Saturday, August 30, 2014


Crisp clean and white blank canvases. [I use Belgian linen]

In March this year I wrote a post called The Blank Canvas  In this post I discussed the topic of 'The Blank Canvas' from an academic point of view, as well as from an artist's practical/emotional experience.

In May this year I wrote a post called A painting's Capacity To Approve Or Veto: An Artist's Process In this post I write about the relationship between the artist and their processes, outcomes and medium/s. I discuss the 'dialogue' between a painter and his/her painting.

The journey from 'blank canvas' to a painting is charged with moments of excitement, wonder, despair, frustration.

So...the blank canvases in the photo above have 'travelled' their journey of transformation into paintings, like the 'untethered landscapes' in the photo below. These paintings will be exhibited in my Untethering Landscape show which opens next week. They have just been varnished and are drying. To get this point, where they are ready to hang, is a long process...a long journey. I started work for my exhibition well over a year ago, even before my last show Cosmic Address. I work consistently and I paint most days, in between all the other things life brings forth, particularly with three children. 
Just varnished paintings ready for my next exhibition Untethering Landscape Opens next week!
Mid Back: Point Of View
Right: Beacon

I am really looking forward to Untethering Landscape. Doors open Tuesday 2 September and close Sunday 14 September. The show will be open every day from 10 am - 6pm.

Putting on a exhibition is a huge practical and logistical activity. It is also a highly emotionally charged experience. Why? An artist, like me, works alone most of the time. Apart from a social media presence and the occasional art prize, there is little or no opportunity to show off our work. An exhibition is an artist's opportunity to show their inspiration and creativity to the world. We reveal not only our work, but something of ourselves! An exhibition is a brief window in time where we venture out into the public, shedding the safety of the studio confines.

At a highly complex level an exhibition is a cultural experience, nuanced with a plethora of things, such as history, debate, politics, aesthetics, conversation and more. Yet at a very simple level an be like a trade show, where the artist shows off their wares.

Art Exhibition / Trade Show...there's a huge capacity in the space between these two descriptions for a mixture of emotions, hopes and fears that range from the esoteric to the practical, from the desirous to the spectre of criticism, from the romantic to extreme hard physical yakka, from cultural to economic.

In September last year I wrote a post called Putting On A Show where I explain what 'putting on a show' actually entails. In this post I write about the artist as not only producer but also provider, PR person, marketing manager, event organiser, administrative guru and more!
 Birth of Worlds Oil on linen 93 x 102 cm 2014
This painting will be in Untethering Landscape

2 - 14 September
Open daily 10 am - 6 pm
Graydon Gallery 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia
Artist's Talk: Sunday 7 September 10.30 am
Please check out the exhibition's webpage HERE
Next week also sees the opening of the Tattersall's Club $30,000 Landscape Art Prize
Plus the announcement of the winner
You can view the history of the prize plus 2014 entries HERE
Very happy to say I have been invited to enter again. The competition is by invitation.

Friday, August 22, 2014


I Spy Oil on linen 36 x 36 cm 2014
On Wednesday night this week I watched Chris Uhlmann, from the ABC's 7.30 Report, interview Canadian astronaut Col Chris Hadfield. It was only short, but it was fantastic! Chris Hadfield is on a whirlwind speaking tour in Australia, but unfortunately he is not coming to Brisbane. He's the astronaut who sang and recorded himself singing David Bowie's classic Space Oddity while he was commander of the International Space Station [ISS]. You can watch it HERE 

At around the 6 minute mark of the interview Chris Uhlmann asks Chris Hadfield, in reference to space and the Universe, Having seen the Earth from space and seen the universe beyond it, can it all be defined by science or only by poetry or perhaps even faith.
Chris Hadfield answered by saying ...exploring the solar system is teaching us a lot and it's technically really interesting and it's important, both politically and economically and technologically. But to me, the fact that so many people watched that music version of 'Space Oddity' that I did, to me, that really shows the importance, if you want to actually communicate, the importance of art. I mean, science, technology, engineering, math - they drive the economy, but we're people, we're not machines and washing machines and robots. We're humans. And to share the wonder and experience of what's going on, that is expressed through art, through music and through writing and through poetry and to try and get to the very essence of what's important.  

