Friday, October 17, 2014


Birth Of Light Oil on linen 122 x 153 cm 2014
I've been painting!
And reading...three books at once. One is Wonders Of The Universe by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen. It's the book based on the BBC series of the same name which is hosted by Brian Cox. The first chapter is called Messengers and light, visible and not visible [eg: Cosmic Microwave Background CMB] is the main topic. Light, which exhibits a wave/particle [photon] duality, brings us information from and about the early stages of the Universe our 13.7 billion year old environment.
It is amazing to realise that visible light emanating from stars, and other entities in space, is old by the time it reaches us. We are seeing the past in our present because light takes time to reach us. As Cox and Cohen write about human awareness through sight, even when we look at ourselves in a mirror, Without realising it, we are all travelling back in time by the most minuscule amount. The consequence of light travelling fast, but not infinitely fast, is the you see everything as it was in the past. The text goes onto say However, the further we are away from an object, the greater the delay becomes.[1] For example light from the our sun takes 8.3 minutes to reach us and from Neptune it takes 4 hours. With the help of Earth-based telescopes and observational spacecraft we augment our ability to see back into time. For example for just over 20 years the Hubble Space Telescope, in orbit 600 km from Earth, has brought us images of deep space that have changed our Universal perspectives.
For the naked eye, without help from technology, the night sky is a 'jewel box' of sparkles and luscious bling. I find it intriguing to think about those who lived 100s and 1000s of years ago, who without technology, made valuable and interesting observations of the night sky. For instance, Australian Aboriginal astronomy has provided interesting perspectives for modern scientists. An article called The First Astronomers by Andi Horvath, in The Age newspaper, briefly describes some of the sophisticated observations made by Aboriginal people. You can do some more research yourself, as there is plenty available.
The night sky provides a black canvas for visible light to 'paint' Universal history upon. Every night the 'painting' subtly changes. Daylight saturates us with warmth, illumination and energy, but as night arrives it's like turning a page in the story of time. It's also fascinating to think that light, in all its visible and invisible permutations, itself has a history. Whilst photons appeared in the first three minutes of the Universe, it took along time for visible light to emit. This happened about 300,000 - 5000,000 million years later when stars and galaxies started to form. You will need to read a book like The Wonders Of The Universe to get more detail on this incredible history. I recommend it.
Light as a metaphor, for knowledge, pathways, spirit, guidance and more, has interested me for a long time. A previous post called Let There Be Light   is a small online exhibition of a few of my 'light' paintings. It is easy to understand why light, especially visible light, has entered humankind's cultural and spiritual endeavours and beliefs in the form of metaphor. Through ritual, ceremony and artistic interpretation light essentially celebrates wonder...and how amazingly appropriate is that! It links us back to the beginnings of time!
BIRTH OF LIGHT Oil on linen 122 x 153 cm
My new painting Birth Of Light tries to capture light's 'brushstrokes' across time and space, those 'strokes' that illuminate and those that provide unseen, but felt or detectible forces. Yet, like many of my paintings, there is an ambiguity because it could be an image of the beginnings of the Universe, yet also maybe one star, or a galaxy, or it could be a thought emitting knowledge and creativity that affects the world, or it could be an eye...the very thing that enables us to see light. Thus, this painting is not a scientific illustration or an artist's impression. It a creative piece inspired by wonder. I will say though, that it is definitely a cosmic 'landscape'...a landscape untethered from Earth's horizons.
Birth Of Light is related to my earlier painting, below, called Pale Blue Dot [inspired by Carl Sagan]
I also wrote a post a few weeks ago called Art -Science -Imagination -Wonder which might interest you. it was inspired by something astronaut Chris Hadfield said in an interview on Australian TV.
 Pale Blue Dot [Inspired by Carl Sagan] oil on linen 120 x 150 cm 2014
1. Cox, B and Cohen, A Wonders Of The Universe Harper Collins, London, 2011 P.44
Tomorrow night Saturday 18 October 2014 I am one of 13 artists from Barcelona, Brisbane, Paris and Sydney in a one night exhibition called Painted Prose. We have each responded to poems written by Brent Bridgeford. The poem I responded to is called In Abysm Inhere which actually uses light and dark as very forceful metaphors for internal battles.
The exhibition is on at Substation 4, 22 Petrie Tce, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia - 7 pm.
My painting is An Eternal Dance [below]. In this painting I have played with light and contrasting dark. I am really happy with it.
An Eternal Dance Gouache on paper 32 x 114 cm 2014

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Birth Of Worlds oil on linen 92 x 102 cm 2014

Physicist, Prof Brian Cox was recently interviewed about his new BBC series Human Universe. The interview Physicist Brian Cox: ‘The side of me that people don’t tend to see is the side that argues’ by Tom Lamont appeared in The Guardian last weekend in time for the first episode of Human Universe to air on the BBC on Tuesday 7 October [as of writing this post it's already the 7th here in Brisbane]. The interview is very interesting, but there is one short phrase apparently uttered by Brian Cox that got me very excited.

the phrase is....
a fractal tree of universes
This is the sentence the phrase was used in: Tom Lamont writes about his own frantic attempts to keep up with Cox I’m on the coffee and almost tearful with the effort of keeping up with Cox’s rapid chat about inflationary cosmology and exponentially expanding space-time, “a fractal tree of universes”.

Needless to say I am looking forward to seeing the BBC's Human Universe

But, back to a fractal tree of universes

This is a five word masterpiece in itself!

The tree's evocative potency for conjuring cosmic images that traverse all time and size scales lies within its complex branching appearance, fractals that repeat across the Universe. This dance of close and far distance, repeated across time and space, is the sense I try to visually elicit from the tree, my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life.

The painting above Birth of Worlds was exhibited in my last exhibition Untethering Landscape: From Earth-Bound Horizons When I completed this painting I wrote: So for me...worlds? These could be the birth of the Universe, even the Multiverse? Or, formation of planets and stars. Or, the birth of things only visible through a microscope...the microscopic world! Now here's a big idea about birth...maybe the painting exemplifies the birth of everything from the quantum to the cosmic? Maybe the dancing branches of the trees-of-life create quivers and quakes that explode in all directions, leaving a world the spawns itself?

Many people who came to my exhibition, and had conversations with me about Birth Of Worlds, commented on the fractal quality of the trees!
Fingerprints of Existence Oil on linen 36 x 36 cm 2014
In my earlier post for Fingerprints of Existence [above] I wrote Regular readers will know of my intense interest in the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life. I employ its marvellous potency in many of my paintings. This potency is all about life! The more I explore its immense treasures the more I discover about myself and the world. It has not been an age-old symbol of life, 'speaking' to people across cultures and eons, without reason! It 'speaks' to us at all levels, across times, even outside time and space, within a Universal/Multiversal psyche and dimension! Maybe like a code teasing for attention...
Fingerprints of Existence was also in my exhibition Untethering Landscape When I was discussing it with visitors to the show, I'd suggest that the tree may hold clues to the template for the Universe. Not a scientific observation maybe, and possibly far fetched, but a reasonable one to throw into the debate.
and now to a painting I called Multiverse
Multiverse Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm 2010
I painted Multiverse in 2010 when I first read about the idea of a Multiverse in Lord Astronomer and Cosmologist Martin Rees's wonderful book Just Six Numbers Here's a paragraph from my earlier post for this painting,  The image that sprang to my mind is a tree with small portal-like 'windows' or 'eyes' dotted amongst the branches, each created by a kind of swirling or vortex action. These portals are more obvious from a distance, because they interrupt the pattern of the tree. Up close, they are still visible, but the interruption to the pattern is not as obvious. I suppose it is a bit like seeing a peacock proudly unfold its plumage, compared with looking at only one feather. The magnificence of the fanned plumage is breathtaking and patterns are discernible, yet one feather, still beautiful, only whispers.
So you can understand why I got excited when I read the phrase
a fractal tree of universes
And, the excitement continues. Why? Because, I will be seeing Brian Cox in the Journey Through The Cosmos series of events over 3-4 days in November at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre [QPAC] Brisbane. The series is a collaboration with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Here's the QSO's info on Journey Through The Cosmos I am going to everything!
Talking of
I have an online exhibition of 10 Tree-Of-Life paintings. To view the paintings on my website please click HERE 
And, they are for sale too!
Thank you to all of you who visit my BLOG. I now receive well over 4,000 visits per month!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014


I heard myself ask in a discussion about religion, faith and belief;

Isn't Awe enough?

But, the word enough is in itself limiting.

What about...

Awe Is

The capital A and the capital I play beyond the realms of enough and any other descriptive word.


I Am is different to I am...the latter seemingly begs for a descriptor and thus is immediately corralled. But, I Am goes beyond any description. It just IS.

