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 one, for whatever reason, has beens such a struggle for me. I have painted over it so many times. I think I have been trying to paint something that would sell, or paint something that others would like…whenever I do this I always fail, good never really comes from trying to please others, forsaking who you are. Ben Quilty recently posted a video where he said the beginnings of art should be hidden, you should never show anyone else, as you may be influenced by their positivity or negativity towards your work, forsaking what it would have been had you not heard their comments. What brilliant advice. I wonder how often the choices I make in my life, generally, are subtly influenced but the positive and negative feedback, I get from those around me. I wonder how much more at peace I would be if I was able to contain myself, until my form was strong enough to withstand the judgement of the world around me….
Acrylic on Linen Canvas, framed in white Tasmanian oak frame. 76 x 76cm (79 x 79 frame)
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.
My wondrous weeds of joy! We don’t get to choose what life throws at us, most of the time, but we can choose how we see it. This is another one that definitely looks better in real life, check it out up close.
91.5 x 91.5 cm Acrylic on stretched canvas, ready to hang
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
I love throwing paint on the canvas and seeing what happens and what I see in amongst the mess. I then paint out what I see. It is a fun process and forces me to think creatively. This painting is on unstretched canvas so will require a frame 21 x 29.7 cm
I love doing splatter paintings, where I just create by throwing and pressing and then let it dry and see what the painting wants to be. At the time of doing this my son (I would read some with him) was reading Anh Doh’s , “The Happiest Refugee”: I was really taken by this book and the hope it was filled with. Anh and his family left Vietnam under terrible and trying circumstances, but they made a great life here and our country is better off for having him here. When I painted my splatter painting, all I could see was these refugees, or this journey, from pain and difficulty towards hope. 101.6 x 101.6 cm