Yay! Yay! ART!

Notice how Chris Hadfield describes Art as a way of expressing wonder and the essence of what's important. Neither word....wonder or essence...are essentially scientific, yet they are incredibly apt to describe reactions to scientific research, investigation and discovery...and help propel and nourish these activities, at the same time as engaging those of us who are not at the cutting edge of scientific activity. The relationship between Art and Science, I think, works best when awe is the common denominator, driver, impulse.
On The Edge Gouache on paper 34. x 53.5 2001

But not everyone can be an astronaut or even a passenger on a space craft. So, how does art engage with the scientific investigations of space and the Universe? I mean there are no joy flights designed for artists to literally experience outer space. The key is...imagination. The song Chris Hadfield sang in space, David Bowie's Space Oddity, was released in 1969 to coincide with the Moon Landing. The lyrics were inspired by Stanley Kubrick's1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey which Bowie went to see several times. Stanley Kubrick, in turn, was inspired by a documentary called Universe which was made in 1960 by Roman Kroiton and Colin Law for the National Film Board Of Canada in conjunction with the David Dunlap Observatory, Ontario. It's an amazing black and white film and I really encourage you to watch it HERE.
I just love the cascading inspirations...

About the 4 minute mark of Universe the narrator asks a question pondering what would the first people to travel into space see and experience. Remember this is 1960...only 3 years after the first satellite [Sputnik 1] went into space and nine years before the moon landing. The narrator answers his question by saying We can in imagination journey into these spaces...and the film is the answer with its special effects combined with some imagery of space and also of an astronomer working at night in the David Dunlap Observatory. But, the key word is imagination! Working with the scientific knowledge, that existed in 1960, the film makers extrapolated using imagination to make a film that went on to inspire.

The dance between knowledge [eg: scientific knowledge] and imagination is ambidextrous, with the lead being taken in turns. One may take control yet the other may beckon to 'come hither' and vice versa!
Star Dust Mixed on paper 30 x 42 cm 1997 [This image is the cover of my book For Everyone


Chris Hadfield, singing Space Oddity and videoing himself, with the ISS as his 'stage' and Universe as his 'backdrop', very successfully beckoned people to 'come hither', come closer to share his experience, to engage more intimately with distance, to feel the Universal 'music', to gasp in wonder, to laugh a little, to think differently, expose themselves to new perspectives [literal and metaphoric]...and more.

In the 7.30 Report Chris Hadfield explains the moment when he decided as a 10 year old that he would be an astronaut I watched the first two human beings walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the summer I turned 10. And I decided that night - and it wasn't just watching them on television, it was going outside afterwards and looking up at the Moon and seeing - trying to link what I'd seen on the television now with looking at the Moon itself and making the conscious decision at that point that, "I'm going to grow up to be something; you know, why don't I grow up to be that?" I wonder how many people have been inspired by Hadfield's singing space video? Maybe there are children who are now holding close desires to be something they had not thought of before? Maybe there are people who now engage with scientific research of our Universal environment? Maybe there is less fear of the unknown? And, most importantly maybe more people, leave their computers-look up from their phones, and actually go outside to look up at the stars...and wonder!


I too watched the Moon Landing in1969. My Dad insisted that my brothers and I stayed home from school to watch it live. I still remember the blurry black and white images on our box of a TV. I did not decide to be an astronaut, but the gravitas of the event still lives within. Although, I think I had already taken 'flight'. Isn't that what artists do!?


In my last post THAT WORD - LANDSCAPE I describe the distance of my childhood landscape and my experiences 'flying'!

You might be interested in my MOON post too.
When I was A Child I Dreamt I could Fly oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2003

That brings me to my forthcoming exhibition
From Earth-Bound Horizons 
2 - 14 September here in Brisbane
Please visit the exhibition's site HERE

I am on INSTAGRAM now too

Friday, August 15, 2014


Childhood Memory oil on linen 55 x 80 cm 2001 - 2002


Let's pull it apart!

Here are some meanings from Online Oxford Dictionaries

  • All the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal:
  • A picture representing an area of countryside:
  • The distinctive features of a sphere of activity:

All a bit dry really. None of these descriptions give a clue to the dynamism, contention, potentiality, history, deep meaningfulness of 'landscape'.

