Thursday, 20 December 2007

Artists and technology

As we move through time we encounter changes and ever increasing complexity. The desire at most times is to simplify and find a easy solution to our problems by either ignoring change or sabotaging it. But at other times we have to take a leap and learn new things and work it through.

Living a simple life has much value, but at times can cause us to become ill informed and out of date. But being presumptuous about change can cause us to jump too far ahead and exposes us to possible, uncertain dangers.

The world of change is like a revolving door attached to Pandora's box. Many new wonders and terrors come hurtling out at ever increasing speed. Once these new things come out to play no one can ever forget them or put them away. E.g. - The Atomic Bomb, The Internet, Books, Television, Aids, Monica Lewinsky etc. So everyone is forced to deal with these changes in some way.

When I was at Art College between 1980 and 1983, technologically the world was a different place. The video and photo labs were primitive compared to what we have now. We developed film in dark rooms with sweaty hands and smelly chemicals. We never could see a preview of what we had just filmed or photographed. The printing rooms were based on technology over a hundred years old - etching, screen printing, rolling flat bed presses, etc. College staff would print information and assignments on typewriters and Roneo machines.

Today, I can (right now, if you happen to be looking) post text and a picture that can be seen all over the world in a matter of seconds. And if you wish, you can leave a comment. Yet, I still plug away at 2D images similar to those that people in caves were painting eons ago.

What does all this mean? - I'm not quite sure, but I know I have the freedom to pick and choose wisely (if I can) the tools of my trade.

So here is an old image from about 1981, from a small series of student works entitled 'Houses at Home'. Imagine looking down on suburban houses from a helicopter, viewing the grid like streets and rooftops. The houses in this case are represented by the pages of an old Bank Book - another redundant item from the past.

Houses at Home

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Choosing and framing

For the last week or so, I have been selecting artworks for my show. If they fit the available frames they are then framed up. John, pictured on snork's post below (who is an exceptional draughtsman, cool headed printer and also an accomplished framer) originally framed a lot of my drawings for my previous exhibition. This time I am trying to save money by re-using the frames. So far it is working out well: except the frame size has dictated the choice of works to a degree. I should have about 30 artworks to hang when this process of selection and framing is complete.

This is my studio as of yesterday afternoon: some of the works on display have been freshly framed and others are due to be dismantled.

I have had piles of drawings, new and old, being sorted left, right and center. Since college days, I have basically been using three paper sizes: normally I buy 50 sheets at a time - in what I thought were all the same size. Most of my drawings are basically around the same size, but the newer stuff can be a few centimeters larger in both directions.

Of course, this has created a few minor problems: if everything was exactly the same size then swapping pictures and frames would be a lot easier. On framing some of the works, I had to go from landscape to portrait or vise verse: which involved cutting the mat board to some degree as the borders were uneven. Fortunately, the local framer didn't charge me a cent for this service.

Currently, I have paintings and drawings stacked up everywhere. I have another room (other than my studio) dedicated to storing and framing - also I have a storage rack in a spare room under the house.

All in all, I think the show should turn out satisfactorily. I was hoping to have a greater representation of the most current work - especially in the drawing department. There will be more new stuff in the larger paintings and a smaller amount of new stuff in the drawings - all due to framing cost constraints. About 10 of the works have been exhibited before - the rest (about 20) are all due to have a public viewing anyway. There is nothing like seeing your own artworks, that have been cooped up indoors, then hung up on crisp, large white walls - everyone assumes due to the context, that they are looking at Art - even the artist.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Thursday, 6 December 2007

a few words

Spiritually I am wherever my spirit allows me to be, and that is not necessarily in the future. I have no nostalgia, however. If I am confronted with one of those small Mesopotamian figures, I have no nostalgia for it but instead may get into a state of anxiety. Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure. I always seem to be wrapped in the melodrama of vulgarity. I do not think of inside or outside – or of art in general – as a situation of comfort. I know there is a terrific idea in there somewhere, but whenever I want to get into it, I get a feeling of apathy and want to lie down and go to sleep. Some painters, including myself, do not care what chair they are sitting on. It does not even have to be a comfortable one. They are too nervous to find out where they ought to sit. They do not want to “sit in style”. Rather they have found that painting – any kind of painting, any style of painting, to be painting at all in fact – is a way of living today, a style of living so to speak. That is where the form of it lies. It is exactly in its uselessness that it is true. Those artists do not want to conform. They only want to be inspired.

de Kooning



Sunday, 2 December 2007

Memory lane

Just plonked a few old posted images from our ArtSmelter archives into a memory lane slide show. Remember to turn your computer speakers on - I hope you like it.

