“The Unformed Road” Acrylic and ink on paper, 50cm. x 70cm.
I have given this painting the title “The Unformed Road”, because that’s how it is described on the topographical map of the location. It has now become bordered on all sides by private properties, a landlocked strip of wilderness. This particular spot adjoins our back garden, and is a favourite shady place for kangaroos to rest in the afternoons. I have been attracted to paint here; to me it is a mysterious, wild place where nature is reclaiming what humankind once tried to fence off and control. I am reminded of Kipling’s poem, “The Way Through the Woods”. Typical English wildlife and ghosts from the past inhabit Kipling’s lost road, whereas Bandicoots, Kangaroos, raucous Kookaburras, quarrelsome Lorikeets, musical Butcherbirds, make this a magical space to me. The surrounding area shows mostly evidence of modern settlement. It has been claimed, occupied, fenced, farmed and built upon, but traditionally it is Yaegl land so I am sensitive to this fact and respectful when walking over this ground.
“Over the Fence – 2”. Acrylic on 300.gsm. paper, 50cm. x 70cm.
I have been asked what is it that brings me back to a more representational style. In other words, why am I painting these new landscapes? Am I reflecting back to the woodlands of my youth? The answer is that I do not know, nor should I be too concerned. I think that to be too analytical may lead me toward fabricating an untruth.
To me “Over the Fence” is much the same as my recent abstract landscapes. When I look back on them they seem have an element of the unknown in nature. It may be that I am responding to a fear of the unknown, There may also be a supersticious or spiritual concern in my work. Nevertheless to think too much about the reason why when I am painting would lead me nowhere. No matter what the subject, there is much intuition in my work.
“Over the Fence”, acrylic on 300.gsm. paper, 50cm. x 70cm. A break from Abstraction with a return to Landscape. Many “en plein air’ studies eventually led to this painting. It is a subject that I have been returning to unsuccessfully until now. I had always looked at the wider picture, when all along my only intent was to express the sensation of entangled undergrowth. What lies beyond remains a mystery.
“Primitive Landscape, 3”. Acrylic on 300gsm. paper, 50cm. x 70cm.
After a few days spent away from the studio followed by hours of procrastinion, I finally decided to quit thinking and get back to work. It was a good decision. Familiar symbols appeared during the painting process, some were left to contribute to the final image, whilst others were subtracted. It is difficult to hold back; to allow the painting take its own course and not overthink or overwork it.
“Derelict” oil on canvas 39cm. x 52cm.
We walk though old farm yards. Past roofless stone cottages. The ruins of the old mill at the waters edge. How busy it must have been in this place once upon a time. We cross the river over the footbridge. Just we two.
“Reacting to Affect”, mixed media on 300gsm. paper 50cm. x 70cm. Like a lot of my paintings, this is another unplanned work. Using line, form and colour to realise ‘something‘ that comes before thought or emotion.
An Abstract work, acrylic on 300gsm paper, 50cm. x 70cm. It may be a work in progress, maybe not, I have not yet decided. This work was completed the day after I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the 13th. March. Such an unlucky number, not that I am superstitious! As with my recent works, I painted intuitively; making a start then merely reponding to previous marks on the surface; continuing to what may be the end. At this stage it is usually time to reflect on the image; to interpret any meaning and to edit. This time it may simply be left as is; an indicator to a specific moment.