Worry is a misuse of the imagination

“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.” Dan Zadra

Painting this little canvas was a joy. I had some paint left over from a project and didn’t want it to go to waste. I’m so happy with the colours that I’m thinking of painting a much larger version. No varnish for this one. I don’t want to change a thing.

Patina – acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 mm, 2017. Available.

We have to start again

The Heart of a Rose – acrylic on canvas, 400 x 400 mm, 2017. Available.

“Everything’s already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.” André Gide

This bold red rose is freshly varnished and now available on Etsy. I borrowed the rose shape from my 2014 painting Gold Medal but instead of a golden yellow, I’ve painted it red and turquoise. It’s one of my favourite colour combinations — I don’t know why I don’t use it in my art more often.

In other news, I had a successful art show over the weekend with ‘Any Road Will Take You There’ finding a new home. I went along on Friday night and was impressed with the wonderful variety of work on display.

I’m now working on a small landscape using the same turquoise as ‘The Heart of a Rose’ …but more on that later in the week.

The Christchurch Art Show 2017

Another year has flown by and it’s time once again for the Christchurch Art Show. I’ve downsized my commitment this year and will only be exhibiting three paintings. I’ve chosen work that I think will benefit most from being seen ‘in person’ so to speak: Any Road Will Take You There, Tasman Bay, and Curves Ahead.

The Christchurch Art Show
Opening Night: Thursday 15th June
*** Show Days 16th–18th June ***
Wigram Air Force Museum, Christchurch, NZ

Any Road Will Take You There (sold)

Tasman Bay

Curves Ahead

Everything you can imagine is real

An Answer to Prayer, detail – mixed media on canvas

“Everything you can imagine is real.” Pablo Picasso

‘An Answer to Prayer’ is my latest painting: an abstract initially inspired by, of all things, fridge poetry.* But the words were just the starting point. This painting has taken me on quite a journey. I’ve ventured way outside my comfort zone. Way, way outside. I have painted abstracts before but this was an entirely different experience and I’ve ended up with something that doesn’t look like anything I’ve painted before. I guess that’s to be expected when you’re experimenting. I would call it an imagined landscape rather than an imaginary one. It’s surreal and personal and creating it has made me see Picasso’s words in a new light.

*Fridge poetry is made from magnetic word sets that can be arranged and rearranged on a fridge door, providing endless hours of fun and amusement. I posted photographs of some of my favourites on Facebook a few years ago. This painting was inspired by one of those poems and was transferred to the canvas using the same technique as ‘Time’.

An Answer to Prayer – mixed media on canvas, 305 x 610 mm, 2017. Available.

An Answer to Prayer, another view

Experiment time

Time, detail – mixed media on canvas, 200 x 200 mm, 2017. Available.

Time has its own unique sound.
I’ve heard the talking hours.

I have been experimenting with transferring printed poetry on to canvas. I printed the poem on paper using a standard inkjet printer and transferred it to the canvas using acrylic gel medium. It’s a technique that works surprisingly well. Once dry, the paper is removed by dampening it with water and rubbing it off very carefully. This is the tricky part because there is always a danger of removing the printed image along with the paper. I then painted around the words to create a sort of arty version of the original blackout poem.

I added touches of yellow ochre and some light blue and gave it a slightly mad but subtle texture. It’s still mostly black though. In fact it’s so black that I had to take the canvas outside to get a decent photograph. I think the leafy autumn backdrop rather suits the poem (below).

My next experiment is going to be a ‘fridge poetry’ painting. And whatever image that sentence just conjured up for you… it’s not going to look anything like that.

Time – mixed media on canvas, 200 x 200 mm, 2017. Available.

Time – side view