January 2022

January 2022

Looks like only 5 paintings since my last post here.

“This Very Moment” Oils Canvas 92cm x 122cm

This one is a celebration of Jeanette’s house that I have been building for her over the last 25 or so years.

The idea of painting a moment came early when I was experimenting with making a lot of the brushstrokes end with an upward flick, a kind of optimistic flourish which seemed to unite everything in a shared happy moment. There were several views from the walk down to Jeanette’s place that I put together like a comic strip, but not boxed in.

Somehow I kept thinking about Godfrey Miller’s works that often seem to be unfinished and indeed unfinishable…an ongoing process that would be killed if “finished”.

A stretched moment.

“Origins and Deviations” Acrylics on canvas 122cm x 152cm

A big one. Working from photos taken at Cape Tribulation.

I wrote quite a few pages of notes while on this one.

Here are (just) a few:

15th June…the photos are full of exquisite stuff and so far I can only “copy” ideas … looking for deviations and red herrings. The scribbles and loops are Dufy-esque.

22 June. Had my Astra zeneca #2 yesterday. So here I am, alive.

The Architecture of “Origins”: The cave and folds and foliar textures and deco-botany…Make it clear, but be always vigilant against dreariness. This applies especially to the deco-botanico fetish: Revel in it but make sure it sings. Like Gottschalk. Like a fucking canary, Nothing less !

Clarity can sneakily copulate with dreariness. I don’t quite know why. Perhaps innovation and invention are always needed; a big squeeze of each. And mystery. Not quite knowing.

12 July

Getting involved in scale and complexity VS simplification in places to get the “melody” going.

I’m learning a lot on this job. I wonder how much I will remember?

21st July

The “finished” effect begins to peep. I think I need to amalgamate and infiltrate some zoophyte shapes, but not “Wheres-Wallys”.

Not this time.

Consciousness: In humans this is a greatly enlarged and dictatorial array of tinted lenses and misguided prompts, discriminating against reality.

Then came two more Western Macs jobs.

“Askew” (“Notforgetting Gruner”) Oils on canvas 122cm x 152cm

“….I should have another shot at that range near Ormiston Gorge, but with some ½ tone and fully lit stuff on that range in the middle.- Gruneresque as I can get it!! 4’ x 5’”

1st Sept. My method of drawing or rendering is “accumulative approximations” Especially with these hills. Going over and over: layer upon layer of refinement. I want a kind of photo-realism but importantly, with a sensual colour/shape abstract delight. No wonder it takes me so long.

And it would be nice if the realism is playing the believe me: don’t believe me game.


Keep pushing the believeability and then push the incredible to unbelievable level…its quite a trick.

A confidence trick. I have to make the beholder’s brain dither between yes ???and no???

I call it “Askew” because the RHS has been pulled down out of horizontality. Never ask why.

“Canned Western Macs” Oils on Canvas 92cm x 122cm

This one made me think of Turner.

“…3rd Nov. (Cleo-found-day) Its getting Turneresque. I have to hypothesise colour like a physicist using maths to cook up the Higg’s Bosun.

You won’t see this view out in the Western Macs. I chopped out a few of my favourite bits and stuck them in a can. Its a bit sketchy, but it was that sort of idea…

“La Nina in Big Bush” Oils on canvas 122cm x 92cm

Wet springs/summers in Big Bush are very uplifting. This is more or less the view from my upstairs equinox (Spring and Autumn) studio, looking down into the front garden during heavy rain.

During this time I was also working on the beginnings of another steel sculpture in the form of a Conservatory.

That’s just me being pretentious again.

Its really a potting shed, and when it’s a bit further advanced I will post a photo or two. But it helps explain the not-so-many-paintings since March.

I wonder what the world will be like by the time of my next post?

Let’s keep smiling anyway. You can still see smiles in the eyes above the masks.




One response

  1. Rode through the Big Bush trails on my bicycle today. It looks great after all the rain and with spring growth. Both have brought the echidnas out. Your painting really captures this special place.
    Give my best to Jeanette.

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