Thursday, March 29, 2007
Amazing to think that great forces of energy are not discernible by the human eye except with the help of technology. I have always been interested in scientific ideas and the lives of scientists. As a child I devoured biographies of famous scientists such as Flemming, Pasteur and Madame Curie and many others. Doing science was never a great love, but thinking about ideas has always fascinated me. The recent talk and debate about String Theory is one of the latest ideas to grab my attention. I like it when there seems to be an element of other world-ness or a beyond.
Having said all of that, ultimately my works are also landscapes. I cannot seem to depart from thinking in both macro and micro landscape mode. By micro, I mean the minutae which makes up our landscape ie: sand, cracks in the earth, the movement of leaves. By macro I mean those images of vastness which are so familiar to Australia. However, as one delves deeper the micro often becomes the vastness when smaller elements of existence are discovered. What once seemed small becomes immense.
The landscape is also a metaphor for emotional 'scapes', either individual or collective.
This painting above [along with various others] has been sent to Korea for an exhibition at Gallery L, Seoul opening 12 April.
Hidden Energy Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I just cannot believe it is a week since I posted. However, it is!
I have been busy organsing multiple paintings [both oils and gouaches] to go to Korea for an exhibition opening in Seoul on 12th April. It has all happened very quickly, but it is also exciting. Maybe later in the year I will get to go to Korea.
Dancing can mean lots of things not just literal dancing with or without others. One can be lead on a 'merry dance'. Deal makers can 'dance around each other'. Dancing can also be used as a metaphor for a certain kind of existence. I often use titles such as 'The Earth Sings', 'Dancing Mountains', 'My Heart Sings'. I find these short utterances very inspiring and stimulating. My imagination 'sees' pictures which translate into images on canvas or paper. These short statements sum up a vast array of thoughts and dreams. They are not pithy statements designed to be clever. Like the images I create I believe these titles can be taken at many levels and thus expand in potential.
Dancing is also a great way to descibe the energies and vibrations which give life. This Universe is made up of endless components each dancing in ways which complement. A perfect dance.
The Universe Dances Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I have had quite a few paintings leave recently ie: sold which is fantastic. So, as they have left I have hung some older work. This is one of them. I painted it in 2002 not long after my divorce. It has always been a favourite of mine and as I hung it the other day I saw things in it that I was unaware of at the time of painting. It has also been in storage so I have not seen it for awhile and 'new' eyes and time can help with further insight.
I called it 'Memory' because the bride has memories of her childhood dreams of romance, weddings, love. I know that not all little girls have these dreams but as the mother of three daughters I can say that a vast number do. This is despite the rigours of divorce afflicting society today. I also know I had those dreams. The grown woman always carries the child-self within her.
However, I now look at this painting with some more thoughts. I still carry the child-self within. But I see the unlimited potential for discovery. It is a discovery of those subconscious core beliefs that dictate our responses to life. These core beliefs are deep within us and very difficult to uncover or unravel. As time passes and as life's circumstances happen we learn more about ourselves...and I think we can become more empathatic towards others. In fact, we can be more empathatic towards ourselves too.
When I painted this painting I was very sorry that my childhood dreams had been destroyed by divorce. I think now that the painting is more about growth encompassing a range of human emotions rather than anything to do with simply and only sorrow. I really like this painting because it makes me think and after five years it still makes me think.
Memory Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm 2002
Friday, March 16, 2007
Some great things have happened in the last week or so. Sales, people coming to view my paintings, offers to represent from overseas!! plus some 'unrelated to art' things which have just made life a little more joyful.
I am painting some a work on paper at the moment which I feel compelled to paint with small strokes. I do not know what comples me but it happens. The only thing is that I have a sore arm and my eyes are seeing double!
I have some new stretcher frames being completed at the moment. I cannot wait until they are ready to pick up as I am very keen to paint with oils again. I have had a break for the last couple of months while I have concentrated on the works on paper. But, I am keen to put some of the ideas I have developed onto canvas.
I am fascinated by the things we cannot see but we can feel. I am wanting to explore how these 'feelings' might look if we could see them. For example the concept of sending love is intriguing as I know it works. But what does this 'love' look like as it transmits itself through the ether? This concept does not mean the sender expects anything back...it is unconditional. How can I envision the the idea of 'unconditional'? How can I portray the energy within such powerful gifts? The idea that thought has an energy is also a fascination for me.
