05 November 2022

Pan Am, and the light of dusk DownUnder


Pan Am, Myocum, N.S.W. 21 October 2022, oil on plywood, 
140 X 100 cm

Two different paintings, both of which are part of a series entitled Pan Am that I began this past year. This one above, is from October 21st, it's a little smaller than the one below. Unfortunately, neither of them photographs well, I think mostly because they are too large to be seen in such a small window space here on social media. The one below, (pictured with the piano) reveals its true scale while below it, is a detail from it which reveals its colour harmony and a sense of the light in it, for the light, is the most important part of these things. 

That it sits above the piano is too, another side of these pictures, for these are also linked to music and I should say that for me, they are musical, but more about this another time.

I set out to make playful images, images which would only please me first and foremost. Sadly, I don't live in an oversized loft big enough to hang them on large white walls everywhere at once. But hey!...... It's certainly more satisfying to be someone who creates these things in a small space than one who lives in a large space collecting them for a glamorous home. But hey! Thank the muses for wealthy folks who collect art out of love or for other reasons.

Pan Am, Myocum N.S.W. 8 August 2022, oil on plywood, 240 X 120 cm

(detail from above) 

But anyway, this series makes me very happy because I am really obsessed with it, prolifically so, as I see so many images to make from it. It is fertile ground, and like a farmer around here in New South Wales might boast, "there's a whole lotta of good field to plant here".

I am working on several others, even larger ones in the studio (300 X 150 cm), which also please me. There is nothing quite like seeing a big project take form in one's imagination just when one feels big enough to tackle them with a confident optimism. I am too often prone to watching large and wild ideas form like giant clouds in my mind only to then see them dissipate for lack of will.

I think also that this special pleasure comes from the fact that I have struggled for twenty years in search of pathway into a 'Non-Objective Form' and have felt like I've failed so very much, over and over again in this quest. But now, I do see a glimmer of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, and I seem to have found a way into something, something of great value for me alone, and this strengthens my willpower. 

And to any success with this large project I am embarking upon, I owe all to the very small paintings made from the motif over the past five years. This was my pathway from the beach to the studio, and the mystery in this is rich with irony.

It's not easy to explain, but these little Evening Prayers have led me to a surprising crossroads where the images have teetered closer and closer to a 'Non-Objective' form of imagery. I won't say more abstract because they were abstract already at the beach.

Moreover, it's perhaps something that the author can see more easily than the viewers themselves. But nonetheless, the light of both the sea and the sky (at dusk) in these small studies were the catalyst which steered me to this new place back in the studio.

Is it really possible to render the light of both the twilight sea and sky into a 'Non-Objective' form, one quite removed from the actual feeling experienced both sensorially and empirically in front of the motif? To clarify, can one create something in the studio, far  away from the visual feeling originally felt at the beach? 
These two below (two, among too many, and done one year ago) seemed to reveal to me something yet to come, something on this pathway to a possible future.  

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 10 September 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 9 September 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

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