1987-1991 Constructions

These are my first pictures, concerned with colour and lineal form. They use themes (a repeating configuration of lines and curves) as building blocks from which the image is constructed. I enjoyed the silky glide of oil pastels in particular and inspired by my fathers art works I began the task of developing my skills as a enthusiastic14 year old. Drawing from a life was quite foreign to me, so instead of starting with a representation, rendering and perspective then moving away from that with time and experience, I started with a purely non-representational form and slowly introduced a subject. Because of this, I’ve always felt more at ease working with flat spaces, forming depth by use of layering rather than perspective. Even my most stridently figurative works have this connection to abstract shape and line.

More important at this time was the embedding of arts practice in my daily routine. Picture making subdued the roar of the playground, the rowdy classroom and basketball court. Everything else imposed itself on my senses, but drawing in the privacy of my bedroom restored me to my own being. It was there that the intensity of feelings could find an outlet and I would screw myself up, spring loaded, to start a new work. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t “draw”. The practice had attached itself to my spirit, as necessary as food and drink, and a continuity of ideas began to emerge, each new picture containing the seed of the next. At school I was becoming known for my strange drawings, not always receiving favourable attention. Then I would give a nervous laugh to disguise my disdain, which served to prompt me to bury my interest further.

"Light Bulbs" 1987 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

“Light Bulbs” 1987 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

"Metropolis" 1987 Conte on paper 60 x 80 cm

“Metropolis” 1987 Conte on paper 60 x 80 cm

"Design" 1987 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Design” 1987 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

"Blue Leaves Falling" 1987 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Blue Leaves Falling” 1987 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

"Construction 5" 1988 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

“Construction 5” 1988 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

"Monument" 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Monument” 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

"Construction 3" 1988 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

“Construction 3” 1988 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

"Building" 1988 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

“Building” 1988 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

"Construction 2" 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Construction 2” 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

"Construction 7" 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 m

“Construction 7” 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 m

"Construction 8" 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Construction 8” 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

"Construction 9" 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Construction 9” 1988 oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

"Construction 4" 1988 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

“Construction 4” 1988 oil pastel on paper 40 x 30 cm

"Construction 9" oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Construction 9” oil pastel on paper 50 x 40 cm

"Construction 10" oil pastel on paper 60 x 50 cm

“Construction 10” oil pastel on paper 60 x 50 cm

"Design" 1988 pencil on paper 30 x 20 cm

“Design” 1988 pencil on paper 30 x 20 cm

"Construction" 1988 acrylic on paper 30 x 20 cm

“Construction” 1988 acrylic on paper 30 x 20 cm

"Fire Dance 1" 1988 ink on paper 60 x 50 cm

“Fire Dance 1” 1988 ink on paper 60 x 50 cm

"Fire dance 2" 1988 oil pastel on paper 30 x 20 cm

“Fire dance 2” 1988 oil pastel on paper 30 x 20 cm

‘Eye of the Storm’, a work employing pencils, graphite for the lighter grey tones and conte for a contrasting black, initiated a new set of drawings following the exhibition at Roar 2 Studios. The Spartan approach complimented my sombre mood and was an important step in my finding a more precise sense of rhythm in design. For most of the remainder of the year, my drawings were almost devoid of colour, as I concentrated on developing my discipline. With each image came a growing sense of my method of discovery. The reward always short lived before the desire for a new success overwhelmed. Around me, life flickered and lapped at my imagination, but I was set on these closed forms. The most a subject would infiltrate was in the evoking of a feeling ignited by the irresistible swell of passionate music, or in a title spawned of poetic association. My real subject was learning the procedures of an artist, a labour of love that saw every available inch of wall space in my bedroom filled with drawings. Satisfaction in completing a work was always quickly replaced by an acute awareness of my limitations and an equally robust desire to improve with practice. Outside my window, due would accumulate on terracotta roof tops across the sprawling suburbs, life flowed, someone late for school, appointments to make, errands to run; a squeal of tyres on wet asphalt catching the morning sun as if cut from a sheet metal plate; but in the sanctuary of my bedroom a different reality emerged, a chrysalis containing the merging of spirit with paper with wide eyes, duller when anticipating the enormity of the task ahead.

