Once I had recovered enough breath to walk further afield, sitting around the trees was still the best feeling. Maybe there is more oxygen in their vicinity. I never really learned to draw or sketch formally. I had a few oil painting lessons from a local learning centre when I was a teenager. This is all entirely self taught. When I look at a blank piece of paper or canvas or wood, my intention is to create a finished piece, not a sketch. However I have made oil paintings from these drawings.
‘A tree beside the dam in the park.’, 8″ X 10″, pencil on paper.
‘The foot of the tree in the park across the road from the centre of the universe.’, 9″ X 12″, pencil on paper.
‘The other side of the foot of the tree in the park across the road from the centre of the universe.’, 9″x12″, pencil on paper.
These drawings were among the first I made following yet another health disaster. Lung disease from living in industrial cities. Doing industrial jobs, I was a sign painter when it was done with paint, also highly toxic, full of lead and every other element of suspicious sources to make real colour that lasts. Forever. That’s what it said anyway. At this point in time I was coping with the 8th time my lung collapsed. Like a balloon popping, you can hear it when it happens. I recovered by sitting on trees and drawing them. The roots mean something to me, the interface to the underworld. The part the tree knows but you don’t. They also look like foothills of mountain ranges like the Himalaya’s which are getting bigger as the glaciers disappear.
This piece is 5″ X 7″ in mixed media on paper. I would love to have made these 30 or so paintings in 5 feet X 7 feet. Large paintings do make an impact. Especially when they are larger than the person viewing it, it makes them look up and around far more I have noticed in shows. Maybe large prints on canvas would work, but they are expensive to create. Or a 72″ monitor positioned in your living room to show every work of art you have collected. The most expensive way to show art.
Tearing oneself apart from the inside is a difficult concept to portray visually.
This was the third painting I made in that. I was feeling better physically, enough so to stretch a large canvas. In the under painting of acrylic gesso mixed with plaster and semen, I painted an equation, with my blood. In essence it describes the population of the earth at the time I painted this, divided by the claimed wealth of all nations, which then equals the amount you are entitled to. No questions, no legal defence allowed. You are all way over budget. Time to stop. I followed the equation with an acrylic under painting of a nuclear explosion. Which was followed by the self portrait ripping my face off.
I called it tri-polar because I did not agree with my psychiatrist. All you have is on or off, I have an in between which allows me to divert the rage in us all into art. Do you? I think that is how art happens.
The show is concerning the order and disorder of mental health.
My condition is bi-polar, but I prefer to say I am bi-polar.
This work is all entirely new long after the themes of the show and the work have been decided. The work keeps happening, it keeps changing too. We live in a change machine. Its the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy will always increase