Art is the way I deal with life. The last couple of weeks have been both traumatic and miraculous, painful and wonderful. Painting this has been part of me processing all that has happened. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28
This is quite divergent from my normal art. I was painting a commission at the time of this and needed an expressive outlet, while feeling so constrained by an unusual request. I was influenced by my acrylic splatter paintings, but this is much freer and more abstract.
I love my garden, what beautiful ever changing inspiration it brings me, especially at the moment as I spend more time at home, I am noticing more and enjoying more. Years and years a go these beautiful cymbidium orchids were passed to me from my friend and relative Trang. They were overflowing and abundant. There were so many that I was able to pass on some also and since then they have provided me with so much pleasure. It is interesting how these majestic plants largely survive on neglect. Feed them too much, water them too much, give them too much light and they won’t flower. They love my vertical gardens where they get light but not too much and rain water but not too much. These have been the gift that keeps on giving.
76 x 76cm Acrylic on stretched canvas, with Tasmanian oak frame.
During this period of isolation there have been some lovely moments. My favourite thing, has been walking with my family. Each day, rain or shine, we have gone walking or cycling and I have loved it (accept the cycling, I am the lady almost falling off regularly).
During these times the kids have discovered the joy in photography, so while we walk we take interesting pictures along the way. It has brought a new observance of my surroundings that I didn’t have before. Right up the road we discovered these beautiful flowering gums. They were so breathtaking in their complexity and beauty. While it is difficult to capture what true beauty the possess it was fun (and time consuming) to try.
Recently a very kind local stranger offered proteas to people locally for free. They left them outside (properly social distancing) for people to pick them up. My wonderful husband went and got some for me to paint. I love that in these more challenging times kindness, beauty and joy can also flourish. Thank you kind local 🙂 it provided me with such joy and inspiration. Protea 76 x 76cm Acrylic on linen canvas
Hope… a fresh start, a new beginning, spring to come…lessons to be learnt, patience to be developed, perseverance, resilience, family, connection, change… This painting is in a series of what I call “Abstractish”. It is my sweet relied from the confines of commissioned work and trying to please. I literally will through paint on a canvas (this one with my youngest son) and then bring out the beauty that comes from it. The joy that I feel doing these paintings is immense and is immense. I have recently added this Lorikeet, from a photo taken of this gorgeous and brazen lorikeet that my eldest son and I discovered when out for a walk. We came within a metre of it, but it was determined to stay and gets in nectar feed.
This painting comes with a floating frame (made by me) in white painted Tasmanian oak.
Apologies for the extreme colours, but this is how I am dealing with all that is happening. Hope… a fresh start, a new beginning, spring to come…lessons to be learnt, patience to be developed, perseverance, resilience, family, connection, change…
I painted this painting while sobbing. I wasn’t feeling the best, hadn’t slept, was aching for my son and I knew I needed to paint. I went to the backyard with a box full of paints that I had grabbed and started to throw them on the canvas. As I cried, I cried out to God. It has been a painful time as I have continued to paint this, and to continue to cry out to God for wisdom. I was reminded of the bible verse 1 King 19:11-13, where God asked Elijah to stand on a mountain where He would pass by and there was a great wind, which tore everything apart and God was not in that, and a great earthquake and God was not in that, and a great fire, but he was in none of these. Then came a gentle whisper… God has come to me in a gentle whisper: I just need to wait on Him, trusting Him in all circumstances and He will provide what I need and what my kids need.
I was terrified to share this painting because it is me, in paint. It was pure joy to paint this piece. This is one of a series of splatter art works, abstractish pieces that I have done, where I start by literally throwing paint on a canvas, and then I make something from it. It also has a lot more to it than some may see. It is kind of like a parable, it will only really make sense to the one who attends to it closely and the more they pay attention the more they will discover. It has hidden things amongst it.
While I enjoyed a previous painting I had done, I decided to take drastic action and paint over it. I needed to let loose so threw paint on this canvas time and time again (good therapy actually) until I saw this field of flowers begin to emerge. I have included in the pictures below a quick cartoon that explains the painting much better than my words possibly could.
When I painted this I was desperate for stress relief and to throw some paint on a canvas. As I was doing this, I was thinking about my boys and the obstacles they faced in life. They both have things that make them different than others and at times this has made life difficult for them. This painting evolved into a statement to them: that what makes them different also makes them interesting. This painting is all the better for that one flower that sticks out. Hopefully, when people see this artwork and they also realise that what makes us different makes us and life all the more interesting.
122 x 122cm Acrylic painting on stretched canvas, ready to hang