At times contemporary life feels chaotic, demanding, goal directed, sad, disorienting, threatening and even alienating. Issues, media, and responsibilities seem to shout for our attention. Incessant sounds and images crowd out stillness and contemplation. Efficiency, outcomes and utility are valued over beauty, love, peace and connection.
My landscape paintings offer you an alternative pace. As you look at them you are transported on a journey with no particular destination. You can apprehend beauty and affirm the resilience and transcendence of your spirit.
When I was a child in South Africa, my Grandmother taught me to see the natural world with the eyes of an artist. She showed me how to use my hands to make things of beauty. I understood then that to live my life fully, I would need to connect deeply with nature and respond to my impulse to create.
The natural world is a place of retreat for me - my place to be free, to commune, reflect and be reenergized. Nature’s processes teach me truths about life and the human condition.
I paint the sky because it is a boundless space, often beautiful, but not benign. The transience of light and form allow me to free-fall and to glide, to experience disorientation, peace, euphoria
I use a square format for many of my works – referencing modernism, abstraction and the processes of photography. Mostly I use photographs that I have taken as the source material. The original photo is cropped to create the desired composition and enhance the keynote of feeling in the image.
The works begin with strong colour grounds, usually reds, oranges or yellows. This unifies the image and creates colour contrast and a visual vibration that activates the transparent, or semi-transparent layers of paint.
The small works are painted quickly, often in one or two sittings. This technique of working wet on wet creates immediacy and truth in the mark making.
My paintings acknowledge the complexity of living in a world of paradoxes – of beauty and cruelty, of plenty and famine, of presence and absence. As you look at them you intuitively recognize that nature is not controllable and its beauty is ephemeral.
In October 2013 we faced the devastation and tragedy of the Blue Mountains fires. Together we witnessed the event unfolding with all its horror and implications. ‘Ritual Fire Dance, after De Falla’ speaks of destruction and the power of the fires, but also of hope and nature’s process of renewal.
Despite and even because of the craziness of the world we live in, I paint to create a connection with you and to inspire you to develop a connection with the natural world. Art enables you and me to know and cherish our shared humanity, to see the world with fresh eyes and to experience hope.