Tuesday, 20 November 2012

a New Painting: 'will they Remember us'

I have finished my painting, 'will they Remember us'.  This weekend I will take it up to the Border Art Prize at the Tweed Art Gallery in Murwillumbah.

I have thought it would be nice to write a story about each painting as I finish, but the truth is that I find it difficult to know precisely what they are about. I tried to write a story for this one, but ended up with more questions than answers.

Beginning with who is asking the question in the title 'will they Remember us'? I think it must be the young woman. The lizards were here before humanity, and perhaps they will be here after we are gone. I wonder, will the animals miss us when we are gone? I know we would miss them terribly. How lonely humanity would be without the company of the animal kingdom.
Will they be relieved if we go? That thought makes me very sad and I hope it is not the case. I hope they would forgive us our hubris and ignorance, and miss us a little.

Who is the young woman? I think many of the women in my paintings are not completely human. For me that is somehow indicated by them being barefoot, which symbolises a connection with the earth.

In my painting 'the Shelter of Time', the girl is wearing galoshes and I feel like she is a young human girl. We humans think of ourselves as separate from  nature, but that illusion can be not as strong in children and adolescents.

On the other hand, Bee Girl wears no shoes and I think she is a liminal creature, standing between dimensions. Perhaps she has that mysterious connection that remains with some young children before they are conditioned out of it.

Whereas in a painting such as 'i Wait', I think she is scarcely human at all. Closer to what we call a nature spirit.

So is the woman in 'will they Remember us' a liminal person, someone who feels that connection with nature more than her more socialised brothers and sisters? Perhaps she shares a human mother but feels different, even outside normal human society and is more at home in wild nature.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

This Week at the Studio

 I received my copies of Journal It! in the post this week. It is exciting to be in print, and Jenny Doh did a good job. The book covers 19 artists and they are not the usual faces that are in many of the art journaling books. She has picked a nice diversity. You can buy it on Amazon.

I will tell you guys a secret though - I am a little embarrassed by the first spread of my pages. It is my own fault, it was my choice which journal I sent to her. 

I give myself free reign in my art journal to explore anything that takes my fancy. At the time it was dolls. The fascination lasted only a few months and then it was gone. It never entered into my studio work. I can only hope that I won't be thought of as the art journaler that draws big-eyed girls (not that there is anything wrong with that.)

There are a few pages where we give instructions on our favourite techniques. I still love undercollage.

It is spring in Australia and lots of animals are out and about. I have had a few times that I couldn't go to the dunny at night because of snakes. 

I really enjoy the monitor lizards. This is a young guy, only just over a metre long. I hear him rustling around looking for food. I watched one catch a rat outside my studio once. He grabbed it and slammed it to the ground to knock it out, then swallowed it whole.

I am finishing some paintings in the studio.

I can spend weeks doing subtle adjustments of colours, tones and drawing. I find it very satisfying. 
Many people can't tell the difference, but I can so I do it.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Drawing of Nasturtiums

 The inspiration. 
But just a bit too hot in the sun

So I brought it into the studio.
Flowers move, did you know that?

It looks kind of funny in black and white.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

There were Strange Noises

The other morning I was lying in bed when I heard strange noises. There are often strange animal noises at our place, but I hadn't heard these particular snorts and grunts before.