"Eye of the Storm" 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 50 cm

“Eye of the Storm” 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 50 cm

"Coronation" 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Coronation” 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 40 cm

"Jeanie in a bottle" 1988 pencil on paper 45 x 35 cm

“Jeanie in a bottle” 1988 pencil on paper 45 x 35 cm

"Scherzo" 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Scherzo” 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 40 cm

"Conversation" 1988 pencil on paper 40 x 35 cm

“Conversation” 1988 pencil on paper 40 x 35 cm

"Tower" 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 25 cm

“Tower” 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 25 cm

"Tiger" 1988 pencil on paper 60 x 40 cm

“Tiger” 1988 pencil on paper 60 x 40 cm

"Dream" 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 40 cm

“Dream” 1988 pencil on paper 50 x 40 cm

"The Gift" 1988 mixed media on paper 50 x 40 cm

“The Gift” 1988 mixed media on paper 50 x 40 cm

In 1989 colour returned to my own palette, and I embraced the medium of dry pastel, first introduced to me through collaborations with my brother Philip. Drawings of a more lyrical nature with titles suggestive of theatre and magic came to life. ‘Tiger Tiger Burning Bright’ with its plumes of brilliant red held in pause by a strong black presence of line was the first of a set of larger works. ‘Wind shear’ with its visual rendering of dangerous wind currents, as if the breath of a higher being, and ‘Crystal Light’, a blue monument in motion hurtling through space with an intense inner burn ‘, were among these pastel drawings and I was ready for my first showing. The pictures arrived, each with a unique personality capturing my mood for that time.

"Inner Light" 1988 pastel and pencil on paper 70 x 60 cm

“Inner Light” 1988 pastel and pencil on paper 70 x 60 cm

"Trebble-clef" 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 50 cm

“Trebble-clef” 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 50 cm

"Bird of Prey" 1989 pastel on paper 40 x 35 cm

“Bird of Prey” 1989 pastel on paper 40 x 35 cm

"Summer Rain" 1989 pastel on paper 100 x 50 cm

“Summer Rain” 1989 pastel on paper 100 x 50 cm

"Spring Loaded" 1989 pastel on paper 4 x 30 cm

“Spring Loaded” 1989 pastel on paper 4 x 30 cm

"Suburban Skies" 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 50 cm

“Suburban Skies” 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 50 cm

"Cumulous Clouds" 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 70 cm

“Cumulous Clouds” 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 70 cm

"Tiger Tiger Buring Bright" 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 80 cm

“Tiger Tiger Buring Bright” 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 80 cm

"Crystal Light" 1989 pastel on paper 80 x 65 cm

“Crystal Light” 1989 pastel on paper 80 x 65 cm

"Wall of Echoes' 1989 pastel on paper 80 x 65 cm

“Wall of Echoes’ 1989 pastel on paper 80 x 65 cm

"Wind Shear" 1989 pastel on paper 80 x 65 cm

“Wind Shear” 1989 pastel on paper 80 x 65 cm

Masquerade" 1989 pastel on paper 65 x 80 cm

Masquerade” 1989 pastel on paper 65 x 80 cm

"Martian Tree" 1989 pastel on paper 130 x 30 cm

“Martian Tree” 1989 pastel on paper 130 x 30 cm

"The Watering Place" 1989 30 x 50 cm

“The Watering Place” 1989 30 x 50 cm

"The Journey" 1989 pastel on paper 150 x 80 cm

“The Journey” 1989 pastel on paper 150 x 80 cm

"Sun Spirit" 1989 pastel on paper 40 x 40 cm

“Sun Spirit” 1989 pastel on paper 40 x 40 cm

"The Total Perspective Vortex pastel on paper 90 x 80 cm

“The Total Perspective Vortex pastel on paper 90 x 80 cm

"Architecture" 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 50 cm

“Architecture” 1989 pastel on paper 60 x 50 cm

"Flight of Fancy" 1990 pastel on paper 70 x 60 cm

“Flight of Fancy” 1990 pastel on paper 70 x 60 cm

"Blue Glass" 1990 Acrylic on canvas 90 x 60 cm

“Blue Glass” 1990 Acrylic on canvas 90 x 60 cm

"Vulcan's Hammer" 1990 acrylic on canvas 100 x 70 cm

“Vulcan’s Hammer” 1990 acrylic on canvas 100 x 70 cm

"Instrument" 1990 Mixed media 80 x 70 cm

“Instrument” 1990 Mixed media 80 x 70 cm

"Monument" 1990 Acrylic on canvas 110 x 160 cm

“Monument” 1990 Acrylic on canvas 110 x 160 cm

'Jazz Band" 1990 oil on canvas 50 x 60 cm

‘Jazz Band” 1990 oil on canvas 50 x 60 cm

"Organism" 1991 pastel on paper 100 x 80 cm

“Organism” 1991 pastel on paper 100 x 80 cm

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