These works explore emerging science on how light, colour and place affect our brains beyond regular colour vision through non image forming pathways. Spending time in ‘blue space’ is proven to improve creative decision making and change our brainwaves significantly.
The Blue Space Series explores the different ways light and colour expose the essence of a place. What experience, memory, mood and time reveal about a well-known location and in turn how being in a place changes you.
Images are built out of simple elements, focusing on creating a rhythmic dynamic between colour intensity and retreating or advancing hues.
In my work I explore the different ways light changes colour and reveals form. The natural world offers endless variation and becomes the concrete subject of my paintings, although usually a specific memory provides the impulse to paint. This in turn keys into the audience’s own memories and history. A viewer’s response to my realistic oil paintings is often “I remember when…” and what follows is usually a very specific memory of their childhood.
What I wish to elicit through the Transposition series is a more general emotional response, less keyed into an individual memory, and more a feeling engendered by colour and light. As music can be transposed from classical to jazz, or from one instrument to another, so I have transposed my realistic paintings into abstractions. By simplifying shapes I reduce the work’s reliance on form and increase the emphasis on light and colour.
As I developed this process I realized there are six degrees of separation from the original subject. First, the object, of which I take series of photographs, my realistic oil painting, a photograph of the painting, followed by my computer manipulation of the photograph and finally an abstraction of that manipulation rendered as a painting.
Although acrylics are often used precisely for their opaque abilities, careful choice of pigment and planning of the layers allows the light to filter through the multiple slices of thinly applied colour. The additional tension between opacity and transparency adds another dynamic stratum to the painting.
This work is not based on cubism, the shapes I choose do not describe the planes of an object. Rather they explore slices of light and hue within an object. The abstraction that results from this process is more a by-product than the intended outcome. The intention is not to dispense with a recognisable subject matter but to create works more focused on light and colour, which still bear a relationship to the original object.
Transpositions are an exploration and investigation into colour and light.
Blue Space - Advancing Wave : Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80cm
Blue Space - Redounding Wave : Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80cm
Transposition 3 - Chardonnay : Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80cm
Transposition 2 - Savignon Blanc : Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80cm
Transposition 13 - Carignan : Acrylic on wood, 50 x 70cm Framed size 67 x 87cm, black
Transposition 8 - Tempranillo, Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 60cm
Fire - After Pollock : Mixed media on paper, 105 x 95cm Shadow box framed in black.
Linen - After Pollock, Mixed media on canvas 40 x 30cm, Framed white
Before the wine
The 'Before the Wine' series started by following the life of a vine from bud burst through to final prune and evolved into a much wider exploration. The vines house a vibrant ecosystem and soil, drought, rain, heat and cold affect the many varietals differently.
Man made twinnings of wire and structure are juxtaposed against last year's dried twists and lush new growth tendrils and always, for me, the light defines it all. The strongly textured branches are a foil for delicately blushed grapes.
Matero - with white snail : Oil on canvas, 76 x 61cm
Twinings : Oil on canvas, 20 x 60cm, Shadow boxed framed in black
Nature as inspiration is not a new concept to artists, but somehow it always feels new, fresh, with something urging you to create. To explore the tensions between light and shadow, lost and found edges, texture, glaze, memory and the emerging expression of it.
We speak of memory being ‘green’ and my memories of gardens and the songs I learned from my mother as a child are forever intertwined. So each of these paintings link to a word of inspiration and a song from my childhood. Even now as I walk through the many gardens I have been privileged to share, melodies spring to mind as each vista or detail emerges. “I see trees of green, red roses too … and I think to myself what a wonderful world.”
Hope - Apple blossom : Oil on canvas, 60 x 102cm
Enthusiasm - Peach blossom : Oil on canvas, 90 x 60cm
The Familial Fruit Series was created in homage to our family’s garden, to the fruits of our childhood, not often found in supermarkets. The cycle of preserving around the kitchen table when family history and songs were passed through the generations as the jam bubbled on.
A reminder of when we stepped from sizzling summer to dappled shade and, on tiptoe, plucked fruit warm from the sun. That first luscious bite with juice dripping down your chin, the memory of which can make your mouth water even now.
The changing light on these sumptuous shapes and delicious colours is a celebration of abundance and the simple joys in life.
In the midst of winter.. : Oil on canvas, 90 x 120cm
“In the midst of winter I discovered within myself an invinsible summer” Camus
Persimmon Autumn : Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 Shadow box framed, wood
Winter Quinces : Oil on canvas, 60 x 120cm, Shadow box framed, wood
Rockpool work in progress, Oil on wood panel, 40cm sq
Brand new series due for exhibition February 2019
Clovelly Rockpool 5, Oil on Belgian linen, 91 x 91cm
Coogee Rockpool 1, Oil on Belgian linen, 91 x 91cm
Transpositions 25, The Cavern NZ
Throughout the ages people have defined culture through food, using it in celebration, restricting it to create demarcation lines between religions, changing harvests marking the seasons. Food remains the common basic necessity, the universal language. But as plastic wrapped supermarket goods become the norm and out of season fruit from other parts of the globe are ever more readily available we lose connection with nature and the time it takes to nurture the food we eat. As a child said to me this summer, “If you want to make some jam, first you have to plant the tree.”
In this ongoing series, balancing on improbable objects, fruit becomes more than just something to eat or waste. A symbol, re-evaluated, iconic, encouraging us to view nature as greater than only a human resource.
By taking the well-known genre of the still life and gently pushing it into a different plane, slightly unsettled point of view, the image separated from the background becomes ‘more’, object as Icon.
A Balanced Diet - Chilli : Oil on wood panel, 20 x 15cm, Framed 26 x 21cm black
A Balanced Diet - Pear : Oil on linen 60 x 60cm
A Balanced Diet - JuJube : Oil on wooden panel, 20 x 15, Framed 26 x 21cm black
Plum with French Ribbon Lace : OIl & wax on wood panel, 40 x 40cm, Framed antique wood and plaster, 50 x 50cm
As the season turn we see the promise inherent in spring’s bursting buds fulfilled by summer’s abundance and the changing traceries of autumn give way to the quiet intimacy of winter.
Enthusiasm : Oil on linen, 90 x 60cm
Beyond the Blues
We are blue, sing the blues, seek the blue bird of happiness & celebrate blue skies ahead. So what is Beyond Blue? A very personal exploration.
Beyond the Blues 1 - Acknowledgement : Mixed media on canvas, 80 x 80cm