Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Quiet Fierceness of Light Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm

This new painting Quiet Fierceness of Light was inspired by a recent work on paper Firmament which is below. Yet, as I painted Quiet Fierceness of Light other things happened. It posed a number of impasses for me, as it challenged me with questions, articulated through dilemmas of aesthetics and conversations with myself. I wanted to create a feeling of a calling, the kind that whispers to us when we least expect it. The kind of calling that moves us past what we know to places where the unknown provokes us to wonder...and discover new knowledge about ourselves and the world.

Regular readers will know that light features in a number of my paintings [I have provided links below]. I love the frisson which quivers in the connections that link the scientist's wonder of light with the philospher's and spiritualist's. The frisson is highly charged!

In Quiet Fierceness of Light a figure of a woman reaches across the canvas, as if she is straddling the depths of time. A flame of light provides a force which seems to propel her. But she garners this light in the spaces between the branches of the trees which errupt from her arms and legs. These trees, regular readers will know, are my interpretation of the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol. They have various possible meanings. They can be 'read' as roots issuing forth from her feet and branches from her hands, or representations of life systems such as the vascular and lymphatic, or cross sections of internal organs such as the brain or kidney. Yet, we can go further and see them as representative of any kind of life giving system such as above and below ground water systems. For me, in this painting, they both emit and garner energy connecting all life across all dimensions.

The background of the entire painting is formed by one tree which cascades across the canvas. Like ripples it suggests another layer of life's propulsion. It seems to embrace all direction, all space and beyond, possibly indicating the primordial template/system of life in the multiverse.

The red circle, with the light emanating from it, may be the sun, the source of literal light broadcasting across our daytime. Yet, light as a metaphor struggles to penetrate our psyches when the darkness of sameness erodes confidence amd strangles wonder. The light in Quiet Fierceness of Light is more about the light of knowledge...of ourselves, others and the universe. It is with and through knowledge that we shed light across the pathways of life. The light imbues us with wonder as it calls forth both beckoning and shining the way. Light that beckons is where we find challenge, drawing us towards it. If we are game we meet its glow.
There is more to Quiet Fierceness of Light, but I'll leave that to you, the viewer. I leave you to travel your own journey with light!

Firmament Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm


Sending Love
Becoming The Light
Colour Of Knowledge


I am currently reading Fire In The Belly: On Being a Man by Sam Keen. It was published in 1991/92 so is twenty years old. It is a fascinating insight into men! I have read the first four chapters where Keen analyses the role of WOMAN in the male psyche. He writes WOMAN in capital letters to differentiate the Goddess/Mother Nature entity from the woman of flesh and blood. He investigates how men need to find distance in order to embrace and love. I am really looking forward to reading the entire book. Keen writes beautifully eg: When writing about WOMAN- 'She has been an inevitable symbol of divinity since the beginning of time and remains a sacred presence in the timeless dimension of every psyche.' How about that for creating pictures with words and transporting the reader to places beyond!
Fire In The Belly: On Being a Man A Bantam Book USA 1991 


I have just finished A Hatful Of Cherries by Felix Calvino. This is a wonderful collection of short stories, written by Calvino, who was born in Spain, but now lives here in Brisbane! Each story drew me in and I felt a connection to the characters. I felt so sad for Basilio and his wife. Really loved the ‘Ghosts on The Beach’ too. ‘Silvia’ was such a measured story, belying the strangeness of the two men sharing a mistress.The story about quitting smoking was painful to read, but gripping. I felt his frustration...and I have never smoked! The ‘Detour’ story has a film in it I am sure! Calvino's endings are really great, because he makes them astonishing, even when they are about ordinary happenings.

I also liked the way Calvino moved from stories set in Spain, to those set in Australia. It provided a rhythm that was punctuated every now and then...like jazz! I could not read more than two stories at one time, because I liked how they stayed with me for awhile.

One of the short stories Unfinished Thoughts has been made into a short movie, which has won and been nominated for a number of awards. Click HERE for more information.

I highy receommend A Hatful Of Cherries
A Hatful Of Cherries Arcadia Australia 2007


I recommend  Everybody Means Something: Words, Values and Identities Explored  This is a BLOG with some very thoughtful posts.

Charter For Compassion  I have been a member of this site for some time. It was inspired by Karen Armstrong, who is a 'provocative, original thinker of the role of religion in the modern world' . Check out her TED site. I've read her book The Spiral Staircase. It is just one of her many books.

I read this provocatively titled article recently, Infinite Stupidity It is a talk with Mark Pagel who is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Professor of Evolutionary Biology. He is Head of the Evolution Laboratory at the University of Reading.

Did you know there is a Global Peace Index ? I met Steve Killelea, the man who founded the organisatin Vision For Humanity a few years ago, at a conference at the Univeristy of Queensland. At the time the idea for a Peace Index was new. But, Steve Killelea is a very passionate man and within a year of the UQ conference the Peace Index was up and running.

I also discovered recently that there is a Corruption Index!

Other interesting sites are listed in the LINKS tab on the right column of this BLOG!

Please click HERE for more information




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