My first memory of an art work was painting pictures on the walls of a shed we had on our farm. It was with red ochre.
I decided to go to art school after visiting my sister at University, when I was in grade 12. I went for a walk around when she was in a class, got lost and ended up at the art school. It was great, I came back home told my dad I was not going to be surveyor but a painter. My parents hated the idea of me going to art school. But they just got used to the idea over time. I loved every moment of it.
I have often asked myself why an artist, because it is a hard life and 90% of people think you are wasting your life and energy. I have never found an answer, perhaps it is like believing in God, some people just do and others don’t.
The patterns and colours of the farmed landscape are a strong influence. I think about art all the time. If you train your eyes to see what is really there, you will always see like an artist. I assume musician friends hear like a musician. My work is based on the landscape but is altered to make objects that have a life of their own. A good painting has its own energy that is not determined by subject alone. The land is everything in my work. I am currently looking at the clean shapes and colours of farmland on Lillicco Road near Forth.
I constantly look at all different types of artists. Never narrow yourself down. Richard Diebenkorn, Frank Auerbach, Joan Mitchell and David Hockney are constants when in difficulty. They just have the right attitude. You have to embrace all things. Watch the short video on Frank Auerbach to the studio, discussing art. It is the best summery of painting I have yet found. You need to read and observe all your life and never stop asking questions. Everything is aesthetics, the hansom person, building, food, book or film everything is to be looked at, listened to, tasted and touched.
I will paint until I cannot do it anymore. What it will look like who knows. Change is constant just go with it.
Apart from a select few people I do not care one little bit what people think of me or my paintings. Isolation is what you need at times but it can be a problem when trying to get your work seen by others of influence. Tasmania is a great place to be free to make art.
The chemicals in the solvents and paint will eventually do me in.