What is the symbolism of a crown that is upside down? It’s stitched into my trousers and jeans. It’s embroidered on my shirts. I wear it as a ring on my right hand. And of course, it’s signed on the corner of every piece of artwork. What is the story behind the upside down crown? On early artworks the crown signature was upright with a … Continue reading What does it mean when a crown is upside down?
It’s been a good month or so. A first for me, finalist in the Paddington Art Prize. For the first time, I was a finalist in the Paddington Art Prize, a coveted landscape prize in Australia. I was hung alongside brilliant artists like Sophie Cape, James Powditch, Blak Douglas, local Braidwood artist John R Walker, Dan Kyle and Charmaine Pike. It’s good to know people … Continue reading Perfect trifecta: Paddington, Moran Portrait and Woollahra Prizes
There’s a scene in Inception where, Eames (Tom Hardy) says to Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” When we were kids, we just tried stuff. You tried to walk along the picket fence and you might have fallen off, but maybe you didn’t. Maybe you tried to catch a ball and missed. But you tried it again and … Continue reading You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.
Crying uncontrollably, I step out of the cinema and into the throngs of people in Leicester Square, London. My best friend from university is unnerved by my weeping. Why has the film Mrs Dalloway left me so bereft? I was 26, navigating the new path of turning a longing for men into loving of them. But it wasn’t just about that. At the time I … Continue reading Marking a waypoint between Virginia Woolf and Jeanette Winterson.
The ferry sings between rocky island outcrops that form the San Juan islands, their edges smoothed by long-melted glaciers. The tops of the islands burst in dense Coast Douglas fir. There’s a delicious slowness to it all, we’re all unhurried together. Kids run past us barking like dogs. Grey muzzled chihuahuas totter past like octogenarians. I make quick sketches as things pass by, simple outlines … Continue reading New artworks inspired by Orcas Island, San Juan Islands.
Outside my studio window, it’s chaos. A woman chases another woman into the path of a car which brakes hard and leans on the horn. The pursuer keeps shouting over and over, “I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch, I never would hurt a woman!”. The woman who is being chased runs a few steps then stops and waits for the other woman to catch up. … Continue reading If we keep doing the same thing, we will never move forward.
On Fridays in the studio, I take a break from my big projects and work on little things. I open my window on Cherry Street and watch the people from my third storey window. There’s a homeless man with a mental illness, stooping to scratch at a white mark on the tarmac. His pants have no elastic and drag around his feet without ever coming … Continue reading How small observations generate a big audience
Look, I admit it. I was never much of a fan of Monet. When we look at his ‘pretty pictures’, it’s easy to forget the struggle behind them. That’s why the exhibition Monet at Étretat at the Seattle Art Museum grabbed me by the balls. Here’s why Monet is right, right now. As the exhibition synopsis says, here we meet Monet at a pivotal moment. … Continue reading Monet is not the man you think he is.
When you’re hiking a mountain, you’re often focused on the very next step. Avoiding rocks. Tree roots ready to trip you. You’re surrounded by beauty – but you’re looking at the ground ahead. It’s only when you stop to take a breath and turn around, do you see the incredible journey you’ve been on. Looking back helps us look forward. In February last year I … Continue reading Only by looking back, will you see how far you’ve come.
It’s a cold June night. The power has been out since 4.30pm. I’ve cooked fried eggs in chilli on the wood stove and lit my last two candles. For a while, I blow out the candles, sit on the sofa in the dark and watch the firelight flicker on the wood panelled ceiling. Then I just sit, in the dark. The cuckoo clock stirs into … Continue reading How to pass the time.