The day had turned fine. To experience the sensation of being really inspired, to be in the zone and in the moment, to be uplifted by what’s before me, is to know a sweet state of feeling good. In that state of mind, big and small delights are able to present themselves and are so integral to anything meaningful that I might create. Like it or not, my painting is hostage to my emotions and they are such a direct and vital part of my work. By way of example, the little impression Crescendo (sketch for) is coarse and raw, yet I caught the essence of what struck me. I can’t know if my euphoric experience in the ten minutes standing and painting before that sunset translates to others, but I still ‘feel good’ each and every time I look at it. Contrasting that in so many ways is Monument of Ages, Kanimbla. I feel it is compositionally resolved, it is refined, the colour and tone are as I want them. It may lack the gestural vitality of Crescendo, but this studio painting for me still touches emotional chords, struck in this case by its gravitas and presence. And as always, my muse – the light – is at its heart.
The collection of paintings set aside for this exhibition were painted under the orbit of La Nina; so much wet weather! But by good fortune, most days on my painting trips turned fine. Drifting Winter Showers, Kanimbla, is a notable exception, painted from the veranda. If I can see, it’s because there is light. As I attempt to paint ‘light’, it is equally sought on overcast, rainy, misty or sunny, days. (Even nocturnes rely on moon or starlight). I do paint wet, moody and grey days, but a fine day under the bright Australian sun is what fires me to my energetic best.
When I reflect on my past twelve months of painting, I think metaphorically, The day had turned fine.