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Really weird the way one thing leads to another. Frustrated and annoyed at how bad my paintings of daffodils had turned out, I used up the acrylic paint in my palette on this little canvas board. The resulting colour mixes were stunning. Out of the mess I had created a fire opal. So I scrawled the title, Coober Pedy, on the back and then began a series of Australian memories from my 3 month back-packing in the late 90’s. It was a time of trauma – post divorce, I just took off alone and the isolation and joy of travelling began to heal my wounds. Now in a much happier place some 30 years, on the recollection of that trip is as sharp and powerful as ever.

This large view of Uluru, or Ayres Rock, as it was known then, followed the Opal image and I was back in the heat and red dust, with the clarity of that clear Cobalt sky. Almost without realising it I began a mental journey back to the sacred water-hole at the base of the Rock.

Then onward to the magnificent grandeur of Kings Canyon. Time-travelling in paint, I felt the sheer joy of sunshine on my skin and the elation of just being in the moment with no responsibilities except to stay alive. What a magical vehicle art can be.

And finally….at least for the moment…. a long view of the outback landscape with that blistering blue sky dominating. I love Australia and know I shall return again and again. Must have made at least 6 trips back already but it gets under your skin and calls you back.


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Can’t believe I haven’t blogged since January. Too much has happened since then to write about here. So am skipping the usual diary-type stuff. Suffice it to say…lots of exhibitions, submissions, painting, non-painting, blocked and unblocking has happened.

And now where am I? Taking stock I think. Made some good sales, had some disappointing exhibitions. Now trying to analyse what works; what doesn’t; does it matter; what does matter?

*Painting matters
*painting from the heart matters
*moving forward matters
*being true to yourself matters
*dealing with difficulties
*NOT giving up
*Selling doesn’t matter.
But lets face it…its nice when it happens. And if it never happens you end up with a lot of canvases which need to be put somewhere or in my case painted over. I’m becoming much more critical. Gradually working out what it is, I want to say/achieve in my work. Just love David Hockney’s answer to that eternal question by the public,”how long did that take you?” Answer “78 years”.
So how would he answer the question “what do I want to achieve?” Every artist will have a different answer.This is mine ….
*Balance,
*Ambivalence,
*Emotional reaction from the viewer,
*A sense of BEING within the canvas.

So I began a totally fresh painting of daffodils. Trying to feel my way back to the criteria I had set for myself.

But these quick images which were supposed to suggest Spring, new life, exuberant colour did NOTHING for me.

A second attempt adding mixed media was equally awful. I had thought that sticking to a purple background – the opposite colour to yellow, would magically bring it to life. How wrong can you be!!! Far too predictable!!!

Frustrated, I wondered where to go next. Back to basics
Look, Draw,

Paint, Feel

Now I’m getting somewhere. Letting the paint take over. Feeling, using intuition within the mark making and colour.
Confidence partially restored. Now time to move forward again.


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