During my last exhibition Untethering Landscape I had a few discussions about awe. Yes, it's a word that can be used to describe reactions to science, nature, religion and art too. Very gratifyingly, for me, a few people said my paintings created a sense of awe in them. Wow! That's a compliment indeed. But, as you will discover below, the paintings did not create awe, they just stirred Universal memories of it!

I recently read a very interesting article Awe, With Or Without The Gods by Dr. Tania Lombrozo. Dr. Lombrozo discusses the very human desire to work out how awe is elicited. She examines the assumption that atheists cannot possibly experience awe, as if religious belief is the domain of this vast word. Atheists do, in fact, experience awe, but there are others who find it difficult to understand that awe is not the handmaiden of religion. Dr. Lombrozo goes onto to discuss awe with regards to science, nature. She asks, So why the persistent idea that awe is inextricably linked to theism? And are "scientific awe" and "religious awe" fundamentally different, or deep down one and the same? Please read her very interesting article to see how her discussion proceeds.

At this point I am departing from a causative investigation. I think an examination of the sense of awe, rather than what seemingly causes it, is important

I propose that Awe IS because its trajectory rises from the birth of the Universe, and is thus inherent in everything. I propose that, like beauty, awe has no antonym and thus cannot be discussed referentially or comparatively. It just IS. Regular readers will know that I have previously written about beauty and the intriguing absence of an accompanying opposite. In my 2012 post Beauty Has No Antonym I wrote, Was beauty present at the instant life began, at the Big Bang or whatever it was that set everything in motion? I suspect it was. And, this Beauty now exists as some kind of human race memory, maybe deeply buried in our DNA code. Maybe that's why we sometimes have Ah Ha moments, that stir our inner core reminding us of something, often propelling us onto new thoughts and actions, but always providing us with joy and hope.

I suspect that Awe is a kind of remembering too...remembering at a core level that is linked to the energy forces of the Universe, revelling in a ubiquitous presence across all time and scale. When you feel awe you immediately know an instinct which is not forgotten, that arises from before your human birth.

Yet, awe can be touched with fear. Like beauty's pathos there is a wild card lying in satisfied retreat. Why do I say satisfied retreat? Because, awe acknowledges fear and sets it free. After all, if awe was present at the birth of the Universe, it has known and overcome fear in all its guises. Awe rejoices in its own survival as it dances with the Universe. We see the dance in nature, art, the stars, science and yes in aspects of religion too. Rather than causing awe they trigger a sense that we already know, they stir Universal 'memory' within us, a memory that extends across time and space.

So, what about the photo above?

I am preparing a stretched linen 'canvas' for a new painting...which I has thought I'd call Awe

AND, now to something a bit different...maybe?

I am one of 14 artists who have been invited by a young poet, Aquilokami, to create a work that is inspired by one of three poems. The poem I chose is In Abysm Inhere...

You can read more of Aquilokami's work at PASENFRANCAIS

The exhibition PAINTED PROSE is a one night event at Substation 4, 22 Petrie Tce, Brisbane.

I am probably the oldest ten thousand centuries!!! And, I am thrilled to have been asked! This is my painting below. I will post my artist's statement nearer the time...but meanwhile you read In Abysm Inhere...


see what you come up with.

An Eternal Dance Gouache on paper 32 x 114 cm 2014


Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I Spy Oil on linen 36 x 36 cm 2014

Out of the 20 paintings I exhibited in my recent exhibition Untethering Landscape: From Earth-Bound Horizons I Spy [above] was my Mum's favourite. She had seen most of the paintings prior to the exhibition, although there were a couple of new ones. However, seeing the paintings leaning up against my studio walls is quite different to seeing them hanging in a gallery space. But, Mum did notice I Spy both at my studio and at the gallery, so there must be something about it that grabbed her attention.

Me at Untethering Landscape Brisbane September 2014
L to R: New World Habitability, Vacation Anyone? - Pale Blue Dot - Point Of View

I briefly wrote in a previous post called Waiting For The Beeps about I Spy.
Yes. I have a concern that reliance on technology...even simple things like parking sensors and the like...will 'train' us to be unaware of our environment. We won't even think to do simple things like...look out the windows! How would we cope with the game I SPY?'

Playing I SPY
When my children were little I entertained them on long drives with games like I SPY. My Mum also played these sorts of games with me and my two brothers.

