"Twisted Realism" A visual artist, creating moody black and white tonal drawings in charcoal, pastel and graphite. Inspired by the human figure, story telling and Europe.


The Struggle for Something New

I was sitting in a small seaside village on the west coast of France last year (Granville), trying to extract some inspiration and direction for a new body of Art. In previous years I had painted oil on canvases and enjoyed it enormously. But each morning when I woke up and studied the pieces, I felt they missed the point.
In the days prior to Granville, I had gone back to the Musee D'Orsay in Paris, with a view of studying the works on the top floor from purely an analytical and technical point of view, and not that of an ogling tourist. The names didn't matter. At the end of 5 absorbing hours and a journal full of notes and studies, I caught the train west.
I sat in my hotel room for 4 days, analysing what I had written and what is was about certain works that  appealed beyond the norm. Patterns emerged. Techniques were revealed. Themes unfolded. A new body of ideas was born.
A week later I was back in my studio on the Sunshine Coast and raring to explore these yet to be realised images. Ideas had yet to be given form. I had expected to continue working in paint, but thought initially, I could capture the necessary spontaneity and energy of my ideas rapidly, with charcoal and white pastel on brown Kraft paper, a handful of erasers to eradicate and cut back in with, and a clutch of 7B's for quick-fire mark making. Nothing fussy. Nothing precious.
The energy and fun that was lacking in those morning paintings, was to reveal itself.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, ideas and experiences Pete. Today I swam in Lake Geneva for the the first time in my life and there was 'smoke on the water'. The smoke was a lazy blue. The water was blue/green, the French Alps where they dipped their toes into the lake a darker shade of blue and the sky above a pale azure that is if azure can ever be pale.

    Being in the water gave some connection to this ancient country, that remains somehow safe wrapped inside the jagged peaks that appear at every angle. The lake was clear, supportive and re-assuring, allaying any fears that distance from loved ones and scenes familiar can sometimes conjure. I lay on a pontoon with Jodie some fifty metres from the shore, the sun warming forgotten dreams and prodding a sense of unreality that Poplars and spinach green grass on a pebbled shoreline can prompt.

    And Jo and I talked about the newness of what is all around us and everyday lays before us. New scenery, new language, new people, new food and certainly new opportunities. We asked ourselves why it has taken us so long to take this giant step. Why is this moment so different to many other moments when we could have made the same move? Is this a pre-ordained point in time when we were meant to be expressing the qualities and gifts that we maintain so that we could be sustained in new and more interesting ways? Is there a higher purpose for our presence here other than new employment opportunities exposure to cultures unfamiliar? The definitive answer will unfold I am sure, as it always does.

    I am certain of one thing Pete. Having come to Lausanne I will never be able to go back to who I was before. Nor would I want to. Living at Witta I sometimes felt that my life was in some sort of holding pattern. Safe, predictable, repetitious, full of words and bright ideas but never as fearless as I would have liked to been. From my early observations here culture has different values. People value their own contribution and that of others. You are not measured by your realestate but by your realness, your trueness to yourself. People here do not have a body focus, they appear more as mind, or as an infinite form. Much like William Blake said in that poem that gave Jim Morrison the name for his band. Today when we were at the lake, four grannies parked their mountain bikes, walked over to the grass beside where we were sitting took all their clothes off and put their bikinis on before plunging into the lake. They were fearless in my eyes and I watched them have an awesome time.

    Having said whatever has gone before this line, I am of the opinion that nothing is new but how we do it.

    Keep doing what you do Pete, it 'lights my fire!'