I grew up in a landscape of treeless plains framed by endless flat horizons to the west and majestic mountain ranges in the far east. The sky, whether it was clear blue or stormy black, met the land with impact. Sheer geographical flatness drew the sky into an ongoing scape that lifted you to heaven at the same time as grounding with intent. As the seasons changed so did the colours: ploughed black soil, lush green seedlings and depending on winter or summer crops, the land seemed to blaze with colour, the deep reds of sorghum-to the shimmering gold of wheat-to the bright yellow of sunny sunflowers and more. The night sky was like gazing upon jewels seemingly flung at random across dark velvet. My childhood landscape was immense in more ways than one.

The above paragraph fulfils the first description of the word landscape; All the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal:

The second dictionary description A picture representing an area of countryside: Well, this is where the last sentence of the above paragraph My childhood landscape was immense in more ways than one. comes into play. Why? Because, as an artist I paint the landscape. Over many years I have gone from literal depictions to more abstracted ones. And, now I have launched myself beyond the horizons of  my childhood environment, beyond even Earth's horizons, to tackle the penetrating perspectives offered by cosmology.

I often wonder if I'd be 'flying' about the cosmos viewing the universal 'landscape' if I had not experienced the distance and space of the flat plains of my childhood. The Australian landscape is immense, yet most people live close to the edge where sea and land meet. The long interior is sparsely inhabited. I remember many city or foreign visitors, to my family childhood home, becoming quite agitated by the distance and flatness. They felt vulnerable and looked forward to returning to their known, but more closely contained environments. Maybe living with and in the openness of a literally vast landscape engendered a kind of bravery in me to take 'flight'?  After all, there was literally nowhere to hide on the flat Pirrinuan Plain* [See below].
On My Travels I Saw oil on canvas 90 x 100 cm 2013

For me the literal landscape goes well beyond planet Earth. Indeed the first description above: All the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal: does not discriminate between Earthly or other geographies. Yet, it is how and why we depict 'landscape', as described in description two, that propels 'landscape' into other realms beyond the literal.


This takes us to the third dictionary description of landscape The distinctive features of a sphere of activity: Yes, the word landscape is used to describe other kinds of human endeavour and activity eg: political landscape, landscape of the soul, spiritual/religious landscape, landscape architecture, historical landscape, legal landscape...and I am sure you can think of more. We also use other landscape linked words as descriptors ie: political terrain, safe harbour, life's road, rivers of consciousness, Operation Desert Storm and I am sure you can also think of more! 

So, now I am going to tie all three dictionary descriptions together. 

Regular readers know that I see the Universe as our environment. I am inspired by cosmological theories and discoveries of the vast and intimate distances of the Universe...and maybe the Multiverse. ..a massive 'landscape' indeed. For that reason I paint 'landscapes' that play with perspective, creating an ambiguity of place, space and time that hopefully induce the viewer to cast their imaginations beyond our Earthly home to our Universal horizons. 

I propose that the new and different perspectives cosmology offers humanity may provide ways to reflect on issues that currently seem overwhelming or problematic. One of these is the concept of land ownership and the history of war and conflict that surrounds it. With cosmic perspectives the idea of land ownership, with its incumbent borders and boundaries, seems to pale into insignificance. Even more thought provoking is that if we viewed land, and ownership of it, with cosmic perspectives, conflict and war become even more futile than we already acknowledge.
Life Takes A Cosmic Perspective oil on linen 90 x 137 cm

Imagine if land ownership, borders and boundaries did not exist, but were replaced with a custodial kind of imperative that humanity shared. Maybe concepts of state and nationhood would be renegotiated? Maybe war and conflict would be reduced, even significantly? The 'landscapes' I paint are not just depictions of scenery, although imagined, they are also quietly political. How? By drawing attention to new perspectives that have the potential to force major shifts in how we view ourselves and our planet, various dearly held paradigms, which are increasingly cumbersome in a global sense, may crumble. My quiet activism brings me to the third dictionary description of landscape The distinctive features of a sphere of activity: where I propose that my work sits within a political 'landscape' well as others!