So, looking forward to the new stretcher frames being here with me.
Inside Substance Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed
Monday, March 12, 2007
Over the weekend I went to the inaugural Interfaith Festival at Maleny. I could only go for one of the two days, but I am so pleased I got to go to one day. The first session was a panel discussion with representatives from the three Abrahamaic faiths, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The host was Rachel Kohn from the ABC Radio National program The Spirit of Things. She was excellent hosting the event, asking very deep and penetrating questions about the meaning of 'faith' for each of the faiths, what issues were the most pressing within each faith and so on. The responses from each of the panel were thought provoking, revealing and heartening. Each spoke of love, embracing similarities at the same time as respecting differences, the profile the media gives to fanaticism and extremism.
One of the most insightful comments for me was that to be a 'moderate' does not imply ambivalence but rather a position which is held passionately, deeply and thoughtfully. The very word implies something other than passion, but in reference to religion to be passionately 'moderate' makes sense and certainly does not conjure up images that the clashes of fanaticism do.
The last session " God is Not dead: Religion, Truth telling and Hopefulness" given by Prof Kevin Clements from the Peace and Conflict Studies Centre at the Unviersity of Queensland was also excellent... except he really needed 3 hours rather than 30 minutes. I came away feeling that there are pathways for abundant leadership and a caring community. His comment that the arts/creativity have an important part to play in the environmental circumstances for peace to be understood and gained gave me some hope that there is a purpose 'Out There' for me.
Substance Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Thursday, March 08, 2007
I cannot believe it has been a week since I last posted. It only seems like yesterday. I have had a very busy week. As Chairman of an organisation I have had to attend various functions, organise others and respond to a great deal of correspondence this week. So, at the end of the week my energy levels are running a little low. More so because a couple of things which took a lot of time to organise fell through...somewhat frustrating. I have come to the decision that a few of my extra activities have to be let loose for others to tackle. But, this will take a little time.
Many of my paintings over the years have had something to do with vibrations and energy. I have felt compelled to paint these things. Sometimes the detail surprises me. Although, recent physio on my right arm [after last years RSI in my right elbow] tell me that my painting arm [and my computer arm] needs to be well looked after!
I have had a few 'Ah Ah' moments recently when reading various literature on spirit and energy, scientific discoveries and questions. I have always been interested in scientific discovery and thought. As a pre-teen I devoured books about the lives of famous scientists and I wanted to be one. My grade 4 and 5 teacher put an end to that dream! Another story for another time.
I am fascinated by unseen forces. We may know they exist but it is only through other senses other than the normal ones that we 'know'. It is a feeling kind of knowing...but even this does not describe it appropriately. Most of my work is fundamentally 'landscape'. I seem to fall for it every time. Even the painting above is a 'landscape'...one of the internal forces which make up our world. The micro and macro exist within each other. The closer you look the more the vastness becomes intimate details, each with its own 'landscape'.
Spirit Energy Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Friday, March 02, 2007
The swinging of a pendulum can be mesmerising. However, extreme limits of the pendulum can be agitating. If we allow the emotional pendulum of extremes to exist within us it can be very scarey. But, when you think about it there is a natural balance.
So, this go me thinking about those days or moments when you can go from a state of great pleasure to complete depression. The emotional pendulum exists within the individual but a pendulum also exists in the collective out in the world. If we use too much water then the natural balance is the extreme we are experiencing now. If we pollute our air the natural balance seems to be the extreme distress out planet is under at the moment. The latter certainly gets people rallied to help which is part of the natural balancing. Let's hope the pendulum is not allowed to swing to the extremes in the future.
So, at an individual level how do we ensure the extremes of the pendulum are not allowed to cause us scarey moments, days, weeks, years. With great will power, imagination and thought, wisdom and self knowledge the pendulum can be made to swing less vigorously.
As an artist I am only too aware of the power of the imagination and how it can cause the extreme swinging of the pendulum. Vivid imaginations mean a great ability to catastrophise about almost anything. Imagination also equips you to create great bliss and beauty. The latter is so much more fun.
Pendulum Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed