It has been heartbreaking to watch the bushfires wreaking havoc day after day, week after week, month after month. We watch the news from the safety of our living room in New Zealand, more than two thousand kilometres away, and feel completely helpless. I have family over there. My mother grew up in that beautiful countryside. We spent many Christmases in Victoria when I was young…
How do you paint when the world is on fire? What do you paint? Why even bother? And then I found my answer in a Maxine Hong Kingston quote:
“In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, a community, a school, a vow, a moral principle; one peaceful moment.”
This little Superb Fairy-wren is the first of a series of small canvas paintings I’m creating to raise money for people and wildlife who have lost their homes as a result of the devastating fires in Australia. I will be donating 50% of the sale of these artworks to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund https://www.gerf.org.au and Wildlife Victoria https://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au.🇦🇺
“the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognised as your own”
“It’s only impossible if you stop to think about it.” Pirate Captain.
‘City Lights’ is my second black canvas diptych inspired by Melbourne at night. The photograph (below) that inspired the painting was taken somewhere near Lygon Street. The photo of the painting (above) doesn’t really do it justice. As much as I love painting these black canvases, I’m finding them almost impossible to photograph properly.
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso
‘Chinatown’ (Melbourne) is my first ever painting on black canvas. I bought four little 4″ x 12″ canvases more than a year ago but I haven’t had the confidence to paint on them. Until now. I have no idea what flipped the switch that suddenly made it the right time but I’m so glad I did. Picking up a few tips from tutorials posted online definitely helped and it turns out that I absolutely love love love ❤❤❤ painting on black canvas.
There is a second black canvas diptych waiting in the wings, another Melbourne night cityscape. I have also bought some black gesso so that I can make my own black canvases and continue exploring this new way of painting. Happy days.
“Drawing makes you look at the world more closely. It helps you to see what you’re looking at more clearly. Did you know that?”
I said nothing.
“What colour’s a blackbird?” she said.