“Life is great in the sunshine State”?
Do you remember the song, “Life is great in the sunshine state”? When I was casting about earlier this year (before Covid-19) for a new direction and theme for my paintings, I settled on the old 1959 Queensland Centennial Anthem written by Clyde Collins as a point of reflection. We are reminded everywhere as Queenslanders that life here is centred around the sun. As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us … “Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.”
And so … this new Show of mine represents a synthesis of both a whimsical and narrative interpretation of our unique Queensland lifestyle. Narrative art is art that tells a story as a sequence of events unfolding over time, a style of painting marked by openness of form, with shapes distinguished by variations of colour rather than by outline or contour. Whimsical art is a vibrant and playful style of art that is childlike and carefree. Here at the Gallery, you will find ladies and gents at the beach, sun baking or wading or observing …. or at the horse races … or dining out or gambling at the Casino.
When I draw, I mostly use a fine green bamboo stick as a pen and Indian Ink as the medium. The bamboo is an interesting tool. The bamboo does not have a reservoir and so all marks made on a surface are limited in length and this informs the image. The process is not forgiving so you are forced to make each mark count. The outcome is a sense of fluidity and spontaneity in a series of gestures that you do not get with graphite or paint (which can be more forgiving.)
When I paint, I use acrylic … the paint dries quickly, and the pigmentation today is excellent…. my paintings on canvas encompass both spontaneous marks and gestures characteristic of the bamboo stick and the impact of the colour laden brush …. and the final work becomes a sum of the parts. The meaning in each image changes with the density of the lines and the combination of colours. Colour has vitality… like life.