Sunday, April 28, 2013


Are We There Yet? Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm
On long trips young children are inclined to ask, 'Are we there yet?' more than once or twice! Indeed, my own children, on long drives to and from Goondiwindi*, were inclined to ask this question a lot. One daughter more so than the other two. She did not like to sit still for very long. She'd start asking within minutes of leaving on a four to five hour drive!
I remember asking the same question of my parents too. Like my daughter I did not like to sit still for long periods of time. That was back in the days when time seemed to travel so, so, so slowly...when a half hour math class seemed an excrutiating eternity and a whole year was beyond that!
Photos of me [aged about 6] and my brother Wilfred in the back seat of our car. From memory a trip to Brisbane from our home at Dalby to visit our grandparents. In the 1960s this took about 4 or slightly more eternity! You can tell Wilfred is a lot happier than me! In fact he looks quite mischievous. 
But, the question Are we there yet? has a much wider amplification into various human endeavours and activities, from literal travel to individual self improvement and beyond to 'enlightenment' and spirituality. The question implies a destination, whether it is a geographical location or a hoped-for outcome or a state of being or a spiritual 'place' [literal or within the psyche]. But, does it also perhaps imply an inability to make the most of the present? I remember distracting my impatient daughter by drawing her attention to all sorts of things, from grazing cattle and horses, kangaroos hopping beside the road, pretty clouds wafting across the sky. She would spend a few minutes watching and thinking, before again asking...'Are we there yet?'
* Goondiwindi is a small rural town on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.
So, to my painting Are We There Yet?.  I wanted to create an ambiguous landscape...and regular readers know this is something I like to do. I wanted a sense of flying, as if the viewer has reached the outer edge of a planet....which could be Earth, but maybe it is not? Hence my title...Are We There Yet?...suggests that perhaps we have travelled to another planet...perhaps in those round blue balls? Maybe we have just left Earth for a very long trip and this painting is the last fly-by? Or, maybe the landscape is a metaphor for our internal 'landscapes' of psyche or soul?
I thought about this painting after reading various articles, including a very recent one in National Geographic Most Earthlike Planets Found Yet: A "Breakthrough", about discoveries of planets that, maybe... just maybe, could be like Earth. There are a couple of implications stemming from the suggestion that these planets may support life. One is that they already have life in some form and the other implication is that humanity could find another 'home' on these newly discovered planets. Each of these implications have a myriad of others!
In the event of Earth's destruction, possibly orchestrated by aberrant individuals or groups, or as a result of our sun's slow and increasingly heat fuelled demise, or a wayward meteor causing nighmarish destruction of our life sustaining environment or indeed humanity's destruction of our life sustaining environment, we [humanity] may need a new home. Imagine remnants of humanity travelling on space craft to planets, possibly 1000s of light years away. New life would be born during the trip to the promised land. Imagine how many would be asking 'Are we there yet?' or 'When will we get there?' But, maybe scientists will send a special mix of human DNA, which upon some pre-determined trigger, forms into humans? But, who would ask the very human question 'Are we there yet?'

Indeed, as we seek to know more about our Universal environment, I think there is perhaps an equally vast internal one to explore as well.
As I look out my office window, it all seems so fanciful and impossible. It is a perfect Brisbane autumn day. The sky is a gorgeous blue and the sun settles softly on leaves and flowers. Birds are chirping and a soft breeze gantly drifts through my window tickling my cheeks.  Yep, I've just returned to the present after travelling in my imagination to distant futures and celestial destinations!
You will notice the small blue reference to the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol. As regular readers know, it is a dominant visual guide in my work. I like it because it offers wisdom. I love t because it symbolises life across eons of time, cultures and religions.
A recent related post and painting is ON MY TRAVELS I SAW
  •  COSMIC OUROBOROS is the most visited post on my BLOG
  • Since my lucky experience with social networking working at its best ...when Deepak Chopra retweeted Nancy Ellen Abrams tweet about my painting and post COSMIC is now the 6th most popular post on my BLOG...even though it was only written in March this year! Very grateful. You can follow me on TWITTER HERE
  • COSMIC ADDRESS is the title for my next exhibition  15-10-13 to 27-10-13 at Graydon Gallery, Brisbane. I am really excited about this show.
  • My last post LET THERE BE LIGHT is a small online exhibition of selected 'light' inspired paintings. I link them back to my website where other details, including pricing, are listed.

Until next time,

Monday, April 22, 2013

LET THERE BE LIGHT-Small Online Exhibition.

