15 Mar 2013
2nd Sunday in May – May 12th until Sunday May 19th. 27 Sussex St Spearwood. 11am – 4pm.
I began this body of work in January – I wanted to take an intense painting course with nature as my tutor. I started by doing small (5” x 7”) paintings from the back of the van – I must avoid the sun.
I did 17 paintings around Cockburn/Fremantle, and then to Avoid The Heat we went south to Albany/Denmark where I did 13 more. So at the time of writing this (end of February) I am averaging 15 paintings a month, so hopefully by the Second Sunday in May there should be a few more, and I will show them then.
Jane will have her own show on the Second Sunday in October, and we look forward to seeing you on both occasions.
To go landscape painting is to undergo one’s education in public, with all its humiliations and enlightenments. (Educational in that all my painting is informed by what I have learnt landscape painting.) To sit ‘en plein air’ is to be open to the vagaries of the weather, the changes in the course of the day. It’s a bit like fishing, you do not know what you are going to get. It could be something good or one can return home empty handed.
It is this unpredictability that makes it so enthralling. Sitting in the landscape reflecting on what one sees – for instance, on our last expedition down south to Albany and Denmark, I experienced the all-pervasive effect of the wind. Have you noticed in the Porongorups and Stirlings, how the slopes on the windward side are mainly made up of positive convex shapes, and those to leeward, concave – rather like a wave – not water, but waves of granite (Porongorups), or sandstone (Stirlings).
I admire the grit of those little peppie trees, forcing their crooked little branches out into the wind, keeping their crowns low and flat. That West Australian southerly, how it dominates, but I digress. Let’s get back to landscape painting.
When sitting there, contemplating the landscape, I feel obliged to try and capture what I see (with the exception of one or two compositional adjustments) – to capture the essence of the landscape on that particular day, to paint it as I feel it is.
Do you know the legend of the circus worker who receives the call and goes and joins a monastery. He is not a very good monk, and sneaks off on his own every day to some rendezvous. The Abbot, curious, follows him and finds him juggling in front of a statue of the Virgin. He is about to clap his hand on our hero’s sacriligious shoulder when the Virgin’s statue raises her hand, and stops him.
If juggling is the only way our monk can pray, then landscape painting is that for me.
Landscape painting is practical pantheism.
It is a deep-seated desire to give thanks for one’s existence, and the existence of all that surrounds us.
The miracle of the world and the sun and the moon that have shaped all I see and feel – what a blessing it is.
When the world was a thundering steaming Harley ‘Fat-Boy’ bikie’s jock strap, a swirling testosterone of noxious gases, the moon ejects from the Gulf of Mexico, like Adam’s rib, orbits the world and causes tides – creating change, a change that allows stromatolites to form and excrete oxygen, and in a very feminine way, subverts the chaos, and makes it fruitful, and so we are on the path to where we are now, standing in the landscape, juggling with the balls of colour, tone, temperature, and that greasy spinner, composition, in the landscape, painting it, and that is a miracle.