Glorious Descent

Glorious Descent
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 40cm

Sunday, May 30, 2010

An Artist's Lunch

Art is the heart and soul of Ben Quilty's life. It's beauty extending like a vine into the gorgeous friends and family that surround him, the lush paintings that bejewel the walls of his studio, the bubbling hot soup on the stove and the notes of music that chase sticks of charcoal that scribble on a page.

Welcomed by Ben into his Robertson studio I enjoyed a delicious day of drawing, eating, conversation and camaraderie. In the fickle world of the arts in Australia it was heartening to share such a stimulating day amongst accomplished artists, who had made their art the drive of their life. A drive which was not not self indulgent, or insular or unsuccessful, but welcomed the love and appreciation of many a great thing in life.

As Renee posed for a session of life drawing, Luka, Marcel's son, crawled playfully between her legs before returning to his fathers side to help him draw. Later that day, Marcel took me to his studio, a giant warehouse filled with the faces of his family, painted all over his canvases. The people that inform every part of his life and art practice. A beautiful celebration of love and life.

As a young artist, I reluctantly admit to feeling intimidated by the life before me, one I fear to be lonely and exclusive. I struggle with the dichotomy of living for ones art and living with others, why do I feel there is an inevitable choice to be made between the two. I seek solace, and love and understanding just as much as any other, but it is hard to find when it seems an artist's life, an artists identity has many a pre conceived impression in the eyes of others, one that is impossible to shake.

But this day warmed my heart. Artists have a lot to give, not just to a painting. The light that they shine also attracts other stars. The artists on this day, with their friends and family, their creations, their food, their ideas, made a glistening constellation.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Van Gogh

There is pleasure sure
In being mad, which none but madmen know.

Dryden, The spanish Friar.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where the road took me

I wanted a car that would match my emotions - that would accelerate and send me racing through time. But I had a cautious metallic diahatsu, that was neither silver nor gold and took its time. I found a narrow winding road, that I clung to the edges of, in ensured a steady pace and let my eyes wander through the landscape. Lush green hills unfolded over every rise, like a bed sheet being shook. Cows barely lifted their munching heads to acknowledge me, safe in their fenced homes.

The coastal vegetation contains dramatic contrast, it shifts with your mood - at one moment green and consistently smooth, then open and harshly brittle. Down the pass birds emerge from the density of the foliage, playing tag with the traffic. In the valley, grand cliffs impose on your thoughts - there, you succumb to the sublime. But at the end, all roads lead to the ocean. It absorbs the space, it entices you in, it quenches your thirst. The sea is made up of many oceans, there are different currents, waves that break and some that don't. Today, the sea rolls like a giant body, it is travelling somewhere, it is itself.

I had a dream: The sea had a silicone skin, every dive beneath the surface was a failure. My face masked in a plastic glue so that I couldn't breath.

Standing before the sea pool, my legs cowering inward against the salt spay of the crashing waves, I am exposed. I Plunge in, enveloped, I am numb ! My hands find themselves gliding over the carpeted floor of the pool. I have made it. The sea lichen is warm and feels like velvet. It has trapped the sunlight in its emerald fronds and gives heat to hands and feet that dare touch it. What is often a mysterious unknown that harbors fears, is the life of the pool.

Floating up from the floor, I welcome my glazed vision of the layers of sea, salt and colour. A saturation of emerald to jade, from cobalt to aqua, to white bubbles - To air, to sky.

I have shed a skin. My body cleansed. I welcome the hands of my sister that wrap me in towels. Nurturing the heat of experience.

'Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'
The White Queen - Alice through the looking Glass