But, on long car trips these days children can be entertained by watching videos on screens imbedded in the car, computer games and the like. Their parents can also be entertained by gadgets or they can keep working! Yikes... even the driver can still work with hands-free phone systems enabling endless 'conferences' with clients and customers. At least, for the time being, the driver must still look out the windows, but other occupants don't need to. There is a possibility that a car can be full of people each with ear plugs connecting them to phone conversations, music and other audio distractions. Imagine...well we don't need to imagine because I think in some places it already happens...the occupants in a car can be oblivious to their external surroundings and even to their fellow occupants. Bonuses, I suppose, are fewer sibling fights and angry reprimands from frustrated parents!

But, what disappears with inattention to the environment? I suggest that landscape, in all its permutations, disappears. I've previously written a post called Disappearing Landscape

Spying and Surveillance
Spying has taken interesting twists and turns in the last couple of decades. Surveillance by governments of others, and their own citizens, has reached amazing detailed and technological heights. Indeed, the Wikileaks and Edward Snowden revelations have caused major concern, controversy as well as interest. Spying on spies! But, 'spying' on others is not only the realm of governments and their agencies, police and other security forces. 'Monitoring' of all kinds of information, online behaviour and more, by companies and individuals, is becoming common. People can be tracked via their computer or phone. They can be tracked via surveillance cameras, particularly in cities. Our actions, behaviours, likes, dislikes and more are collected as data which is then scrutinised for aberrations, memes, trends and so on.

The world is just one big 'EYE' and an 'EAR' a nosey neighbour!

Yet, sometimes the nosey neighbour does notice things that, at the extreme, can save lives. Scrutiny, surveillance...spying...are part and parcel of 21st century life, for the good and the bad.

But, what about my painting I spy?
We also monitor and observe space, and have been doing so since human time began. Watching and observing the night sky has been a source of wonder over eons, giving birth to a wealth of knowledge and expression. Contemporary cosmological research, with its array of scientific and philosophical disciplines, has revealed a plethora of details about our Universe [and maybe Multiverse].

The search for extra terrestrial intelligence [SETI] involves scrutiny as well as enticements to communicate with us. Just imagine if we received an answer? But, maybe we have and just not noticed?

We do, however, use space to inhabit with satellites that are used to assist surveillance, of many kinds, back on Earth.

In my painting two circles hover, as if they are watching each other.

The small red one - 'I spy with my little eye something beginning with P'.
The multi-coloured one - 'I spy with my little eye something beginning with P'


Well maybe! But, neither 'planet' in I Spy has to be Earth...there are billions of galaxies and to suggest that we are the only ones watching and intriguingly unlikely!

But, maybe my two coloured hovering balls are not planets...maybe one is a planet and the other a surveillance satellite?  Yet, they could be atoms, cells, thoughts, dust? It's up to you really!

Life Calling! Anyone There?
The painting below Life Calling! Anyone There? was inspired by the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. But, there's a twist...I think there's plenty of 'life' calling for attention here on Earth too.
I made a very short video with me chatting about this's below the painting.
 Life Calling! Anyone There? Oil on linen 70 x 140 cm 2014

21 September - 21 November
Please visit my online exhibition at my website by clicking HERE

Tuesday, September 16, 2014



My exhibition Untethering Landscape: From Earth-Bound Horizons is now closed, but there's always a reverberation that continues after an exhibition ends its incarnation within a gallery space! I have some installation photos in this post, but you can see more at the exhibition's webpage HERE and at my last post HERE

I am pleased to report I had many, many visitors to the exhibition, I made some good sales and have a few more in the pipeline, plus I am pursuing avenues in the US.

Also, visitor numbers to my BLOG have greatly increased over the last week or so. THANK YOU visitors!

Me briefly talking about Life Takes A Cosmic Perspective
I did a lot of talking at the exhibition...and not only at my artist's talk. The engagement with people was fantastic. I've uploaded videos, in this post, where I very briefly chat about two of the paintings in Untethering Landscape. Love my Aussie accent...well not entirely?! One video is above and the other is below.
And, the 3D glasses were a hit. Yes, my paintings go 3D when viewed with 3D glasses. I do not try to paint just happens. But, I am very happy that it does happen, because...after all...I am dealing with other dimensions...out there! I write about the 3D phenomena HERE


Me briefly talking about Pale Blue Dot


Thursday, September 11, 2014


My exhibition Untethering Landscape: From Earth-Bound Horizons is attracting lots of interest. The show ends Sunday 14 September at 6 pm. The doors are open each day from 10 am till 6 pm. 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia.

