Sunday, August 26, 2012


Earth's Pulse Oil on linen 80 x 200 cm 2006

It is six years this month since I started my BLOG. I attended a marketing and PR seminar for artists at Brisbane's Metro Arts six years ago...and was very inspired by a fellow who talked about BLOGGING. I came home, did what he said to do ie: check out Blogspot...and six years later here I am.

My first post was on the 9th August 2006 and I have posting about once a week since that day. My first post was about a forthcoming exhibition PULSE: Throb Vibrate Quiver Thrill Rhythm = Sign of Life I did not even upload an image [there's one above that should have been uploaded], nor did I ramble too much...and I am absolutely sure no-one saw or read this post! But, over a period of time, I became more confident and more savvy about linking my BLOG, via other social and related interest sites, so that visitors and followers know there's something new once a week. Yep...'persistence' is my middle name! No not really, but my peristence has reaped wonderful rewards. And some of these rewards are:

  • My BLOG averages around 2,000 - 2,500 visitors per month...and more when there's something really exciting, like an exhibition or a prize to write about. THANK-YOU to all you visitors out there!
  • The regular reflection on my work is now a very important part of my art practice. I really enjoy writing my posts and spend a few hours on each one. This process helps me clarify my thoughts, provokes new ideas and generates inspiration. It also means that when I speak about my work, either in a public presentation or a private conversation, words flow more freely.
  • I've 'met' some very interesting [and supportive] people who follow my BLOG. Their regular interactions, feedback and comments [either via the BLOG or message] are a great delight and provide catalytic inspiration. You know who you are...and thank you!
  • A number of my posts have been picked up by other sites. More recently Scientific America's Symbiartic Science-Art Scumble  Two of my posts have been listed on recent Scumbles ie: Super Heroes and Animals
  • Sometimes, when I am out and about, people mention to me that they read my BLOG. This makes my heart sing!
  • It is a great tool to have when writing artist's statements. It also means I can direct people to posts, rather than rambling on in an email or letter. My children say I ramble!!
So, to some interesting statistics.
  • The most read [popular] post is Airspace and of my 'quiet activist' posts. See image below!
  • The second most popular is Food-A Fantasy In The Future  Another 'quiet activist' post!
  • The third most popular is Ouroboros   where I delve into mythology, religiosity and cosmology.
  • You can see the full list of popular posts on the right column
  • Most of my visitors come from the United States, followed by my home country, Australia.

Airspace and Phantoms Gouache on paper 52 x 63 cm framed

I am working on a new painting...thinking of calling it Time Travel...will see if this feels right when the painting is finished.


Next weekend 1-2 September I have a number of paintings in an exhibition at the Nindooinbah Woolshed exhibition, which will be opened by well known Brisbane art dealer Bruce Heiser  Here's a link to the various ways [cocktail party, high tea, general entry] you can see the exhibition. Nindooinbah is a well known historical homestead near Beaudesert, which is about an hour south of Brisbane. Below are three of the paintings which will be in the exhibition:

Compassion Oil on linen 100 x 100
This painting was in the Directors' Cut online exhibition for the Blake Prize 2011

Finding The Light Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm

Sap of Life Oil on linen 55 x 80 cm


  • Tattersall's Landscape Art Award: I have again been invited to participate in this award and exhibition. The prize money is $25,000. The award will be announced Wednesday 5th September. The exhibition will be on display at Brisbane's Tattersall's Club until September 8, after which it is moved to Waterfront Place, 1 eagel St, Brisbane from 10-21 September.
  • Also, my entry into the Santos Acquisitive Art Prize in Roma has been selected as a finalist. Entries had to reflect upon the 'benefits of La Nina- the abundance that follows rain'. As regular readers know, rain and water, have been important themes in my work for a long time. The prize is announced 31 August.

    Sunday, August 19, 2012


    Eternity's Breath  oil on linen 85 x 150 cm

    This new painting above relates to a recent small work on paper called All of Us [below]. Please read my previous post HERE

    In All of Us the 'shadow' of the tree represents variously, all history, geneology, human race evolution. The trees in Eternity's Breath also represent variously, all history, geneology, human race evolution, but they also 'speak' of the viscera of existence encompassing all physicality, emotionality spirituality...eternity. The trees evoke the appearance of lungs and the rythmic movement of breath...inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale.

    After attending Prof Paul Davies Brisscience lecture a few weeks ago I have been imagining the expanding universe reaching a point where dissipating energy no longer propels spatial or temporal extension. The universe then starts to recede until a state of mammoth spatial and temporal compression causes another Big Bang, and time and space are flung into creation again. This ongoing expansion and contraction is the inhale and exhale of universal breath. 

