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.


  1. It looks like you posted this image in response to Elizabeth's posted drawing; the two images have a lot in common both rhythmically (whew) and compositionally. Elizabeth's has curves in it though - lots of half cooked letter forms and glyphs that make it look like a message swamped in static. Yours is more like the static without the message - either that or the message is buried much deeper; more of a non-anthropomorphic message like leaves and mud ( which I suppose it is...) Anyway, I remember you doing that thing with the creek. I did one of those also - still got it out in the shed; drawn with ink and reeds and clay stains. Must have been an art college thing. Perhaps, by now, they've worn a trail to the creek - 20 years of art students doing creek drawings like they never been done before... Ha ha, little do they know! We were there, we were first, dipping our paper in the creek and marveling at the current washing away the heavy black ink and leaving those delicate washes. Either that or the local shire has made the creek run through a concrete pipe so kids can't drown in it and art students can't damage it by tramping all over the shrubs and stuff.
    Point is though; there are a lot of similarities between these two images and I reckon that, knowingly nor not, you responded to the former by cracking out the latter.
    I think she's got the drop on you though with this one. Elizabeth's is far less accidental. Not that we're having a competition or nothin' - the hell we aren't! If this was a bike race you'd be well off the back here, she'll be sipping coffee before you've got you're helmet off.
    Cheers mate, love yer work.

  2. I may have responded subconsciously to Elisabeth's work, but I actually pulled this out when I was sorting drawings into different piles. I actually hadn't taken a photo of it before and decided it was time to lock it into chronology. Elisabeth's has more purpose or underlying thought, while mine is more of a random affair with final adjustments.

    There is something intrinsically enjoyable and free about being a student at art college, but if I did it today, I would approach the affair with a more aggressive and less timid approach - not arrogant but agitated.

    How's life in WA - I always regret not having the funds to visit - maybe one day.


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