"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 Magic Woodford Folk Festival, 2011

Every year for twenty something years, in a valley behind the town of Woodford in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, a mini canvas city is created, and the lost souls of a bygone era trample the humid, muddy, dusty and delightful village in search of the sights and sounds of yesterday.

They discard the trappings of this contemporary life, pull out those older garments that smack of a more casual and eloquent hippy era, and stroll the streets searching for unusual foods, beaded and braided home crafts, and the warm sounds of folk and blues floating from any one of the many venues.

It's a week of pure escapism.

I was invited to run an art workshop at the excellent 
Visual Arts and Crafts 
area of the Woodford Folk Festival this year.

The 4 workshops were titled
"Put Yourself In The Picture"
They were a chance for Woodfordians to create a self portrait in charcoal and pastel. Most participants had limited art experience, but I loved the way they saw the workshop as a non threatening environment in which to have a go at something, that beyond the walls of Woodford might terrify them.

Lots of discovery, laughter and enjoyment, and a perfect way to meet a vast array of people.

And then every now and then you are fortunate to witness a revelation.

Thursday 29th December, 2.00pm.
We walk into the Blues Tent and watch a 30 year old Canadian named Matt Andersen
In 1984 I went to a Santana Concert in Adelaide, 
and stood with the audience and cried as I listened to Santana touch me in such a profound and dramatic way. 
Straight to the heart stuff. 
I suddenly felt that music was the purist art form I knew, because it had an immediacy that directly opened communication between the artist and the audience. 
The musician is feeling it, I too am feeling it, NOW.

Andersen's voice is powerfully rich, yet sweet, and lulls you through gentle ballads. 
But then he throws his head back while singing the blues, and sends his voice soaring somewhere above without the need of a microphone. 
His voice sinks so low as he purrs out "I'm a steamroller baby", 
that the bass reverberates deep into your chest.
His guitar is strummed and plucked and savaged, stumpy fingers thrashing strings. Unbelievable dexterity.
We ended up attending four of Matt's concerts during the following days.
Each concert received a standing ovation.
For the second time in my life I was moved to tears.

A happy man, 
I leave Woodford for another year, 
with new acquaintances to make me smile and a new CD in my clutch.

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