Musings by a Creek
While getting my car serviced I decided to paint. I took a walk in the light drizzle, past sheep hiding under bushes. Eventually I came to a small creek that runs behind the visitors centre in McLaren Vale. I set myself up opposite a large tree on the creek bank. Pedler creek runs mostly in the the winter months. As I sat there watching this little creek meander and gurgle, I noticed that there were no straight lines before me. Everything was meandering and finding ways to get on with each other. It reminded me of the traffic in Nepal, where there are no road rules. In the apparent chaos there is consideration for another being, be they human, cow or chicken.
As I stood on the bank, I noticed the way bark tumbled from the tree onto sloping bank, sunshine broke through clearing clouds and light skidded across shimmering leaves, while roots and debris slumped into the earth. It seemed like everything was meandering and finding its way as the whole scene was in motion.
Nature never stops. I love building pictures up in layers while letting my brush meander through the picture plane. It means I’m on a journey of discovery and responding as I go. In my meanders through a painting, the many small ideas and responses I have along the way result in a picture of an experience. You can’t plan a journey like that. The destination is discovered through many small steps. Each step, each brush mark, each colour is a step into the unknown. This is how I try to think through my paintings and my perceptions while approaching risk. I have a repertoire of painting experiences that has built up over many years. This gives me proficiency as a painter, but the situation is never the same. All the factors that converge to create a moment in time makes that moment alive and unique. As a painter, I try to stay close to this edge and love the challenge. What I paint may look representational. I like that word re-present. Through following my perceptions I re-present the world inside-out.
The above painting is titled ‘DOORWAY INTO LIGHT’ and is available on my website under Available.
The medium is acrylic on canvas 23cm x 30cm (9″ x 12″).
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