Wednesday, 31 December 2008

marking time

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When you're feeling stuck for words, there's no need to worry; just use handy-dandy placeholder text.

Monday, 24 November 2008


Well it's on again and seems to be turning into a seasonal thing, I guess the next one will be in February. I kind of like the idea of a seasonal events it gives the thing a larger connection with the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun. Not that that makes it more special more the reverse it becomes just another cyclical event like Christmas or Bathurst.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

A bird in the hand.

I saw a Bearded Dragon in my garden the other day - it just froze and stared at me, eventually rotating it's head as I passed by, keeping a firm lock on my eyes. That is the first large lizard I have seen in my yard for at least ten years. Mostly I see skinks and the newish immigrant Asian House Gecko.

Besides an occasional snake, we have have tons of birds, everything from Magpies, Kookaburras, Butcher Birds, Pigeons, Plovers and an occasional astronaut.

The detail below is from NASA No 5, which is nearing completion - more details on my NASA series and NASA N0 5 can be found on my blog here.

Detail from NASA No 5 - Flood at NASA 2008

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

New Gadgets and impossible outcomes.

I have added a new blogger gadget on the lower right hand side bar. It shows shortcuts to the most recent posts from a few different blogs. Also there is a third party gadget that shows the leaving and forwarding links of our visitors - it also shows what area they are from - this is on the lower left hand side bar.

The above drawing I did in the late eighties, which was the last in a series of drawings based on black and white photos taken on the Gold Coast coastline. This last drawing actually diverges from the others in the series and now, to me, looks like a precursor to the works that I did throughout the nineties.

In some ways the doing of the art leads itself along a path, that would be hard to anticipate by just thinking about it - just like one foot after another as you learn to walk.

Life hurries along at a thundering pace, so much so, that I feel when looking at this work, that I may never be able to take advantage of the full promise that I now see in it. The works in the nineties, although flowing through and from this work have taken another course - I suppose one course of many possible courses.

If I had a time machine, I could go back and choose another route and see where that thread leads. Maybe eternity is about cycling back and exploring all possible outcomes ad infinitum.

Monday, 20 October 2008

SHOWCASE REVIEW: Submarine Man - Yi

Recently, a young local musician dropped a CD in my letterbox entitled: Submarine Man. The music CD was produced almost entirely by Yi who is the musician and author of all of the songs. Recording the music at home with guitars, keyboards, drums and computers he has expressed his own vision and developed quite a few technical skills on the way.

Although this is a debut album produced from home - and why not - the level of competency is quite high. The song writing is strong and the mixing and experimentation with sounds shows a lot of promise. Yi's voice though still developing harks back to the sixties with echoes of The Beatles, Ray Davies and to me a bit of the early Lou Reed. These influences including a touch of Bowie can be found strongly in the music and also possibly in some of the song titles: Submarine Man - Yellow Submarine, Ruby Skies - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Whether these are direct references or not doesn't matter the imbued feeling is strong.

The lyrics, like all good lyrics are framed by the artists experiences and influences. Yi fortunately does not write trite copies of other artists lyrics but allows his own personal voice to be expressed without reverting to cliché and formula - which is good.

While recently watching a documentary on Ray Davies of the Kinks I was reminded of Yi's album - of the songs I remember, Rays 'A Well Respected Man' particularly jumped out. Also Yi's, 'Pretty Little Hands' has some interesting experimentation that reminds me of The Who. 'Schools of Fish' has a vocal like some of Bowie's work and a harmony like the Beatles.

All in all Yi has done a fine job at producing, arranging, composing and performing his own album. And especially a great job for a guy who is barely 20 years old. His album of songs can be heard in entirety by going to the failed painter blog - enjoy - I have been and have listened to the album quite a few times while busy painting at night.