 Halo Oil on linen 82 x 183 cm 2009
I am working on a new painting. In the meantime I thought I'd 'curate' an online exhibition of a few of my paintings which 'speak' of all its literal and metaphoric ways.
Halo [above] is a painting I have written about a few times. I'll admit to being very fond of this painting. The image of Earth with a 'halo' of atmosphere surrounding it has a few stories attached to it. I painted this on the 25th anniversary of my cousin Dr. Bill From's death on Mt Everest. He was killed when he slipped on an icey patch as he and his climbing mates were descending. More of the details are HERE. Funny thing is, when I painted Halo I was thinking about Bill, but I did not realise it was the month of the anniversairy or his birthday, until I googled his name to see if there was any online news about the attempt to climb Mt Everest.
Bill had just completed hi PhD [UQ] in ionospheric physics. He was literally studying Earth's atmosphere.
This painting is currently hanging in my lounge room and I love it.
 The Colour Of Knowledge Oil on linen 62 x 82 cm 2009
The Colour Of Knowledge is another of my favourite pieces [I have lots!] If you want to read more please click HERE.
Briefly, the figures of Adam and Eve are central to the visual story. As Eve takes from the tree-of-knowledge antimonies enter the world giving rise to knowledge in the spaces between [eg: good and evil]. Knowedge is illuminatory and revelatory. In this painting knowledge is represented by the colour that cascades from the white light of Adam and Eve's existence prior to Eve taking from the tree-of-knowledge ie: when they could not see their differences. 

 Finding The Light Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm 2010
Here's a quote from my earlier post for this painting:
I have called this painting 'Finding The Light', because it implies a search which results in discovery. 'Light' can represent knowledge, discovery. It can also represent faith. It can represent the Divine. It can represent finding oneself. Coupled with the tree-of-life/knowledge it can represent LIFE.

I have created the 'light' with the small dots which cascade over the woman inside the vortex. This 'light' spills into the trees like veins pulsing through life's membranes.
Finding The Light is currently hanging in my guest bedroom and it looks great. There are windows on each side, the walls are painted a soft yellow...and every time I walk past the room and look in, I feel good!

Becoming The Light oil on linen 160 x120 cm 2012
Every time I look at this painting I am surprised. Why? Because, it glimmers! A photo does not capture the glimmer and that's a shame. However, I do think that surprising paintings will never reveal their secrets in a photo...otherwise the photo would be the work of art!
The female figure, enclosed within a vortex, shimmers with light. As she relishes the peace at the quiet core of the vortex she is ready for illumination. As regular readers will notice my  transcultural/religious tree-of-life plays an important part in the matrix. Its pattern repeats across the painting, revealing energy forces and dynamics which propel and nurture.

 Seeking The Light Oil on linen 36 x 36 cm 2012
I wrote in an earlier post,  the female figure, representing Mother Nature, seems to attract light. Her arms and feet erupt with vascular-like trees connecting her to whatever energy it is that propels life.
This small painting is hanging in a nook in my lounge room. Like the others above, whenever I look at it or it catches my eye, I feel a need to keep looking. It does really 'light up' the nook where it hangs. It seems to move, and as the light of day changes, it changes.

 The Quiet Fierceness of Light Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm 2012

I did have this painting hanging above my dining room table, but it has SOLD. So, it now hangs in a lovely new place. And, it looks great too.

I wrote in an earlier post, 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 erupt from her arms and legs.


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!

 The Birth Of Knowledge and Faith Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm
This is may artist's statement for the 2012 Mandorla Art Prize, perth, Australia: This painting was selected as one of the finalists.
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.

Until next time:

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Landscape of Everything Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm
Calling a painting Landscape of Everything is either brave or ludicrous. I can live with both!
When I was painting this image I had many many different thoughts going through my head, cascading in and out, provoking panic, excitement, fear, wariness, joy and more. There were so many thoughts that when I came to give the painting a title, nothing seemed adequate, until I came up with Landscape of Everything.
So, what were the thoughts going through my head? we go.
I wanted a cosmic appearance, but an ambiguous one in terms of perspective, orientation, place, and consciousness. The viewer can variously see many things...well that's the plan! Are you looking from a space ship back at the Earth? If so, which coloured ball is Earth? Are you on Earth looking out to space? Or are you peering into something much smaller? Or is the image a play on imagination, dreams? Maybe it is a 'landscape' of the subconsious, that place where dreams are conjured?
Maybe the painting dances with imagination and postulation? Indeed, at one stage I imagined each  of the balls being other universes. The concept that we live in a multiverse is really very exciting. I've written about this before in a post called MULTIVERSE and in another called MULTIVERSE POSSIBILITIES  Whilst modern cosmologists postulate about a multiverse, the idea provides wonderful metaphoric possibilities for individual human psyches, plus the whole of humanity's psyche/collective [sub]consciousness. Maybe the painting is a 'landscape' of humanity's psyche, a promise of a far more multi faceted dimension and fate than we have ever dreamed?

