The 30 paintings in 30 day challenge was so exhausting that I'm only just getting around to publishing my notes. (Okay I did sneak in a wee trip to Japan there). Here are my notes ripped direct from my diary during the challenge. They're pretty candid, a little rough, and perhaps boring in parts... but there are some pretty pictures! As you'll see, a strong food theme emerged...
I have been enjoying the subtle animated gifs showing up on social media lately, and thought I'd try my hand at animating paintings... just a little, and just enough to enhance the intended 'vibe' of the piece. I hope you enjoy this wee version of Maple Over Rock :) (It's a bit clunky, but like with all gifs, it's the thought that counts ;) )
P.S. Limited Edition Prints of 'Maple Over Rock' are now available in the shop!
How's everyone going? These blog updates have thus far been few and far between, and it's something I plan to rectify... soooo if there's anything in particular you'd like to hear about from me, feel free to drop a comment in the Disqus section below (for those reading this via email, just click a link to view the blog on the net... or simply reply to this email).
Without further ado, I give you 'Blossom Bonsai' where the Japan trip's inspiration is starting to seep into my thinking and making. (While we're here, I recommend visiting Omiya bonsai village a northern day trip from Tokyo. There you'll find the most beautiful trees you're ever likely to see.)
It’s hard to gauge from this photograph, but at 130cm x 120cm, this a LARGE bonsai, which I know… is a totally oxymoronic statement. How is it not simply a tree, you ask?
In the Zen art of Bonsai, by making tiny trees, or I should say, assisting to keep trees tiny, our perception of scale is tickled. It’s the same feeling you get when viewing sculptures like giant tubes of toothpaste by Claes Oldenburg, or the eerily life-like creations of Ron Mueck who works in both the giant and the pint-size. The newborn baby should not be the size of a swimming pool, and that middle-age spooning couple shouldn’t fit within the palm of my hand. It confuses us, but tickles us too.
A LARGE bonsai adds another layer to that skewed scale perception, and in so doing, highlights what it is that makes a tree a bonsai. It’s not merely about size, it’s about the character of age, its shape and balance, its root structure, thick tapered trunk and gnarled branches. These are the attributes a bonsai master is careful to maintain, and ditto when I create my bonsai works.
Although executed through very modern painting techniques, these bonsai are “grown” and “guided” in much the same way as a traditional bonsai tree. (Thankfully for me, in slightly less time.) When working with paint-pours, I surrender to Nature (gravity, paint viscosity, surface tension, etc.). I can do little but guide Nature to create what could be used to represent a trunk, age spots, or a gnarled branch.
It is in the surrendering to Nature, that allows for the mimicry of Nature… and that’s all pretty bloody Zen. ;)
Yep, it's that time! I have to let you all know about my upcoming show... it's called Plasmo!
Here are the deets:
Where: GallerySmith (project space), 170 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne, VIC 3051, Australia
When: Opening drinks Saturday 28 February @ 2pm-4pm. Actual show runs from February 26 to March 7.
Here is a sneak preview:
Talking shop: Works will be available for purchase. Geographically challenged buyers are welcome to purchase through the gallery. I will post a link to the full catalogue here once it becomes available.
Thanks everyone, for all the amazing and ongoing support. :)