Here is a video from Youtube of Yi's cover of 'Across the Universe' filmed by L.M. Noonan from the failed painter.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

More little men in the grip of some fools hands

NASA painting No 4 is complete and ready for lift off. 'NASA and the Giant' is reminiscent of a photo I snapped while in the city a few years ago - fortunately the victims were only in black and white and so had no intrinsic value.

Never trust the giant that owns the golden goose that lays the golden egg.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Drome 3 has come and gone, there were a few people who could not make it but in all it was a good turn out with excellent results.
Many times through the afternoon the Drome concept as a platform for ensemble improvisation worked extremely well.
Listen carefully to the recordings and you will hear intuitive and responsive performances, where individual ideas really do merge and become one.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Number whatever it was

This is the finished painting what I started months ago. I've entered it in the Signature South West Acquisitive Art Prize.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Drome 3 soon

In the planning for the last month this is the last flyer, now I just
hope people turn up. There is always something to worry about,
check out the Drome Blog at the address below.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Undue noise August 2008

Hi all hope you can make it.
Had a great gig in Hepburn
last weekend.
Things going well 'Drome 3'
on the 31st of August.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Nasa Lost In Space

I just finished the third Nasa painting: 'NASA Lost in Space'. The first one is called, 'Tornado in NASA', and the second one is called, 'Baptism in NASA'. I am planning to produce at least 30 works all based on the same three characters and various props. The whole series will hopefully one day be displayed together as one large work, each work separated from the other by a gap of about 75mm - in a large grid pattern. All works are on pre-made 90x70 cm canvas stretchers. The colour schemes are based on the primary colours plus black and white. By using different primary pigments each time, it is is quite easy to create variation between each work - e.g Cobalt blue, Ultramarine or Phthalo Blue mixed with any one red or yellow - although the different pigments create variation, the common mixing principle used maintains uniformity.

NASA Lost in Space - 2008 - 90x70cm - Acrylic on Canvas

On doing the work, I have been thinking about the content, which is subsequently, creating the wave that is propelling the emerging ideas into small drawing studies. The emerging, guiding theme is NASA, as metaphor for USA and other linked western countries which are under siege by their own hyperbole, constructs and dubious motives. The use of popular culture references and other icons is really a denouement of my own collusion and parasitical involvement in this burgeoning bubble - "Lost in Space" is a reference to the American television show of the same name, which I spent hours watching in the late sixties and early seventies. In many ways we have swallowed the lie and now see the poison, as an empire grows and shrinks in our own lifetime. To me NASA is a prime example of misplaced science, hype, misbelief, propaganda, pop. culture iconics , misuse of funds and false hope. Which in turn makes a perfect candidate for a series of paintings about western culture, USA and the human condition as a corporate identity.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Mock up, poetry and a bipolar painting.

Ever wondered, what one of your own artworks would look like, on the walls of large, public art gallery?

Or, as a giant billboard, along a highway on the out skirts of a large city? Well, there is a fun photo site that does all the work for you and you can find it here.

Below is a painting from a few years ago - it's actually a triptych of sorts. The two paintings are joined in the middle by a panel poem, consisting of four verses. This work is from my short lived, but not dead,'Twins series'. Most people, who view this painting think it is about an issue between a married couple - even my wife thinks this is so. But, originally the title was 'Big Brother 1 and Big Brother 2', and was from a smaller quick drawing - the poem came after the paintings were completed.

As for me, the artist, I'm not even sure on the artworks meaning or exact derivation. Below is a blow-up of the poem in all it's ambiguous glory. This poem was created by looking at the paintings and then just writing down whatever came into my head. The poem being derived mostly from observing the painting, probably does not illuminate the viewer to the meaning of the work very much either.

But, I will leave the meaning of this, all up to you - write your responses and revelations in the comments section - even write a new poem that ties the two works together - if I get a good poem I might photoshop the winning poem into the centre panel and post it on ArtSmelter.