    Regular readers will identify the use of my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol. The trees in Eternity's Breath create a 'scape' which is both vast and intimate. The trees' branches mirror the capillaries of flesh and blood lungs, at the same time as evoking the 'vascular-like' energy of universal cosmic breath. The figures, humankind, seem to stand at an edge...a precipice...maybe at the point of the exchange between exhale-inhale-exhale. This precipice poses the questions: Why are we here? If we are part of the exhaling universe, what fate lies for us when it inhales?

    The oval shapes, full of colour, suggest portals...possibilities...gateways. The 'shadow' tree behind the two figures disappears into one of these colourful portals creating a waiting for a baby's first breath... or for a dying person's last one.

    And, of course trees literally provide oxygen for us, and our fellow animals, to breath. And... we emit carbon dioxide, which trees and plants, use in their 'breathing' process of photosynthesis.

    The tree!

    All of Us gouache on paper 15 x 21 cm

    As I have previously written I am interested in investigating and revealing the potency of the tree-of-life, to find what its symbolism might mean to us in the 21st century. Yes, it has historical significance, but age-old symbols need to be untethered from past historical visual representations to give life to their ageless wisdom. It is up to us to release the tether and journey with these symbols as they weave their way around, and into, contemporary issues and life. I believe the tree-of-life holds potent meaning for us in the 21st century as we grapple with, and are excited by, the ever increasing close and far distances of cosmological research and discovery. I 'see' the tree branching out, and rooting into, the spaces and distances of the quantum and cosmic worlds, meeting us with meaningful ways to understand...and envisage even more...philosophically, scientifically, creatively and spiritually.

    Below are two other paintings which 'speak' of breath.

     Breathing Across Time Oil on linen 50 x 94 cm

    Breath Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm paper size 52 x 63 cm framed

    • Tattersall's Landscape Art Award: I have again been invited to participate in this award and exhibition. The prize money is $25,000. The award will be announced Wednesday 5th September. The exhibition will be on display at Brisbane's Tattersall's Club until September 8, after which it is moved to Waterfront Place, 1 eagel St, Brisbane from 10-21 September.
    • Also, my entry into the Santos Acquisitive Art Prize in Roma has been selected as a finalist. Entries had to reflect upon the 'benefits of La Nina- the abundance that follows rain'. As regular readers know, rain and water, have been important themes in my work for a long time. The prize is announced 31 August.
    • AND the painting below Cosmic Frisson has been purchased for the new Gold Coast Hospital!
    Cosmic Frisson oil on linen 90 x 180 cm



    Sunday, August 12, 2012


                                          Birth Of Knowledge and Faith Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm

    Birth Of Knowledge and Faith is one of 40 finalists in the 2012 Mandorla Art Award Perth, Western Australia.You can see the winning entry and two highly commended paintings on the Mandorla Facebook Page

    Here's the Award brief, taken from the Mandorla website
    The Mandorla Art Award employs a thematic spiritual inspiration that changes with each exhibition. These inspirations are defined by quotations from the Bible and all participating artists are requested to interpret these in their own way. The theme for 2012 is ‘born of a woman’, taken from Galatians (4:4).

    As regular readers will know, the theme of 'born of a woman', was definitely something that would inspire me!

    Galatians is in the New Testament and the quote 'born of a woman' speaks about the birth of Jesus [Christ], as the son of God, born to a woman of flesh and blood, Mary. My metaphoric reading of the extended passage is that the Christ entity/spirit is born within, and to, all of us... as faith. The process of 'birth' delves into the potency of the sacred feminine impulse which exists within us all, man and woman. I have previously written about the sacred feminine. Please check out ADAM AND EVE...AND THAT TREE-Online Exhibition

    In Birth Of Knowledge and Faith I have referenced both the Old and New Testaments. How? Well, I was thinking about the two pivotal female characters of both texts, Eve and Mother Mary. As regular readers will know, I see Eve's taking from 'that tree', as the birth of knowledge...that the arrival of 'evil' is representative of the introduction of opposites and the resultant 'space' between them. It is in this 'space' that knowledge in all its extremes and forms is possible. Without antimonies, and the close and far distances in the space between them, there is no knowledge...or the potential for it.  Thank you Eve for being brave enough to take from 'that tree'!

