After the last two summers I should be saying something here about climate change and men wearing suits and ties, but I will leave it for next time; if we are still here.
And so to my recent paintings. A mixed batch…
The Peacock Spider (that changed everything).
What do we know about Peacock Spiders?
Tiny jumping spiders. Not much bigger than a lentil.
The males have a tail like a peacock, which it will erect, when stimulated (by a lady of his species) Please look it up in Google images. Well worth the effort.
My son James sent me photos of his first Peacock Spider encounter when I was just beginning this painting.
Its a Big Bush painting, summertime. Leathery eucalyptus leaves, bark, dry leaf litter…
I am happy to accept serendipitous offerings, especially if there is a momentary lack of inspiration; so in went a Peacock Spider.
It was supposed to integrate with modesty; but instead it took centre stage.
The pinnacle revisited, and Aunty Reta’s sculptures re-invoked. This time a brontosomething with glass baubles, LEDs etc along the ridge, and a few godawful creatures suckling…and more Peacock spiders cavorting amongst the vegetation. Oh deah.
Juxtaposing trunks, leaves ground, horizon etc.
Each “thing” has identifiable properties but these do not qualify or require it to have a self, a name, a sign to distinguish it from everything else. The cosmos is one harmonious system, including us…So how to get everything merging into everything else without sacrificing diversity, and generally ballsing it all up?
It was an intriguing experience and I’m happy with the result, but did I manage to demonstrate Nonself?
A Shipton’s Flat job.
I was trying to flood a patch of beautiful rainforest with sunbeams coming from the left. A fig tree compelled me to invest it with reptilian, nay, dinosaurian qualities.
Cape Tribulation tree trunks: Anxiety
The Pied Monarch (top right corner) fluffed up with rage and anxiety in response to me imitating his territorial call seemed to fill this painting with his anxiety. Maybe it was my own anxiety as I worked on and onward with no satisfaction for many weeks. Eventually it came good, I think. The main point of the painting was to do a closeup of encrusted rainforest tree trunks, but kind of opening it up in places to glimpse inside, another dimension. Why?
Never ask me why.
Cape Tribulation tree trunks: Serenity
Another tree trunk job; but this one painted itself. It was a joy to work on this one. It lost its edges so cheerfully when I suggested, and allowed a little translucency and ambiguity here and there… (and that glimpse of another dimension)
Why isn’t all of life like that?
Silly boy! it IS!
Box and Acacia.
I wanted to do a Summer in Big Bush painting; like the Peacock Spider job, before the Peacock Spider ruined it.
I hope we all survive covid 19.
Its one of those situations where the future is quite unimaginable; and its futile and upsetting trying to probe.
So let us take the Buddha’s advice and live deeply in the present.