It’s been a while since I’ve been here. Here is an update….the paintings of the last six months have been in diptych form and they all push the boundary of sculpturality. The surfaces are thick, rock-like and as usual, obsessed with an almost mono-chromatic exploration of blue and green. My white-outs continue, but mostly in diptych form.
From the world of psychiatry, the idea of changing one’s operating system has been recurring. Mentoring is really another word for this. The sculpture of a person emerges from a block of stone…
This is another one in my sculptural, tactile series of “White-Outs”. Meant to run your hand over the surface. It is moving into the most sculptured surface available to a non-installation artist or a non-sculptor. That’s the idea anyway. It is organicity rediscovered and revisited. It is the ancient cave paintings in the Kakadu.
I have just completed a series based on the concept of optimism. Each version involves paint-overs and re-doing / re-washing. I have at least three versions of practical optimism in mind. First, a hopeful default position as the foundation of all thought. Two, a cognitive bias toward positive memories. Three, a decision to favour a best case scenario despite frightening odds against you. Here is one version:
This painting has the vibrance of the feeling of gratitude following an act of kindness. There is great power in being in the light of the feeling of gratitude for kindness. The world is full to overflowing of cynicism, hatred, egotism, narcissism and self-loathing. We traumatise each other as a way of life. So when kindness is suddenly shown to exist again, one can feel energised and re-engaged in the optimism of gratitude. That’s why this painting is passionate and could even be called “loud”, but hopefully in a life-affirming way.
This painting comes from watching the traffic of sunset Tokyo snaking through the city as I watched from the top floor of a hotel. The painting is calming despite the complicating, crisscrossing force intertwining throughout the streets of the great capital. We continued our trip into the mountains and saw the sacred and quiet side of Japan. But I needed to paint the city as it is such an important part of modern Japan.
This is the treehouse studio, hidden in the hinterland far away from the city. There is a feeling of isolation that is positive and invigorating. At the same time, it can be a spooky late at night for city people like me. Like having a fire in the forest around which the early peoples danced, having a hexagonal, high-ceilinged studio on a ten acre block of forest is more like a place of worship rather than a utilitarian work space. This might sound strange but if you ask artists about their studios, you will get an intimate insight into their art.
Painting at night out in the bush studio, these paintings quickly took shape as energies and as atmospheres. The sound of the night, the cool night air, the insects of the night : all of these sensory elements combine to give you a feeling. That is the Night. The atmosphere of the Night. Energies that cannot be easily described.