Much of the Natural World fascinates me, even mesmerises me.
Painting enhances my seeing and hence my experience. Because I seek to make reasonably convincing illusions of what is there before me (and perhaps additionally due to my strong background in photography), I search for a point of view point that entices me by its appearance and its content. The painting then may translate into an image worthy of that Place.
I find fascinating the act of making a two-dimensional illusion of an acutely three-dimensional place, aiming to make that illusion ‘come alive’ somehow. Doing the artwork is at least as stimulating for me as the finished work, if not more so.
Australian landscapes often for me represent tenacious endurance in the face of austerity such as drought. I also love heritage buildings, whose sometimes scarred or lonely facades so often seem to hold stories of their past. My paintings pay homage to these Places.
Flinders Ranges Series
I’ve returned many times to the vast and remote Flinders Ranges of South Australia to paint at the town of Melrose and at Buckaringa, owned and managed by Australian Wildlife Conservancy (www.australianwildlife.org), a registered not-for-profit organisation whose mission is the effective conservation of all Australian animals and their habitats. AWC manages 25 sanctuaries covering over five million hectares across Australia. My 13-24 March 2019 exhibition at the Australian Guild for Realist Artists (AGRA) in Camberwell, Victoria, has honoured the Timeless Beauty of the Buckaringa Conservancy.
Success of this exhibition hopefully augments Artistic Philanthropy as a revenue stream for the AWC.
Melrose, a tiny historic town of about 400 residents, is the southern ‘gateway’ to the Flinders Ranges. Melrose is home to the historic five-storey stone (former) Jacka’s Brewery, first seen by me in 2010 when it stood empty and deteriorating, within a complex of other heritage buildings. My partner Wendy Morris and I were quite smitten by this historic complex, and helped then owner, long-time farmer Diane Slee, to bring the then empty brewery building back to life. Jacka’s is now being revitalised by its new owners, the Hobbs Family, into a Visitors Centre, accommodation, and of course a brewery. Included here are paintings of Jacka’s Brewery, as well as images of the ancient mythic red gums nearby on the MacCallum Farm.
I am donating to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy half the sales of all paintings of Buckaringa or other AWC sites.