Here are some photos from the exhibition, the opening and the Tibetan Bowl Meditation which was lead by Gabriele Engstrom.

There's a short article about Untethering Landscape in Brisbane's MAP magazine. Click HERE and 'turn' to page 47

3D 3D 3D 3D
One of the really intriguing things about the exhibition is that most of the paintings go 3D when viewed through 3D glasses. I have provided a number of glasses for viewers to use and as soon as they put them's OH WOW! One of the most dramatic Life Takes A Cosmic Perspective is in the photo below. With many of the paintings you feel like you can reach around behind the planets...some even seem to move as you walk from side to side! I don't try to paint 3D, but I am really happy that it happens...after all I am thinking about other dimensions.

L to R: Life Takes A Cosmic Perspective, The Universe Draws You Out Like A Multi-Dimensional Horizon [inspired by Tim Winton] and Birth Of Landscape


 At The Opening

 There's Me

I've had a great time talking with visitors to the exhibition. I have given many impromptu artist's talks. The topic of cosmology and how it has inspired me provides endless avenues for discussion, conversation and wonder.

And Me Again - After Gabriele had lead the Tibetan Bowl Meditation Untethering Sound

For the meditation... we darkened the gallery, after talking about imagining oneself floating in space...everyone was lying on the floor on mats...then Gabriele hit the first bowl and the incredible sound reverberated into one's inner core of being like a heightened pulse. Half an hour of amazing sounds sent us to all sorts of places...out there!



Saturday, August 30, 2014


Crisp clean and white blank canvases. [I use Belgian linen]

In March this year I wrote a post called The Blank Canvas  In this post I discussed the topic of 'The Blank Canvas' from an academic point of view, as well as from an artist's practical/emotional experience.

In May this year I wrote a post called A painting's Capacity To Approve Or Veto: An Artist's Process In this post I write about the relationship between the artist and their processes, outcomes and medium/s. I discuss the 'dialogue' between a painter and his/her painting.

The journey from 'blank canvas' to a painting is charged with moments of excitement, wonder, despair, frustration.

So...the blank canvases in the photo above have 'travelled' their journey of transformation into paintings, like the 'untethered landscapes' in the photo below. These paintings will be exhibited in my Untethering Landscape show which opens next week. They have just been varnished and are drying. To get this point, where they are ready to hang, is a long process...a long journey. I started work for my exhibition well over a year ago, even before my last show Cosmic Address. I work consistently and I paint most days, in between all the other things life brings forth, particularly with three children. 
Just varnished paintings ready for my next exhibition Untethering Landscape Opens next week!
Mid Back: Point Of View
Right: Beacon

I am really looking forward to Untethering Landscape. Doors open Tuesday 2 September and close Sunday 14 September. The show will be open every day from 10 am - 6pm.

Putting on a exhibition is a huge practical and logistical activity. It is also a highly emotionally charged experience. Why? An artist, like me, works alone most of the time. Apart from a social media presence and the occasional art prize, there is little or no opportunity to show off our work. An exhibition is an artist's opportunity to show their inspiration and creativity to the world. We reveal not only our work, but something of ourselves! An exhibition is a brief window in time where we venture out into the public, shedding the safety of the studio confines.

At a highly complex level an exhibition is a cultural experience, nuanced with a plethora of things, such as history, debate, politics, aesthetics, conversation and more. Yet at a very simple level an be like a trade show, where the artist shows off their wares.

Art Exhibition / Trade Show...there's a huge capacity in the space between these two descriptions for a mixture of emotions, hopes and fears that range from the esoteric to the practical, from the desirous to the spectre of criticism, from the romantic to extreme hard physical yakka, from cultural to economic.

In September last year I wrote a post called Putting On A Show where I explain what 'putting on a show' actually entails. In this post I write about the artist as not only producer but also provider, PR person, marketing manager, event organiser, administrative guru and more!
 Birth of Worlds Oil on linen 93 x 102 cm 2014
This painting will be in Untethering Landscape

2 - 14 September
Open daily 10 am - 6 pm
Graydon Gallery 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia
Artist's Talk: Sunday 7 September 10.30 am
Please check out the exhibition's webpage HERE
Next week also sees the opening of the Tattersall's Club $30,000 Landscape Art Prize
Plus the announcement of the winner
You can view the history of the prize plus 2014 entries HERE
Very happy to say I have been invited to enter again. The competition is by invitation.