A new member and the protocols of mass Art destruction

We have a new member at ArtSmelter, who is using the name 'snorkel' - almost as mysterious as 'antlion'. Snorkel is an artist who I have known since Art college days, he is primarily a sculpture and is married to a painter. His new blog - Snorkel can be found here. Hopefully snorkel will come up for air so we can get a good look at him.
If I remember it rightly, Roj had an artshow with snorkel (can I use your real name?) in the eighties. Can you post a few pics. from this show if you have any? I have an old promotional flyer from that show still tucked away - can I post it?

Here's a crummy little nude drawing from a rapid fire, life drawing session. I decided to drip a few runs of paint down the front to alter the context a wee bit. She's a clunky, chuncky, chick with things on her mind. Please feel free to attack or comment - she has shoulders big enough to cope with anything.

One thing I like doing in art sometimes, is a random attack on a drawing that I don't particularly like. Occasionally the attack produces results, which I try to tailor for my advantage. This is one gross looking nude (the original model looked nothing like this). Years ago, just after Art college I destroyed a pile of artworks that I thought were a waste of paper. I still wonder what I threw out. Maybe there was some idea or image I could use today. In any case it would just be interesting to have a look at what I tossed, because I can't remember any of them. Since that time I don't destroy my artwork, but generally work and re-work it until I feel it's finished.

Although, there is one painting that I am going to paint out one day - but I will never post it on this site.

Esnips test sample

05 implexa.mp3

This a sample mp3 player - theres a few to choose from - I haven't tried a video yet.

Music by Antlion.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Make it up club

This coming Tuesday I will be performing at 'The make it up club" in Melbourne along with some of my 'Undue noise' friends from Bendigo. I will be playing Guqin, Trumpet and computer in an improvised solo set. If you can make it I'll see you there, if not, next time.
I've had little success at finding a replacement for mixpo video they all seem to have their problems. I'm not sure what I should do, any suggestions.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Recurring images

Just did a bit of a hunt through my artworks looking for images that I have used more than a few times. An old recurring image from years ago was a red man standing, seen only from the waist up, facing directly out to the viewer: he was more of a stylised silhouette without a face. The red man has emerged in different forms in many paintings. He has transformed into someone standing in a doorway either silhouetted or fully filled out and described. Also as anonymous people, peeping through windows or crouching in the bush. But one version of the red man has evolved into the camera man.
These close up clips of camera man are from different paintings that were produced over a period of about ten years. The other catalyst for the camera man, besides the red man were two high school photos I took of myself.

One was shot facing the bathroom mirror at home ........

and the other in a shop window that had a display of mirrors.......

The two images below are duplications of the bathroom mirror photo.

This next camera man image was copied from a photo of myself taking a shot through the front window of a car. The window frame of the car's side window has also been incorporated into the painting.

This last camera man is pure invention, but in this case his camera is a real photo of a camera collaged into the drawing.

As I have gone back over my artworks, trying to understand what they mean or just categorising them to set them in some sort of order, I have begun to see patterns, connections and vague themes. To me this is sort of a fun idea, sort of like a puzzle or maze that is building up over a long period of time. As for the meaning of the camera man recurring image, I am not quite sure. But, possibly part of it is about being an artist looking out into the world and looking back out to the viewer. Partly as voyeur and partly as a revolving door - sort of a conduit for the viewer to look into the painting and back out, viewing themselves. This idea reminds me of the film, "Being John Malkovich". There is something disconcerting about staring down the lens of a camera, it's like your looking into your own soul and being scared that other people will see your faults.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Old Art school friends and bookshops.