Landscape of Everything also relates to my previous post and painting On My Travels I Saw
Now for a bit of fun....maybe the coloured balls in Landscape of Everything are the other universes hinted at in my earlier painting Multiverse [below]. In Multiverse you will notice the little portals/eyes dotted around the tree-of-life...portals to other universes!!! Maybe we have travelled through them... or about to?
Multiverse Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm
I was also thinking about the space imagery we see in books and on the internet. Some are photographs taken by various means, artists'/illustrators' impressions, and others are computer simulations. These images can be beautiful with a sense of reality and a non-reality. The play between these states is intriguing. I was thinking about this 'play' when I was painting Landscape of Everything. Rather than re-create something that looked 'real' I wanted to stimulate recognition, without a sense of surity.
The interesting fact that many images of cells etc under a microscope appear 'cosmic' [and vice versa], also got me thinking. The repetition of pattern across the vast scale of the universe is extraordinarily exciting. Yet, merely recording and showing the replication, for me at least, does not embrace its potential to go beyond the interest factor into realms where new ideas/insights maybe generated. Whilst Landscape of Everything is not a 'landscape' in the traditional sense, I have tried to elicit a sense of recognition of an 'environment' at the same time as stimulating fun, questions, debate and more...conversation maybe?
Regular readers will know of my keen interest in perspective and the potential for us to see multi-perspectives, even simultaneously. Certainly, modern cosmology has provided us with ample new viewpoints, which keep expanding, into vastness, the quantum and possibility. It also, I think, compels us to develop more sophisticated ideas of literal and metaphoric perspective that may lead to new skills and insights. Indeed, I argue, that notions of 'landscape' need to be untethered from Earth, especially in an age where, for example, we literally have a glorious amount of new visions of Earth from outer space.
In an increasingly globalised world, a cosmic perspective may afford us the opportunity to avoid [or stop] navel gazing. Planet Earth is our only home, for the foreseeable [and beyond] future and we need to work together to look after it, as well as collaboratively ensure that our immediate space environment is managed in a sustainably appropriate way. As I have written before...Earth maybe our home, but the Universe is our environment.
And, it did occur to me that my new painting could be just a bunch of coloured balls painted onto an interesting background. But....
Here's a few earlier posts which might interest you:
 My next solo exhibition
will be in 15- 27 October



Monday, April 08, 2013


On My Travels I Saw Oil on linen 90 x 100cm
'On my travels I saw' where does this lead?
I wanted to paint an image that reached beyond ideas of literal travel into the vast and intimate distances of imagination. So...'on my travels I saw'...can literally mean seeing something on a journey, but it can also mean conjuring idylls, exploring make-believe, capturing dreams, playing with possibilities, seeking and finding beauty.
I also wanted to paint an image that ruffled bound landscapes. I have previously written about my ideas of untethering notions of 'landscape' from Earth, embracing the multitudinous perspectives offered by modern cosmology. On My Travels I Saw there is a landscape, but is it Earth, is it another planet, is it in the past or in the future? The three round and coloured balls are playfully ambiguous. Are they other planets, are they the one planet travelling through time, are they spaceships, are they the whispers from other universes or remnants of the Big Bang? Or, are they moments in a dream, particles of consciousness, inceptions of imagination? I suggest they are all these things and more. It's up to you!
In June 2011 I painted a painting and wrote a BLOG post called Meeting Place of The Mind . Here's a quote from my post:
I wanted to create an image which 'spoke' of mind, thinking, intelligence...all in their broadest senses from nano to universal, from human to divine. The trees, figures and the spiral in 'Meeting Place Of The Mind' have an almost synaptic appearance, which I am really pleased about, because it references interconnectedness and the life propelling nature of systems.
To read more click HERE
Meeting Place Of The Mind Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm 2011
With the help of the tree-of-life
 Tree-Of-Life Time Travelling Oil on linen 90 x 150 cm 2012
 Returning Oil on linen 50 x 94 cm 2012
When It Rained On Mars? oil on linen 90 x 150 cm
Please check out the image.
It is amazing.
Believe me!
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