Painting. Process and Practice

Hello and welcome to my Painting page. Images of finished works are now mostly in the gallery section of this website and this page is currently mainly devoted to showing you the layers of process that go into my recent works, which are on large (2m x 2m, or bigger) unstretched canvas. The works can be bought as they are, but print reproductions are available on request. The full-colour publication that accompanied the exhibition "BraveHeart" is available for $15A including postage.

This was a sort of personal manifesto that I wrote a few years ago. Its still stands!:

"I am another 'new Australian' learning to 'be' in this beautiful and powerful land. I am another product of an ongoing and varying diaspora, but I am here because I could choose to be, not because I had to be. This ...nation, was founded on unwillingness. We tend to forget that boatloads of refugees of English & Irish extraction tried to LEAVE Australia, for Timor, China..ANYWHERE BUT HERE! There'a few cartoons in there somewhere! Anyway, I have some idea of what my genetic & cultural origins are, and I was fortunate to be born to Earth-loving, intelligent parents who embraced traditional ways.
Therefore it has been relatively easy for me to adapt to a notion of being at least, indigenous to planet Earth, and to treat her with the care and respect she deserves. I am learning to see and paint the land, sea and sky as it is. A wild ride of rough & ready, shy & delicate, outrageous colour, limitless space, loud stripes and subtle dots. Always changing but ancient almost beyond imagination. I have resisted building a brick veneer english country-garden movie set around myself and am better able to face the realities of life on this continent:

1. That it is Aboriginal land and I am grateful and privileged to live here in Ngarrindjeri/Ramindjeri country.

2. No matter how much I paid for what, I own no land. It owns me. Full stop.

3. We are here by the skin of our teeth. This may be the 'land of milk & honey' but water is short and we are polluting & wasting it still.

4. I must do what I can. My work is focused on land restoration, revegetation, public education, and creating art that focuses on the power, beauty, importance and nature of the environment, and our relationship with it and with each other. Spirit of place.

5. I may have solar power, solar hot water, rain water tanks; I may recycle, lobby, protest, ride a bike, eat organic local food and vote with my feet. But I live a relatively cosy hedonistic life and I well know it.

To all those currently living in circumstances of deprivation, pain & any form of oppression, I wish I could give you my full belly; my clear blue day of surfing with dolphins & seabirds; my freedom to walk down the street wearing, doing and saying pretty much exactly as I please. I wish you my day to day sense of relative emotional & physical security.


So the purpose for including and in fact documenting the process in the first place, was to honour all those phases in the creation of a work that were works in their own right. This way I could let go of my attachment to the image and keep moving into the creation of the work, while not losing that stage. This body of work is very much about layers of the journey, going into and into and yet further into something and then coming out again. Sometimes this was painful, sometimes blissfully exhilarating, and everything in between. I have only partially documented this process here because there are so many images. Anyway, I hope you find it interesting.

"Bit much for a white girl 1" Ochre and charcoal on canvas

"Bit much for a white girl 2" Ochre, charcoal & acrylic on canvas. SOLD

Finished work:

The working title of this piece was from a series called "Map of the Healing Heart", the name of a touring exhibition some years back. The finished work is now entitled "Braveheart 1"
The work is based on digital images of my blood profile.
The text around the perimeter is from the Irish writer Arthur Joyce Carey, ( I turned the "he" into "s/he" as much to offer myself up for the challenge as to be gender equitable!). It reads: " The truth is that life is hard and dangerous; that they who seek their own happiness do not find it; that s/he (sic) who is weak must suffer; that s/he who demands love, will be disappointed; that s/he who is greedy, will not be fed; that s/he who seeks peace will find strife; that truth is only for the brave; that joy is only for they who do not fear to be alone; that life is only for the one who is not afraid to die"

Finished work:

"Crying tree 3 (We all become the stars)"

Finished work:

"Crying tree 2 (Summer-Abundance)"

Finished work:

"Crying tree 1 (Winter-Resource anxiety)"

Finished work: