Self Portrait ( “Paint and Elements” ) at Mungo

A return to an old friend, again! and again!! This is one of those paintings that seems to go on forever especially when I tell myself that I have captured the essence of the image, the statement and having done all that, it should and usually does fall into place. Not this time, so I am observing my mind, the mental process where I seem to be chasing something that eludes me. The other alternatives are taking to it with an axe or putting it away for yet another time.

The painting is a bit like a memoir where I am trying to depict the experience of a haunting but hostile landscape. I wanted to paint the experience of being in it not on it as a detached observer- melting in the heat, drowning in dust and sand as well as avoiding swarms of thirsty bees but at the same time watching as animals crept up to out camp looking for water.

Anyway I reached for tubes of colour and sloshed them onto the background, grabbed an oil painting stick and covered up the fiddly bits that had started to annoy me and felt much better. I wanted the paint to work it out for me. However after that small flurry of excitement it was time to stand back and consider the newish look and let it settle in my mind for a while……….



Drought Imagery on my Homepage

I completed these eight etching collages last year when I sensed that atmospheric conditions could herald another drought, hopefully without the severity of the last unforgettable one.

The mind/scape iconography of floating heads and ears especially are meant to indicate the way in which some sounds set off an unexpected stream of images – an underworld where fears and insecurities reside.

The existence of the images was almost like an omen, as I took them from my plan draws after a year, that jolted me now that an El Nino weather event is now controlling our weather system in 2015. And as I re-photographed them on my verandah, large spots of rain spattered them but very, very briefly, as true to form, the rain fall abruptly ceased.

Hardly projecting a sense of joy, they resemble a drought ravaged landscape – a bit withered and colourless.

Sounds of Drought 3, 2014, etching collage

Sounds of Drought 3, 2014, intaglio, drypoint, chine-colle and collage  

Pop-Up Preparation at Muddy’s She-Shed

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A busy morning at Muddy’s She-Shed as preparation commenced, transforming it from Maggie Jean’s ceramics studio to a pop-up gallery. Almost everyone’s artwork, contemporary paintings, ceramics, prints, jewellery, woven and metal sculpture has arrived for this pre-Christmas showing for one day on December 12th .

By next week this work place will be organised and ready to receive the many supporters and well-wishers of the She-Shed. The artists hope to provide everyone with an enjoyable experience in this transformed boat-shed.

Figure at Mungo (last stage)

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More incomplete painting as I tried to capture the feeling of frustration as I depicted myself trying to ‘fit into the landscape’  at Lake Mungo. Earlier stages during the painting process were about my sense of feeling upside – down in a very harsh environment exacerbated by the severe drought across the country at the beginning of the century in Australia.

It didn’t work and after several efforts I reverted to depiction of frustration where I tried to paint in heat, dust and flies and bees. As a result I could appreciate the frottage technique of taking rubbings from different parts of the dried lake and clay surface. Although I dont feel I can contribute more at present the  temporary title Paint and Elements will do for the moment until something comes up. But may be not because it does looks like an artist in a whirlwind. Perhaps it should be Paint and Mungo Whirlwind,– a bit happier now.