Paint what you see – show don’t tell

As a painter, the phrase ‘paint what you see, not what you think you see’ binds and cuffs my wrists until I ask ‘what do I think I see?’ As a writer the phrase ‘show don’t tell’ gags the creative  synapses until binary thought is shattered and realization dawns. Two simple phrases, both about presentation…

The question of stopping

  Each stage of this painting was photographed and at its first exhibition those photographs were also on display. Two questions were asked repeatedly, ‘why didn’t you stop then?’ & ‘why did you stop then?’ The answer being the same for both, ‘it’s hard to know when to stop, but when you’re on a deadline,…

Mentally Difficult

She was reported to be ‘mentally difficult’; a description that could apply to me in various times of my own life. But was she already mentally difficult or did this state of mind develop because they wouldn’t return her children? I first read the phrase ‘mentally difficult’ on my grandfather’s 1924 Victorian State Ward Card…

Abandoned original artwork

This gave me much more freedom than expected, having so many copies of my own art to work on I found myself taking risks because I wasn’t worried about losing the original drawing. Artwork exercise: The study of a face – I drew the original picture of my grandfather in pencil and charcoal from an…

Blue Chocolate – are we done yet?

  Is this finished?  I’ve hung it up to dry, but every time I walk past I get the urge to tinker some more. It’s hard to stop fiddling, which is possibly habit over intuition – if I have some paint left over from something else, I find myself wondering, ‘will this go with Blue…

Blue Chocolate – a work in progress

Oil on canvas, a commissioned painting near completion . It’s taken 6 months to build up the energy to begin, and now it’s just plain fun. Hard to know when to stop or to trust the fun factor to back down at the right moment in order for me to see the finish line. Palette:…

Forgotten Australians – a biography

We left him to rest, or so we thought. In the hospital lobby I realized my youngest was missing and upon retracing our steps to my grandfather’s room we spied a memorable picture; an 89 year old man chatting to his 5 year old great-grandson. Noticing me at the door, Charlie quickly whispered in his…

First Kendreart

This is the painting that pointed me in a true direction, an actual style that was my own. Before this painting, I was just copying other people and felt deeply, that ‘I had no style’. A teacher at Glasgow University showed the class the work of an American artist, Chuck Close. I was immediately drawn…

Hello world!

With a desire to share my work and hide it at the same time, I’m coming to you with trepidation. And I found help in the strangest place: this blog has begun itself using me as a conduit. I’m a writer and artist. I like to see how things are created, built and broken down….