Red head Nude

Just another quickly drawn nude, slowly being immersed into a new context. This drawing/painting is still under construction. The dark green and black oblong shape on her left is a print from a cheap stencil I bought at a Chinese import shop. The light green swirly bits and curved floor and ceiling lines were slapped down using up excess paint from another painting. The general idea of that shallow space is to surround and frame the nude. Hopefully, this will make her pose a special event, instead of just a pose. This space framing technique is reminiscent of many of Francis Bacon's figure paintings. For example:

Figure in Movement 1976 Francis Bacon

Went to Dekart coffee shop at Eumundi on Thursday. An old Art college friend recently bought the shop and has been busy making coffee and restoring the business. He is also a sculpture and his wife is an artist as well and paints. Hopefully they may contribute a few postings on ArtSmelter if I can get them interested.
While at Eumundi I found a great bookshop (which is quite unusual for the Sunshine Coast) and bought three Art books. One on David Hockney $10, another about Celtic designs and symbols and how to incorporate them into artwork $12, and a book titled, 'One hundred views of Mt. Fuji', which has old and new Japanese artworks of Mt. Fuji $19.00. They were all second hand but were in excellent condition. Berkelouw books can be found in the main street of Eumundi - they even offered to hang a few artworks, and gave me their card.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

hello smelters

hello smelters - I haven't been here for a while - got to get and have another look at that beckman stuff - he used to be one of my top ten - probably still is...

I've been way busy the last few weeks and not much of it has happened in the studio. Sailing started a few weeks ago and I'm suddenly dead keen; I've got a good crew who are eager to train and sail fast yay! And only a couple of months ago I was ready to sell the boat and give up sailing - I spoke to a sail-maker yesterday, he's a big sharpie fan - he asked if I'd sold it and I said no. He said "Never sell your boat, never sell your boat, put it in the shed but don't sell it."
He's right I reckon; it's such a fantastic privilege to be able to get out on the water.

Fly Sharpie!

Other than that, the bike mob I ride with got a 37.5 kph average on the tuesday morning ride - thats a 54 minute lap, PB'd - I know it aint art... I wonder if we can crack 40...
and I PB'd a 10k fun run on sunday - I wonder what that says about how I spent my time in my 20's; getting pbs at 52... haha!

I'm doing lots of intense design stuff at work, we're well into designing the 2008-09 range - lots of colour and geometric stuff which interestingly relates to my neglected painting. Had some good feed back on that painting though and I reckon I'll give it a nudge this weekend.

Mixpo pulled the plug

All my AV work on this site has stalled due to Mixpo's canceled service.

Friday, 2 November 2007


I have just added a link to Joanna and Ted DeMaine's web pages on ArtSmelter under OTHER PLACES. Johanna is a potter who has had years of experience and success. Ted is a musician and songwriter who has just recorded a CD. Their web pages have plenty more information about their lives and examples of their work. Johanna's site can be found here, and Ted's site can be found here.

"and the Stars Danced like a Chain of Pearls on the Water below"

Johanna's pot has great form with beautiful colours and designs.
The Gustave Klimt influence is quite apparent in this work.

And one of Ted's songs; which has a lively beat and meaningful lyrics.
'Global Warming', from the CD, 'The Shark and the Crow'.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

A well written post

The Artlife has some well written and informed posts by a few movers and shakers in the Australian contemporary arts world. Marcus Westbury who made the Art doco 'Not quite Art', which has been showing on the ABC, for the last two Tuesday nights at 10 pm, posted a reminder of his doco's airing. At last checking, there have been 109 comments, which is quite a reaction.

Ian Houston, has posted a well written article on Neo Rauch, which is worth reading. If you like Beckman, the German Expressionists or R.B Kitaj you may like his paintings. Below is a sample of his work.

Neo Rauch's Mazernacht.

On a different note, I have started a new blog just for my January Art show titled 'as'. The 'as', blog is primarily a way of writing about each work that will be in the 'as', show. I have a used a simple blog design, to facilitate printing. It will take a few to months to have it all properly organized, but the beginnings can be found here.

Below is a quick sketch from Art College days. I would rush into Life classes, sit on the floor, whack some paint on a few sheets of paper, draw a few outlines then stop. The lecturers would say, "is that all you wanna do". I would then explain, "thats all I want at the moment, and I like what I have done", and then promptly grab my stuff and leave. In hindsight, if I had stayed a little bit longer, I might be a better figure drawer today.

Blonde Nude

Friday, 19 October 2007

Be careful of your friends

Neo Block

Be careful of what your friends say they might hear you. Once while showing this drawing an artist friend, remarked, "but look at the landscape". That remark was probably 15 years ago, and that is the only thing I remember about the conversation, or even the visit.

It's funny how things stick in your mind, and have a tendency to prick your thinking in particular contexts. Prick!, it's more like a splinter in the mind - that's probably why you remember them so well. What you say to someone can have an effect on how they work, and even affect the outcome of their creative drive. To be an artist one has to be particularly driven and tough skinned.

In the art work above, the figure was meant to be the subject, but in this case the other artist enjoyed the landscape. That was really fine by me, but strangely whenever I do landscape, his words drift through my mind like a recurring wind from one side of the drawing to the other. Now if he had commented on the figure, I may have forgotten the conversation completely or conversely may have taken it on board, and be producing completely different works.

Either way the artist lives for the viewer to take notice, and good or bad the comments are all worthwhile. It's up to the artist to sift and sort, the grain from the chaff, the sheep from the goats and respond in a timely and gracious way. In this way we climb out of our protective nests and learn to fly - hopefully with a paint brush in each hand.

Neo Block - interestingly the drawing is about a contrast between this new, stylised block of a person and the landscape behind. I suppose it's about the cyber person and how he stands in his original environment. The pride of the internet man and his electronic paradise are just just false messiahs, dancing to the drums of the dust of death. Technology is a great tool, but with each new development, comes new problems. We have barely understood the effects of the video generation, let alone the internet generation. Artists have a great opportunity, to understand this generation, filtering, selecting, commenting, dissecting, processing, criticizing, and even acting as salt. The possibilities are endless, if we don't grow weary, and get lost on the way, due to how we respond to what others may say.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Grannies 3

Well this is the final in this series, when I say final I mean posting, there are about ten others not as good of course.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Image and response

Isle of the Dead - Arnold Bocklin - 1880

The 'Isle of the Dead' is a fascinating painting, which has an incredible atmosphere. One senses immediately through the dramatic composition and lighting, the tone of the work. A solitary figure on a boat, traveling to a dark and solitary island, about to pass through a gate into a dark abyss. Looming dark trees, a strange building , odd windows, high cliffs and ominous clouds lift this scene from mere landscape to a supernatural level.

Sometimes when you wander around a Gallery, you come across a painting that stands out from the crowd. One that works on many levels and has an emotional resonance that reaches out and grabs you, like Bocklins work. I suppose the challenge (against all the negatives in our heads) is to strive to produce excellent art. This is of course a lot harder than it seems, and takes many years of trial and error. So how can one pull it all together, and not lose heart, and take the best of what we have done and make it better? I'll let you know in another twenty years, but in the meantime here is another image from the mediocre catalogue, a hundred years after Bocklins work.

Cleaners Playing Cards - 1981

In the background are the red roofs of Brisbane, poking through the trees, at Seven Hills. In the foreground are a few of the Queensland College of Art cleaners, taking a break and playing a round of cards. I think the lady in the spotted dress has the upper hand.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Grannies 01

No1 in the series Grannies.
Still working the old footage, could make a life long statement with footage shot on one day in China

Monday, 8 October 2007

Friday, 5 October 2007

Other places, other times.

I found an interesting Blog by Sean Art O'Brien called Art talk. In his profile he states, "In ART TALK you will hear interviews with leading Australasian artists and curators." Also in his banner it reads, " In-depth conversations with leading Australian and international artists & curators. From the Sydney based radio program Art Talk." He uses the podomatic podcasting tool, as a way to present his interviews, on his blog.

I feel the blogging tool is an excellent medium for artists, it has so much potential for networking and sharing ideas. Not only can you present your work and receive feedback, there is also potential for sales. The challenge is to make the most of this incredible tool, while it is not controlled and still free. Where else can you connect with other artists without selling your soul. Although I love visiting galleries, I find the supporting culture at times exclusive, snobby and overly protective. Why can't the new contemporary art gallery in Brisbane, show at least once a year a survey of various Queensland artists who are subsisting in the undergarments of contemporary art. There are quite a few out there, and there work at times is very interesting. I for one would love to see a big gallery represent the culture that supports it instead of the usual suspects, who have risen to the top of the heap.

Roj has had some interesting discussion about art process on his blog. Is process akin to religious experience? Some religions focus on rules, legalism, and form while others focus on experience, and freedom. Is process a tangible entity in itself or just a means to an end? Or is process an experience that acts as a pressure release valve for our inner person?

Here are some quotes from Michelangelo -

"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."

I hope that I may always desire more than I can accomplish."

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all."

"It is well with me only when I have a chisel in my hand."

The greatest artist has no conception which a single block of white marble does not potentially contain within its mass, but only a hand obedient to the mind can penetrate to this image."

A man paints with his brains and not with his hands."

He seems to be thinking more like an artist than a plumber.

Here are a few Marcel Duchamp quotes -

I am interested in ideas, not merely in visual products."

I don't believe in art. I believe in artists."

I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste. "

"The individual, man as a man, man as a brain, if you like, interests me more than what he makes, because I've noticed that most artists only repeat themselves. "

Interesting contrast between the two artists.

Below is a drawing/painting that combines my earlier abstracted rock shapes into the new found frontier of the Glasshouse mountains. Slowly I lift my gaze from the ground where I began and look to the mountains, who are peeking at me through the trees.

Primitives - 1991 - Acrylic and pencil on paper - 57x72cm

Monday, 1 October 2007


What is it? detail required

I just wanted to point out that if you know what it is you will know you're right, but if you are not sure, you are wrong. So I won't need to provide an answer. Good luck if you care!

Friday, 28 September 2007

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Jiang Jun Xue Ping Gui Xi Zheng

I was talking to my Chinese translator in Xiangtan last night and now have a better name for the opera heads presented on this blog. Originally I had the title "Xue Ping Gui - Conquer the west" which was taken from the subtitles of the footage. Apparently Xue Ping Gui is a General(Jiang Jun) and the west to be conquered is west China. So this project has now been renamed "Jiang Jun Xue Ping Gui Xi Zheng" meaning "General Xue Ping Gui conquers west China". It's very easy to translate and get a quite different meaning from the original EG "the West" or "west China".

Sunday, 16 September 2007

The French Cyclists

Shots in the Temple of the USA

One day a couple stopped in front of my house. They were both on bicycles, which were packed to the hilt with camping gear and food. They spoke English with a French accent and asked for directions to the nearest caravan park. As it was about dark and too far to ride to the closest caravan park, I invited them to camp in my back yard.

That evening we invited them into the house and got to know them. They were husband and wife who were traveling around Australia. They owned a printing business in Paris, and spent most of their leisure time riding in various parts of the world. They were a very fit and attractive couple who were both around sixty years of age.

He noticed my paintings on the wall and asked to see more works. We went down to my studio and I showed him some of my drawings. When we got to the above drawing he remarked how much he liked it. I told him that it was a criticism of the war in Iraq and the media's one sided coverage.

He pulled from his pocket a clipping from the Australian newspaper. It was an article by Phillip Adams covering the same topics. Our French visitor had become a Phillip Adams fan and was collecting his articles as he traveled. This is their website here.

A few months later I was in the Queensland Museum in the insects and animal room after checking out the StarTrek Exhibition. A man in black came to the service counter while I was looking at the bottled snakes. He made a joke to the staff about the cane toads on display. I turned to look at his face, because I recognized the voice. Our eyes met for a minute as I realized it was Phillip Adams, and then I moved on in silence.

The man in the picture above is a journalist, he has stars on his outfit and stands in front of sea of stripes. Behind him are flames and a black void. Above him is a plan view of a Jewish Temple, the smaller black void is the Holy of Holies. The artwork questions the relationship between politics, religion and the media. The photographer points his camera out at the viewer, indicating that through the media we have not escaped being impacted by world events and opinions.

Art is an extraordinary medium that can focus on many different subjects. It is not partial and covers most human experiences. Art is produced by many people from many walks of life. History demonstrates that art is not limited to one particular creed or way of life. No one owns art, or has a monopoly on it's meaning and production, because it's free.