I will go a little further to add that my quest to untether 'landscape' from Earth-bound horizons as well as my desire to untether the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life from traditional visual interpretations to reveal 21st century meaningfulness, are pursued with a sense of hopefulness. For me, hope and engendering it, are also imbued with political agency.
Hope Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013

That brings me to my forthcoming exhibition
From Earth-Bound Horizons 
2 - 14 September here in Brisbane
Please visit the exhibition's site HERE

* The Pirrinuan Plain
My brother Wilfred Brimblecombe has a photography blog where he has uploaded images of Pirrinuan.
Dry Rain On The Pirrinuan Plain
Pirrinuan Railway Siding
Pirrinuan Paddocks in the 1980s
White Cloud Black Soil Distant Creek


Thursday, August 07, 2014


Life Calling. Anyone There? Oil on linen 70 x 140 cm 2014
Life Calling. Anyone There?
What does this mean?
Regular readers will know I like to be ambiguous by implying multiple possibilities.
It's all about perspective...multiple perspectives, even experienced simultaneously!
One possibility is that 'life', in my painting's title, is humanity calling out to aliens living in other parts of the Universe. Indeed, the search for alien life is a serious investigation. It's actually got a name SETI [Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence] and there are various scientific research centres around the world, eg: the SETI Institute in California, USA. Please put some time aside to visit the SETI Institute's site to read about its activities, its history, the history of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and more. The Carl Sagan Centre sits under the umbrella of the SETI Institute. Its focus is on astrobiology, the study of life in the Universe. Its research seeks to understand the concept of habitability, on our planet and elsewhere in the solar system. [Carl Sagan Centre] If a planet's habitability seems to suggest life supporting systems, then there is the potential for not just simple life forms, but also intelligent us...or even less/more so...or differently so!
Another possibility is that 'life', in my painting's title, is not actually humanity calling! It might be extraterrestrially intelligent beings ie: aliens calling out, seeking a response from other intelligent beings. Who knows?
But 'life' in my painting's title could just mean LIFE of any kind, simple, complex, physical or not? Surely the impulse of... and for.... life is a kind of resonating communication of rhythm and imperative force...across the universe [and possibly the Multiverse]?
Life On Earth
While scientists search for signs of life, from the simple to the more complex, in the Universe, we humans could be accused of not listening to 'life' here on Earth. I wrote in a recent post TEAM HUMANITY:
War and conflict rage in various locations around the globe, causing death, mayhem, social destruction and more. Innocent victims are caught up in the horror, loosing life and limb, fleeing homes and seeking refuge in other places. Long term effects are equally as deplorable and damaging.

What can we do?

It seems blame, reprisals, sanctions, increased surveillance and threats are what 'we' do. It seems that escalation is the currency of the moment. A pervasive fear exists. Politics fails to offer hope.

There's a loss of faith in the human race...surely humanity can do better than this?

With increased technological abilities to communicate and observe I wonder if we are really 'hearing' what we are 'listening' to? What is fear obscuring? What is loss of hope camouflaging? Does the fast paced and insidious nature of technology really help us listen in a way that allows hearing? Indeed, conflict is often the result of feeling unheard. It makes us alien to each other, until we don't even know ourselves and the 'alien' lurks within.
Life Calling. Anyone There? Oil on linen 70 x 140 cm 2014 the painting. 'Life' is represented by the two trees. Yes, they are my interpretations of the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol. The trees are connected by floating leaves. These are 'signals' of indeterminate nature...possibly? Yet, despite Earth-like landscapes, the viewer should not assume that either the foreground or the planet, are Earth. Indeed, the connected trees-of-life may represent communication between other life forms 'out there' on two other planets.
Yet, I've often written that I see landscape as a metaphor for the human psyche. The two landscapes in Life Calling. Anyone There? could be aspects of the human soul or the alienated 'self' attempting  reconnection in ways that go beyond technological imperatives, hence the suggestion of random leaves from the tree-of-life. The trees seem to sing into the wind, sending a lilting lullaby into space. The wind takes the lullaby to places known and unknown, seeking reconnection.
While life still calls...there is hope.
And, landscape is untethered from Earth-bound horizons, both physical and not!
Here's me chatting, very briefly, about Life Calling! Anyone There? This was recorded at my exhibition Untethering landscape, mentioned below.
2-14 September
Please check out all the details on the exhibition's page HERE

Please check out my last post
My last post was a celebratory one!
This August I have been Blogging for 8 years, posting once a week.
Please click HERE to read my post:
I am on Instagram @kathrynbrimblecombefox

Friday, August 01, 2014


Me in my studio with Pale Blue Dot in progress; Note glass of bubbly! Yes, it's after 5 pm!
This painting will be in my next exhibition UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE

It's 8 years this August since I started my BLOG!