Sometimes, I think this character could be me but I am not quite sure why. It could be the hair style or harlequin shirt or even the shadow.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

SHOWCASE REVIEW: Joe Daws and Dan Brock

Today, I drove down to Brisbane to check out a few art shows and check out an art supply shop. Arriving on Montague street was hectic due to the West End markets, but I eventually made my way to the Art Shed - and left without spending a thing - typical me. Next, I walked down to West End and bumped into an old friend, Danny- a Muso come IT guy - and his daughter Franke, who are locals on the West End Scene. West End has become very busy and a bit more trendy than when I use to work there in the mid to late eighties. Next stop was the market, for a coffee and people watch - I sample a crowd and file it all away for later assessment, never wanting to be part of any group - I also ate an apple.

Next stop was the Big Momma's - GOMA and QAG - Brisbane's State Galleries. I meant to see the Picasso show but just couldn't part with my money again. Instead, I checked out the Sidney Nolan and Gordon Bennett surveys. Nolan's works were surprisingly good, and I thought they were some of the best works I had ever seen in the QAG. Gordon Bennett's work in the GOMA was also great - complex, political, personal, with much detail and some great technique - very jealous!

I made a quick stop in at Jan Manton's gallery and had a chat to Jan about Daniel Mafe's work - there was a couple of good works. Then I made my way to the Dell gallery at the Queensland College of Art and checked out Ian Burns work which I really liked - and will try to review when I get time - interestingly an old High School teacher (Ross Woodrow) of mine wrote his catalogue notes.

Lastly, at 5pm I went to the opening of a joint show by Joe Daws and Dan Brock. This was at the Art Factory Gallery on Merivale St - not a bad little gallery. All the works on display are paintings and most have some relationship to the Glasshouse Mountains.

I managed to take a few photos - click on a photo for a larger view.

Joe's paintings were all, oil on canvas, mostly depicting sky, mountains and trees. In a few of the works I can see an  influence or reference to Cezanne's work. To me the works evoke an emotion, derived from a spiritual connection to nature. The works are actually quite loose and free, with many brush strokes building up various textures and some layers to create approximate samplings of the real thing. The colour schemes are also effective and help convey the light conditions and atmosphere . Joe's work at times, seems to show a poetic interplay between light and the fringes of matter - trees and land. His works at a distance are quite realistic but the closer you get to them the more impressionistic they become - he is quite a keen observer of the landscape and latter day impressionist. Joe's website can be found here.

Here is one I sampled from his website -

Dan Brock's works were done in acrylic and ink on canvas or ply. The ply works were like floating panels as the support timbers were set in a few inches away from the edge, so that all one could see was the thin edge of the ply. Quite a few of the works were multi-panelled - either diptychs or triptychs. Dan's work also focused on mountains, trees and sky - but in a completely different style and manner to Joe's. Many of Dan's paintings had various levels or planes - a forward plane normally of branches and flowers, a middle area reminiscent of mountains or buildings and then a stark, crisp sky as a backdrop. Occasionally the work had an overlay of ink drawn in a stencilled style. One work had a band across the middle of the work that blotted out the delicately drawn foliage behind. This creates a barrier that suggests an event and confronts the viewer, who in turn has to reconcile this back into the work - the myriad of 'Sigmar Polke' like dots aids in this visual process. Here is the painting, which I raided from his blog -

Many of Dan's works like Joe's, speak of beauty but Dan's beauty in some way seems to be cast against an urban mindset - it's as if the harsh silhouetted, stencil type images are giving way to an emerging beauty, particularly as depicted in the blossoming, Japanese like branches and flowers. Dan's Website/Blog can be found here.

As a postscript, Joe recommends I go back and see the Picasso show - and I probably will.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Thursday, 3 July 2008

The Bride

This is an example of what digital can instantly offer that is really not available any other way, in this case it's an analogue source with digital enhancement. it's not the work involved that matters it is purely down to the result from the choice, which after all is what art is; personal choices which convey personal perceptions. If you move back from your screen this image is different than when you're close to it.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Creep Baby

One thing that makes me feel like a dinosaur, is the proliferation of digital art. As an artist who primarily works with paint and pencil, I feel that I am caught between generations. I have over the last twenty years dabbled with digital media, but something in my formative years locks me into analogue. I can play with digital media - whether that be images, sounds, video or animation but somehow I feel inhibited by a subsystem of analogue processing.

