Sunday, July 07, 2013


File:San Romano Battle (Paolo Uccello, London) 01.jpgPaolo Uccello The Battle of San Romano Tempera on panel 182 x 317 cm c.1438-40
National Gallery in London
Click HERE to see all three The Battle of San Romano paintings together.
What inspires me? Lots of things, too many to list. But, I will write about a few here.
And, why did I place 'process' in the title with 'inspiration'? As you will see I am inspired by the processes I use and the surprises they provide.

Regular readers will know that cosmology, age-old symbols, ideas...all inspire me. But, I thought I'd gather in some of those inspirations I have not written about as much or at all.
Firstly let's concentrate on a couple of inspirations that are not part of my literal process, but still hit me in the guts or heart or brain...or all three at once.
PAOLO UCCELLO  1397 -1475
I have to start with an artist who I have loved since I first encountered his work in my secondary school art class. He is the early Renaissance Florentine artist is Paolo Uccello . I did not see his three Battle of San Romano paintings in the flesh, so to speak, until I was in my mid twenties. The first encounter was at the National Gallery in London [painting above], then the Uffizi in Florence and the Louvre in Paris. The London and Florence paintings are the ones that moved me the most. When I first saw them I had physical reactions...heart missed a beat, gut felt like it had been turned inside out [in a good way!], and my brain was just so excited.
What do I love about the painting above? The answer involves the patterning, movement, action, colours, the pastoral landscape, the composition which moves the eye effortlessly around the image, and Uccello's early experiments with perspective. The answer also involves something I cannot explain, but I definitely feel very strongly. In 2002 I spent 6 weeks in London, when I had my own show there. I regularly visited the National Gallery to see the The Battle of San Romano. The feeling did not diminish...a feeling of expectancy.
In 2002 Dr Sally Butler wrote an article for Eyeline magazine about Cutlines, a major painting/installation I exhibited at Brisbane's Soapbox Gallery [now closed]. A 120 x 900 cm work on paper wrapped around two walls of a room in the gallery. In her article Butler wrote in reference to my sense of landscape:
In this regard the work of Italian painter Paolo di Dono Uccello (1397-1475) is a strong influence for the artist. There is a plastic strength in Uccello's paintings that derives from his interest in geometry and his fascination with the way forms can be arranged in a pattern or scheme that is meaningful in itself. His art promotes the notion of a geometry of our environment, or more particularly, how we formulate a geometry of our environment in order to understand it. Kathryn Brimblecome-Fox's landscapes share this plasticity and sense of spatial organisation that comes from within.
Eyeline 49 Spring 2002 P.38
But let's propel ourselves from the fifteenth century to now. I was recently alerted to a French musician who calls himself Woodkid He is also a songwriter, music video director and graphic
designer. In March 2011 he released his debut single Iron...also a music video. It is fantastic and inspiring! AND, reminds me so much of National Gallery of London's Uccello, The Battle of San Romano. They both share a magic that's expectant and complete at the same time. They both depict battles, which can be interpreted literally and metaphorically. They both move in the same direction. Whilst Iron is without a landscape context, I feel The Battle of San Romano's echoes into it across time.
Take a look at the Youtube video of Iron below and see what you think. I am inspired!
Woodkid Iron
You can find more about Woodkid HERE
Regular readers will know that the flat treeless Pirrinuan Plain of my childhood home has been a very strong influence and inspiration for me. The in it at the same time as observing it...being embraced by horizon...seeing and feeling perspective...witnessing seasonal patterns in the flourish of new crops and their demise at harvest...noting the geometry carved into the landscape by humans at the same time as noticing natural patterns, shapes, movements...rejoicing in the sky, a constantly changing sight from day to night, from relentlessly blue to threatening grey and more...the milky way at night reaching towards us with light and sparkle bringing us closer.
My brother Wilfred Brimblecombe has a photography BLOG where he posts photographs he has taken over many years, as well as now. He as a number of photographs of our family farm on the Pirrinuan Plain. Pirrinuan is a very small railway siding outside Dalby on the rich and fertile Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia. The photograph below is from Wilfred's BLOG When you visit his BLOG look at the listing of TAGS on the right hand side. Click on Pirrinuan, Dalby and Glencoe to see more of my childhood landscape. Our parents sold the farm in the mid 1980s.
Wilfred Brimblecombe   Pirrinuan Paddocks in the 80s
The painting below is inspired by many things, including growing up at Pirrinuan. The Beginning of Everything  is both a vast and intimate painting. I write about my childhood landscape in the post I wrote for this painting. You can read it HERE.
The Beginning of Everything Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm
The process I use to create my paintings inspires me. How? The preparatory stages involve accidents which I allow to happen, without fear and with much anticipation. Once I have painted the canvas a colour I then splash turps across it. I will then place the stretched canvas flat on the ground or at a slight incline or lean it up against something. Whatever I do allows the paint to do its own thing... run, trickle, pool. I will 'orchestrate' this with a couple of layers of colour. I literally do not have any idea what the canvas will look like...and I like this because it seems to 'speak' to me.
I may have some ideas for the painting in my head, but the prepared canvas also informs the ultimate visual direction. It could be a difficult dance together, but it is not. I really do get excited when a prepared canvas awaits me and I look forward to the hours I will spend with it.
Last Thursday night I attended a terrific presentation 'Archetypes of Chaos' by anthropologist Dr. Jonathon Marshall at the Qld Jung Society . Dr Marshall spoke about the agency of chaos, from a number of perspectives eg: paradox, trickster, mythology and more. In the act of creation both order and chaos have potencies to play. In a sense by allowing the paint and turps do their own things I invite chaos into the painting process. I am not totally in control. I am seeking to have my mind scattered so that I might 'find' things I did not know were there! Yet, when people see the final production they comment on the detail and precision of my work. However, it is essentially a veil or another dimension...and that can lead to lots more inspiration! Look below the surface...literally and metaphorically.
Below are some photos of the early stages of my next painting. I wonder how it will end up?
 The initial paint
 The initial paint still wet

 After the turps has been splashed around, and the paint and turps do their unscripted 'dance' together.
 The second layer of colour on top of the first dry layer. The painting leaning up against the old wardrobe is Are We There Yet?
The second layer also disturbed by splashes of turps....drying now....and 'speaking' to me! Asking me to 'dance' too.
In my last post Super-Earths I also uploaded some photos of THE PROCESS. Oh, and a video as well.
Next Exhibition

15- 27 October
Check out my recent COSMIC ADDRESS preview notification HERE
And to see a painting and post called COSMIC ADDRESS please click HERE

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