One of the many things I like about painting is that it teaches me to see. It also changes the way I look at other people's paintings and what I believe I understand about the way they see. (A similar process might be true of writing and the way writing helps a person understand and interpret their world, but I find it harder to be sure about this.) A couple of years ago, I was looking closely at the Charles Blackman's wonderful Alice series and let that shape the first painting I'd attempted in... about thirty years. (See this post on last suppers and tea parties.)
Jeffrey Smart retrospective book cover Art Gallery NSW publication
But of late, I've been getting a particular kick out of the likes of Jeffrey Smart (in particular), Paul Resika, Raimonds Staprans and Charles Sheeler. I like the (occasionally geometric) abstractions in some of their work, how they look at urban and suburban landscapes, their use of light and shade, colour, perspective and spatial tensions. Painting not only helps me to see and articulate some of this for myself, but it's relaxing to use a different part of the brain to whatever bit gets used for writing - and to create something in a fraction of the time.
Anyway, here's the painting I've been plugging away at - an hour here, a couple of hours there - for the last four months. Painting number two. Originally it was going to be called Adam and Eve Expelled from the Garden of Eden (1), but I've settled for The Lost Garden (1) instead... "And thank goodness for that," I hear you say! (There are - optimistically - half a dozen more planned, hence the number.)
920 mm x 610 mm
acrylic on canvas