The Third of May 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid
By Francisco Goya

The depiction of the shooting of innocent citizens by Napoleons troops
after an uprising in Madrid.

The Ghent Altarpiece: Adoration of the Lamb
by Jan van Eyck

Representatives of different people of the world before the Lamb of God.

Sitzender Weiblicher Akt, 1914
by Egon Schiele

A stark and semi-erotic drawing by a master draughtsman.


Saturday, 15 September 2007

Big rock, bigger sky.

Burleigh Rocks One - 1984 - Acrylic and Pencil on paper 41 x 64cm

In the last year of High School (1979) while living on the Gold Coast, I took a series of photos on the old SLR for an art class. Most of the series was based on the beach area around Burleigh Heads.

Up high, over looking the beach, hidden away from view is a collection of massive hexagonal, oblong boulders. I think they are basalt boulders. They are lodged at oblique angles to each other forming nooks, crannies and caves, amongst the various trees and bushes. The texture of the rock is sort of blotchy and crystal like, in various tones of black and white.

The above drawing was done from one of these black and white photos. This viewpoint is from underneath looking towards the sky. This massive rock was wedged into the surrounding rocks like a surfboard sticking out of the sand. If your standing on the rock, looking down, it is like being on a diving board facing the sea, with a direct drop down a steep incline to the rocky beach below.

I drew about half a dozen of these rock drawings in black and white. My main focus at that time was on patterning and stylizing. I attempted a few colour versions and a few largish paintings as well, but for some reason found it hard to translate the texture and composition. Over the years various elements from those drawings have become incorporated into my work.

It's like, one stumbles along having little jabs at different things, collecting bits and pieces, experimenting, winning or losing, but moving forward. Eventually, like a bower bird you build a massive nest. But, still you know there is more, and become obsessed with trying to collect that ultimate blue object, the sky.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

getting close

I think I've nearly finished a painting...

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Open Invitation

This is a invitation to any Artists out there who want to join
and contribute to Artsmelter.
Painters, musicians, video artists, performance artists, writers etc. are welcome to submit a sample of what they do. We are hoping to get the number of artists up to about ten initially. Artists with blogging experience would be an advantage but not essential.

Selected Artists can have links, profiles and emails listed on this page as well as full access to posting there art and comments.. We are hoping to develop a dynamic and relevant multi-artist journal, that not only encourages discussion but also has potential for career development and sales.

Interested artists can send an email to David via

Please include samples of what you do and a brief description of your artistic aims. A brief CV would be beneficial but not essential.
Submissions will be assessed and a response forthcoming.


Sunday, 2 September 2007

Blogger video test

This is a Windows Media File .WMV extension. It took about 2 mins to upload. It's 897k in size.
This is a test in creating small files and using the new blogger video posting icon.
The video is 320x240k in size reduced from 720x576 uncompressed .AVI.
I tried about 8 different file formats - this was the smallest. There has been a loss in sound and video quality, but others were either bigger or had small issues. The settings can be tweaked of course to improve quality. Well lets see how the blogger video compares to Mixpo, Youtube, etc.

Well, I gave the blogger video the flick and used You tube again. The video loaded in under a minute. My assessment is that blogger video is buggy. Mixpo and You tube are much better. Blogger video eventually stopped working whenever I tried to run it, it sort got hung up on buffering mode. I think mixpo is the quickest player but slightly slower on the uploads than Youtube, but Youtube has the most network connections.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Binna Burra

This is an early work from around 1982. While at Art College our painting class and a few lecturers went to Binna Burra for a weekend camp. Binna Burra is on a mountain range in Queensland, close to the border of New South Wales. It's a National Park with many long walks through dense and beautiful rainforest.

Recently, an artist told me, "I just paint what I see".
Well, I have always had problems with painting what I see. Even as a kid in primary school I wanted to draw what I think. If I ever draw what I see, meaning a more realistic representation, then I still want what I see, to be in service to what I think. In fact I don't think anyone really draws just what they see. Even photography is an edited, frozen snapshot taken from a point of view. As people become more exposed to a form of Art like music or painting they learn to see more and understand the artists vision. Those who are rather naive about painting seem to respond with praise to more realistic works. This is in some way an adopted position, picked up from schooling or some other social conditioning. I have noticed that children at a certain age seem to freely respond to less realistic works. But many adults have lost this ability.

