The Art of Riding on the Wind No. 5 – Rainbow Bee-Eater

The Art of Riding on the Wind No. 6 Rainbow Bee Eater a 

The Art of Riding on the Wind – No. 4 – Rainbow Bee-Eater, oil on composite aluminium panel, 40×40 cms

Rainbow Bee-eaters are one of the most delightful little birds that live in our locality. It takes very special flying skills to make a living out of catching insects on the wing.

The Art of Riding on the Wind – No. 3 – Silver Gull

The Art of Riding on the Wind - No. 4, Silver Gull oil on composite aluminium panel 40x40cms
The Art of Riding on the Wind – No. 4, Silver Gull
oil on composite aluminium panel
40x40cms

Another of this series of birds in flight. These are my sky panels re-purposed. I think the sky is equally as important as the birds, since the series is about the many facets of the art of riding on the wind.

The Art of Riding on the Wind – No. 2 – Australian Magpie

The Art of Riding on the Wind No. 7 Australian Magpie a

The Art of Riding on the Wind – No. 2 – Australian Magpie
Oils and acrylic on composite aluminium panel
40 x 40 cms

This is the second of my Riding on the Wind series, featuring one of the dependents of this household, the Australian Magpie. Birds all seem to have their own style when it comes to flying. The Magpie’s is determined, efficient, but not flashy.

The work is done on composite aluminium sheet. The sky has firstly been painted on using airbrushed acrylic, followed by oil paint, and then the bird has been added in oils.

The Art of Riding the Wind

‘Riding the wind’ is a Zen expression connoting the experience of samahdi, or ‘getting it’ which can come after many years of meditation, or suddenly, as when the Zen master gives his student a sharp blow to the ear. Either way, it is a difficult thing for people to achieve. Birds, on the other hand, naturally ride the wind. They are seamlessly part of the universe. This painting is one of a series based on sky panels I had made previously. I am interested in the many different expressions of the art of riding the wind shown by various species of birds.

The Art of Riding the Wind, No. 1.  40x40cms, oil on aluminium composite panel.
The Art of Riding the Wind, No. 1. 40x40cms, oil on aluminium composite panel.

Sea of Dreams

Sea of Dreams, oil on canvas, 91x91 cms
Sea of Dreams, oil on canvas, 91×91 cms

This is a bit of a multi-purpose work, exploring two subjects that are deeply fascinating to me – the sky and the sea. I was trying to capture an unusual pearly light that you sometimes see at dawn, and I think I’ve got at least part of the way there. I’ve called the painting ‘Sea of Dreams’ because it looks a bit surreal to me.

Cloudy Thoughts – D’Entrecasteaux

Cloudy Thoughts - D'Entrecasteaux, mixed media on paper, 61x81 cms
Cloudy Thoughts – D’Entrecasteaux, mixed media on paper, 61×81 cms

My main interest here is in the sea and the sky; in the way these elements dominate the landscape and make humankind’s efforts at control look insubstantial. The sky, on this rainy day, set a sombre tone that was reflected in the waters of the Channel. The scene evoked thoughts about the transience and insignificance of my life compared to the sublime power of the natural world, and the verses from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam included in the work give expression to these thoughts. It’s probably not possible to read the verses from this image, so here they are:

XXIX

Into this Universe and Why not Knowing
nor whence, like water willy-nilly flowing;
and out of it, as wind along the Waste,
I know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing.

XLVII
When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As the Sea’s self should heed a pebble-cast.

LXXII
And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop’d we live and die,
Lift not your hands to It for help–for It
As impotently moves as you or I.

A number of different processes and materials were used in this work. Silver leaf was laid down over some areas of the sky and a verdigris preparation was used as underpainting on the land and areas of the sea. The scene was then painted in acrylic paint. Some collage elements are included in the sky and for the text. The work was then coated in encaustic medium to give depth to the colours and to enhance the surface texture of the work. Details of the sea were added with oil paint and stylized cloud shapes were stenciled into some areas of the sky with the intent of contradicting a straightforward naturalistic reading of the work.