Initially I posted daily...well...that did not last long. Trying to write daily is really hard. Since those first few weeks, I have posted once a week.

Yes, once a week for 8 years!

Once a week is great. It's manageable and gives me time to think about my next post.

I really look forward to writing posts. Writing has now become an integral part of my creative process. As I write, new ideas for paintings either pop into my head or appear slowly through the mists of consciousness. Some of these ideas manifest in actual paintings!

I am very happy to report that my BLOG now receives over 3,000 visitors per month. It has been picked up by various online newsfeeds etc particularly with a science/art focus. I am very grateful to all my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+ and more recently Instagram followers/friends who 'like' and/or pass things on for me. Yes, I am a social media fiend/fan! And, I am a tail-ender of the Baby Boomer generation!


To celebrate my BLOG's birthday I thought I'd do a few things: Most popular post and those posts that have been widely spread around social media plus news of my forthcoming solo exhibition UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE, plus the Tattersall's $30,000 Landscape Art Prize and more!

1. The most popular post is COSMIC OUROBOROS
Seems like the ancient symbol of a snake eating its own tail gets people excited. I LOVE this painting. Why? Because, there is no chance it will disappear into the d├ęcor! Plus, its known and unknown stories are there to be told.
Cosmic Ouroboros Oil on  linen 120 x 150 cm 2012
2. Here are a few posts that people on GOOGLE+ have spread around, a lot.
Followed by two very recent posts

And, I LOVE all the paintings in these posts too! Shared Landscape [below] poses questions about land ownership, territorial rights, boundaries and more. How does it pose questions? With its investigation of cosmic perspectives, I hope, it might make people think about the fact that we ALL call Earth home. Let's work together to sustain the planet rather than fight over bits of it. After all, there's nowhere else, at least for the long time being, for us to go!
Shared Landscape Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm 2014


  • I have again been invited to enter the Tattersall's Club $30,000 Landscape Art Prize. Shall keep you up to date on this. I deliver the painting on the 26th August and the winner is announced on 3rd September. Chris Saines, the Director of QAGOMA, is the judge this year.
  • My exhibition UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE opens its doors on Tuesday 2nd September at Graydon Gallery, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia. The gallery is a rental space, because until I attract a dealer, I will continue to exhibit in places like Graydon. It's actually a great space and my paintings, I think, look great hanging there. Plus, people come...and they buy! And, there's non-metered street car parking too!

    I am having an Artist's Talk at UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE on Sunday 7th September at 10.30 am. If you are in Brisbane, please come along. Morning tea too...I am bringing out my country urn to make lots of cups of tea. Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, new Farm, Brisbane.

  • AND, Carolyn McDowell from the terrific online arts and cultural magazine THE CULTURE CONCEPT has written an article about UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE. She has written about a few of my exhibitions and she 'gets it'!
    You can read Carolyn's latest article:
    Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox Artist, Life & Landscape Entwined by clicking
    And, when you have read it please share, to help get the message OUT THERE.
Studio shot. Emergent Landscape Gouache on paper 52 x 115 cm in background.
This painting will also be in UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE

I spend a lot of my time in my studio...actually two studios. I know...sounds like a luxury, but in reality one studio is also known as the garage. It's where I paint my big oils. My second 'studio' is a funny small room, with an unsealed ceiling, where the hot water system and fuse box are both situated. This is where I paint my works on paper. The photo at the very top, is taken in my garage studio! The photo, just above, was taken in my works-on-paper-studio.

My daughter's cat came to stay with us over a year ago. Here he is...with red paint...this is what happens when you live with an artist.
To everyone who reads and visits my BLOG...THANK-YOU!