The above mash up of images is not by me but my daughter: who has never known a world without computers. We have had a computer in the house her whole life and so the internet is like running water from a tap.

Is time and money the root of freedom in digital art or is immersion and conceptualisation the door to perception? Is a print from a bubble jet as authentic and valid as a print from an etcher's plate. Does the analogue inform all digital art work or can someone be purely a homologous digital artist?

Monday, 30 June 2008

peddling paintings

doggedly determinedly dragging
bludgeoned bashed brainwaves
peddling paintings
over old opuses
failed forgotten flames
appear antiquatedly
merge move migrate
shiny steel stained
chiseled chipped chopped

Friday, 20 June 2008

Earth Paint

This is about the only surviving art work from 1981 of a series of abstract paintings based on observations of a creek bed. Originally a piece of paper with a square hole cut out was placed under water in a shallow creek, pinned down by a few rocks. The textures and squiggles in the window were drawn down rapidly and then transferred to larger works. A few of the crumbly rocks were used from the area by crushing and mixing them with the paint. Most of the works were drawn on a heavy brown paper - which was a great surface to work on. This smaller work was a derivative of the larger more stylised works. Part of the drawing was cut up into shapes which were then repositioned back onto the work as contra-pattern floating shapes. Unfortunately the larger works were destroyed because of an annoying fold mark - something I have regretted ever since - but the experience still lives on in various subsequent works and processes.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Friday, 6 June 2008

what's up?

Chop that wood, carry water, what's the sound of one hand clapping?

Enlightenment? Don't know what it is.

You can change it baby you can rearrange it

Enlightenment? Don't know what it is.

Every things an illusion, nothing is real.

van the man.

Don't believe in uzzie, went off in my hand,

I , I believe in love. u2

regards from Snorkel

been in a rough patch lately, clear water ahead i hope.

see attached, pics

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Planet Caravan live in Castlemaine may 2008


Last Saturday evening 24th May 2008 in Castlemaine ICU 'Planet Caravan' performed, this is part of that performance recorded.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Implexa track


here is track 10 from Implexa, I will get some more recent track into MP3 form.Quantcast

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Beware the Framers!

This is a pencil and acrylic work on paper, of a few trees up at Mary Cairnscross Park at Maleny. If I remember correctly, this was taken from a small drawing I drew in pencil and an old tea bag on paper while having lunch with Roger (Roj) and Wendy. It was just after we moved to Beerwah and possibly just before they moved to Perth - but my memory could be a bit skew-wiff.

For the last 16 years or so it's been sitting in a frame: I pinched the frame for another work that was going in my 'as' show. It was the first Glasshouse Mountains area drawing that I framed. Unfortunately the framers at Caloundra used poor framing techniques and glued the whole picture to the backing board - very annoying. At least I can photograph it properly now without fighting with glare from the glass.

I had another work damaged in a similar way by a Brisbane framer - he used a backing board that seemed to be covered in a self-adhesive sheet. The main work is stuck down on this slowly deteriorating board and is impossible to remove. The problem is you don't find out until years later when you go to change frames or service the work. These days I ask as many questions of the framers as possible and if I get a weird response I look elsewhere. Fortunately, I now know two good framers who are honest, reliable and do a good job.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Great thinkers

"When I was a Child I was in love with a girl of my own age who was slightly cross eyed; consequently whenever I looked at her unfocused eyes the impression of that vision of her on my brain was so linked to what aroused the passion of love that, for long afterwards whenever I saw cross-eyed people I felt more inclined to love them than others."

Rene Descartes
All Artwork Copyright by the Artists represented on this Blog. 2010