    Knowledge and faith, go hand in hand. For me they are dance partners taking us on a journey through the close and far distances between antimonies, where we have potential to 'find' ourselves by experimenting; by finding out who we are not, in order to know who we are. I have previously written that I have faith in complexity, because if things were merely simple, lack of depth would destroy hope... and faith. Please check out FAITH IN IMAGINATION and MAJESTY AND ORDER

    Here is my Mandorla Art Award artist's statement for Birth of Knowledge and Faith

    Two transcultural/religious trees-of-life/knowledge emanate from a woman’s outstretched arms and feet. She is the ‘sacred feminine’.  In forming a circle she ‘sings’ and ‘dances’ her elemental grace of life continuance. More specifically I was thinking of two biblical women, one from the Old Testament and one from the New, Eve and Mary.
    As Eve took from the tree she gave ‘birth’ to Knowledge in the spaces between antimonies. As Mother Mary gave birth to Jesus, the ‘Light of the World’, she also gave birth to Faith.
    I imagine that as Eve took from the tree, the world cascaded into the colours and hues that allowed Adam and Eve to ‘see’ each other. I ‘see’ colour as representing Knowledge. In this painting the multi coloured trees and the ‘sacred feminine’ figure are surrounded by halo-like white light. The two trees also meet in a pulse of white. This white light represents Faith.

                                                              DETAIL Birth of Knowledge and Faith

    Birth of Knowledge and Faith, also takes on a cosmic appearance, with the circle seemingly hovering in space. I was determined to make the painting look like the birth of the universe ...eliciting the beauty of the Big Bang...enticing us to place human history against that of the universe...and more. I was determined to create an image which 'spoke' of portals...because both knowledge and faith, together and separately, are 'portals' through which our psyches can travel, in search of spirit, meaning, hope. Portals are representative of birth canals, as well as promises of rebirth as re-entering takes us further into the complexity of life. I have previously written about portals...many times...but please check out BEAUTY AS A PORTAL

    I was determined to evoke the concept of Mother...Mother Earth, Mother Nature...that eternal propulsion, the urge to create which exists within us all and everything, even as we know death is part of life. Creation and death are also dance partners on the 'stage' where knowledge and faith perform their ebb and flow steps. 

    Birth of Knowledge and Faith is a painting which sits very comfortably along side a few others. Here's a selection:

    Auroboros Oil on linen 122 x 153 cm

     Compassion Oil on linen 100 x 100 cm

        Cosmic Dust Oil on linen 120 x 150 cm

     Beyond The Dark Night of The Soul Oil on linen 100 x 100 cm and also HERE

    Love Oil on linen 100 x 100 cm


    Monday, August 06, 2012


                                                    DETAIL from painting I am still working on.

    Recently I read an article, by Katrina Strickland, in the Australian Financial Review [AFR] called Artful Creatures In High Demand The article commented upon the popularity of animals in contemporary art. Given that the AFR is a newspaper focusing on economic and financial issues, the weekly Thursday SALEROOM section, in which this article appeared, is geared towards commentary on the art market. Katrina Strickland writes, ' Perhaps animals are a safe sell in tough times;' I suggest Strickland's comment has the ring of truth. Why? Because animals symbolise some kind of security, unconditional love, our connection with something 'real'.

    The GFC, and its continuing global and local economic stressors, have left much of society feeling vulnerable, unsure and anxious. Pre GFC economic 'reality' evaporated seemingly overnight when 'houses of cards' fell. Animals seem to provide some kind of safe emotional haven. Please read my 2008 post about 'houses of cards' and the  implosion of financial fantasy HERE In this post I suggest that art's catalytic agency is to not just to be reflective, but also affective.When the two are combined there is a potent mix, but does this happen often?

    In 2008, after a visit to Melbourne, I wrote a post in which I commented on the popularity of animal imagery. In this post I have postulated that animals provide some kind of security in stressful economic times. The popularity of animals, as well as half human/animal imagery, has continued. It is fascinating to think we may be seeing the reflection of society's emotional needs in the popularity of certain subject matter. But, does it affect change? Does it sedate us into another fantasy of security? Does, it divert our attention? Where's art's agency?

    There is a long history of animals in art...from cave paintings to the present day. Animals have been depicted to record food sources, for entertainment. They have been ascribed mystic, sacred and symbolic meanings, and embodied knowledge. They have been depicted to illustrate the wonder of science and the beauty of the natural world. Indeed, they are fellow sentient beings, sharing planet Earth with us. They are important for many reasons. But, are contemporary depictions so 'safe' that they fall prey to caricature, colonising emotional spaces and diverting attention from the 'unsafe' world around us? If so, what are we missing? The answer to that question is both exciting and terrifying?

    So, I am working on a new painting that has nothing to do with animals! It is based on my recent small work on paper 'All Of Us' The photo above is a detail shot of the work in progress.

    • I have been invited to participate in the 2012 Tattersalls Landscape Art Prize, which will be announced on Wednesday September 5. I shall keep you updated.
    • The Mandorla Art Prize is announced this Friday 10 August. My selected entry was sent over to Western Australia last week. Again, I shall keep you updated.
    • Also, my entry into the Santos Acquisitive Art Prize in Roma has been selected as a finalist.  Entries had to reflect upon the 'benefits of La Nina- the abundance that follows rain'. As regular readers know, rain and water, have been important themes in my work for a long time. The prize is announced 31 August.