Summer Storms

Summer storms

Summer storms have come
scattering the last blossoms
of golden wattle.

3 Panels – 92 x 45 cms each – oil on canvas.

This painting is part of my series titled Looked for beyond Seeing: Portrait of a Rainforest Stream which I’ll be working on throughout this year to complete my Fine Arts degree. What really interests me here are the simultaneous impressions of the water’s surface, the reflection of the sky and the creek bed beneath. Some of my other work has taken a more abstract approach, but for this one I have kept it quite realistic, just strengthening the underlying abstract composition and the naturally occuring patterns.

Silent Waters – paintings 59-61 of 100 for 2013

Silent Waters triptych 1, oil on canvas mounted on hardboard, 28x75cms
Silent Waters triptych 1, oil on canvas mounted on hardboard, 28x75cms
Silent Waters triptych 2 - oil on canvas mounted on hardboard, 28x75cms.
Silent Waters triptych 2 – oil on canvas mounted on hardboard, 28x75cms.
Silent Waters Triptych 3 - oil on canvas mounted on hardborad, 28x75 cms.
Silent Waters Triptych 3 – oil on canvas mounted on hardborad, 28×75 cms.
Silent Waters Triptych mounted.
Silent Waters Triptych mounted.

These are three paintings I developed from the small paintings I put up in the previous post.  They are all scenes from Mudgeeraba Creek, a few kilometres down the road, right up in the headwaters of it, where it is very shallow.  There is a fantastic quality of light there in the early morning, when the sun is lighting up the tops of the trees but the under-canopy is in shadow.  The colours of reflections this makes is amazing – like liquid gold and green satin.   The work is currently on display at Monet’s Art Garden Gallery, Metro Centre, Hollywell Road, Labrador.  The mosaic table-top in the foreground is also my work, if anyone is wondering.

What a beautiful place to live – 48-58

Storm Clearing Hinze Dam - oil on canvas board, 30x30 cms
Storm Clearing Hinze Dam – oil on canvas board, 30×30 cms
Calm Pool Mudgeeraba Creek, oil on canvas board, 30x30 cms
Calm Pool Mudgeeraba Creek, oil on canvas board, 30×30 cms
Antarctic Beech Tree, Springbrook, oil on canvas board, 30x30 cms
Antarctic Beech Tree, Springbrook, oil on canvas board, 30×30 cms
Mudgeeraba Creek, Spring Foliage, oil on canvas board, 30x30 cms
Mudgeeraba Creek, Spring Foliage, oil on canvas board, 30×30 cms
Top of the Falls, Springbrook, oil on canvas board, 30x30 cms.
Top of the Falls, Springbrook, oil on canvas board, 30×30 cms.
Dancing ghost gums, Springbrook, oil on canvas board, 30x 30 cms.
Dancing ghost gums, Springbrook, oil on canvas board, 30x 30 cms.
Clouds over the Tallai Hills, oil on canvas board, 30x30 cms
Clouds over the Tallai Hills, oil on canvas board, 30×30 cms
Poinciana in Bloom, oil on canvas board, 30x30 cms.
Poinciana in Bloom, oil on canvas board, 30×30 cms.
Coomera Falls, oil on canvas board, 30x30 cms.
Coomera Falls, oil on canvas board, 30×30 cms.
Into the Canopy, oil on canvas board, 30x30 cms
Into the Canopy, oil on canvas board, 30×30 cms
Forest reflections, Mudgeeraba Creek, oil on canvas board, 30x30
Forest reflections, Mudgeeraba Creek, oil on canvas board, 30×30

 

I recently had the task of painting twenty small sketches of “my place” for the Fine Arts painting unit I was then doing.  These are some of the paintings that resulted.  The exercise focused my thoughts on what I find so special in the place where I live.  Many of the paintings were of Mudgeeraba Creek, an unassuming little water-way that wends its way through sub-tropical rainforest, often very shallow, rippling over polished river stones.