Anyway, this drawing represents the branches and bush stylized and felt. I thought at the time that I would run as fast as I could from the maddening crowd that just wanted to paint what they saw. But, I much admire those artists who can render a scene, still life or figure with great accuracy, gusto and meaning.

Three score and ten is not enough time for an artist.

Jiang Jun Xue Ping Gui Xi Zheng 3

This is No3 of 3 in the series "Jiang Jun Xue Ping Gui Xi Zheng", which will be screened in Bendigo in October 2007 for 'Undue Noise'. I will also be performing additional live soundtrack elements on that night.

how about this one ?

"Art is a kind of energy with subversive potential that can be wittingly infiltrated into other contexts which may then re-define its nature and evoke what he calls 'the inexpressible area', an area that can be approached not directly but only by heading in the opposite direction."
-John Lethbridge.

I've been trying to understand this one for years , sometimes I think I've sort of got it but then it's gone.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

on this blog process...

I'm finding this blog - and mine - to be very worthwhile. Thanks to Elizabeth's suggestion about documenting process, I am now photographing my paintings at significant intervals. It is interesting and revealing to review the process. I've never done it before except once at college when Wendy photographed a painting that I was doing at intervals as the subject for a photographic essay she was doing. I'll make it a habit from here on in.
Keep bunging stuff up you'se mob.

old drawings still have life in them

did this one almost two years ago when it was an oddity amongst the others being produced at the time, but searched it out to compare to recent work. hey presto , connections are obvious.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

A r t ?

"A work of art is an externalization of the artist's consciousness; as if we could see his way of seeing and not merely what he saw" -Arthur C. Danto

Monday, 20 August 2007

Painting without consequence.

Above are a few quick sketches in preparation for Squarescape Seven. And below is the beginnings of the actual painting in my studio. As of tonight, the painting is now fully coloured in. I am using acrylic mixed with polymer glaze in thin transparent washes. Also the stripes were produced by dribbling masking fluid down the surface. It's at the stage where I am beginning to like it, but am now too scared to put a brush to it.

I am also starting to frame some drawings - below are a few shots taken from a room I cleared just for viewing , sorting and framing.

This last one is, 'Fire Jumping Night', which is looking good with a nice crisp mat board window. But it's getting late, and I have a stiff neck, and must go to bed, and let art play another day.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

'lying low'

Once my son Tom came up to stay with us for a week, he was escaping a Kickboxer thug who was threatening him for putting 'VS' posters over his kickboxing posters. Anyway we spent a large part of that week of lying low making music, this track is from that time.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

week-end of the 11th & 12th of august

Made some serious progess on "the comet. Bit worried about the other one though.

Friday, 10 August 2007


This is the view of one of the Glasshouse Mountains. This is the view I get from the road in front of my house. They call this one Crookneck. One of the ArtSmelters, 'roj', has a story about climbing this mountain, and hopefully he will comment and fill us in.

Below is a shot I took during the fire season . This is the same mountain from a different angle, but almost totally enveloped in smoke. It's amazing how the smoke grips the mountain. Sometimes the clouds do the same thing and just sort of embrace the mountains , as if they are not going to let go.

This is a pencil and paint drawing I did a few years back of Crookneck. Acrylic paint was used in a limited palette then drawn into with 9B pencil. The pencil was dissolved with turps and rubbed back into the paint. This altered and unified the colour scheme. Finally 9B and white pencil were drawn back over the paint to redefine an excite the image.

The second drawing explores the idea of life, death, and futility. The hand is in contrast to the mountain. But in this case the weak fist in not held up in defiance. This hand was copied from a photo of dead mans hand. The man was a victim of the Bosnian War.

Many artist's have been inspired by the Glasshouse Mountains, in many and different ways.
Lawrence Daws and Joe Daws his son, have some great paintings that relate directly or indirectly to these Mountains. Check out their websites here and here.
All Artwork Copyright by the Artists represented on this Blog. 2010