on my portable MP3 player. Good luck with the book.

I got asked to play guitar for the Alliance for Arts in Education this month. Good timing finishing my last piece.


Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox said...

Hi Ron,
The rabbit/hare can be a duck if you really want! Yes, I am quite excited about the book. A standing ovation at the Alliance For Arts Education I'm sure.