Monday, July 23, 2007


Fire Jumping Night 1993

This drawing/painting was made in direct response
to an evening of mayhem and madness.
When my son was a teenager I took him on a
overnight youth group camp.
About 30 or 40 teenagers and a few adults
drove out the back of Peachester.
It was a bit west of Candle Mountain,
down a lonely road, over a bridge,
next to a creek, under some trees.
We all set up camp and cooked a meal.
First thing we did was to explore the creek
while we still had some light.
We all came back torn, muddy, scratched ,bitten,
and not a wife or girlfriend in sight to stop us.
Next on the menu, was fire ball throwing.
In an empty paddock, we tossed a burning ball,
in the dark, like a flaming comet.
Now don't try this at home kids.
A very tightly wrapped ball of hessian is tied with
many layers to the size of a basketball.
Then it is soaked in Kerosene for a few days.
On a dark night with friends you play catch.
You can catch and hold it enough to throw it away
without getting burnt or feeling to much heat.
It's quite amazing watching a big group of people
trumping all over this paddock with a burning ball
being tossed to and thro.
For the final course we fire jumped.
After building a fire for the evening, we all decided to
settle down for night - so we thought!
But someone challenged me to jump the fire.
Well I did jump the fire, and by the end of the
evening so did everyone else.
The evening was a bit dangerous and testosterone laden,
but was good for the soul.
Later on, after everyone had gone to there tents, I slowly
drifted to sleep in the back of my Corona wagon.
Feeling tired and content I watched the fire slowly die down.
The flames were flickering shadows on the trees, glowing golden,
silhouetting the large Gum tree in the foreground.
The last thought I had before falling asleep was,
" this would make a nice artwork".


  1. so it was bugger! We thought aliens had landed. That's Wally Bretons bit of turf you're describing. Nice painting though. You're quite good at landscapes, whereas I can't paint landscapes to save my own life.

  2. I didn't organize the night, but the local etymologist said we had permission to camp there. I hope we didn't spook anyone out. Your a fine figure painter LM, and demonstrate good composition, but how many landscapes have you tried?

  3. Sounds like a wonderful mad night :) and I like the painting. I am with LM, landscapes are not my forte.

  4. What I wanna see, David , is a painting / drawing you have hidden away for fear it shows you as you really are, not these placid landscapes and demure nudes.

  5. Well, I think your getting what you see. There is no closet David waiting to pop out. There is no frustrated artist, grinding away at night. I am just a calm, even and resolved guy. Sure, I would like to see the angst level rise and pull out the great painings. But "As a man thinks so he is". I do what I do, when I can do it. Managing a family, a hardware store, and an art career means I have to be pretty organized and committed. I don't really get deppressed or in a state where I can draw on a well that produces such works. But drawing on the inner person to create great works would be an ideal. My art sometimes is formed from the drifing of the mind, and there ain't really anger or resentmet there. My personal history issues are resolved or being resolved - but are no great issue anyway. I think people bring a lot to a reading of an art piece. But I'll try and bring out the goods one day, but my passion for art is not highly emotive, it's more balanced than that. What can I say?

  6. Because this has not been your experience, and your not me. I don't know. Who knows? I consider I am being frank. This is not an issue for me.I am just trying to answer the question. I remember feeling worried when someone wanted to sue me. I turned that into painting but it's not very powerful or good. It's listed om my gallery site. I'll try harder next time. All typed with a laugh and a smile. Please believe me or I will have to dig up the bodies in the backyard and make a massive effigy and set it on fire with tears of rage. I feel like Bob Dylan - all misunderstood.

  7. I have to say, Dad, that the man that you present yourself as through your artwork and through your description above is a very accurate representation of the man that I know. Although bring on the 'massive effigy' and the 'tears of rage'!!
    Ha! Ha! T

  8. I guess the truthful bit is as you have written at the end of the original post. "This would make a nice artwork", emphasis on 'nice'
    But even so the phrase of, 'not a wife or girlfriend in sight ' also says a lot.
    'testosterone laden'+ good for the soul are a clue too.
    I would like to view the artworks that are good for the soul, where some of the energy that burns up in work and family is expressed, not just what is left over at the end of the day.

  9. I really think you static artists should get out and have some fun sometime and I don't mean running around the bush throwing fire balls at each other like a bunch of yobs, though I would add that I do prefer David's landscapes to his other work this is just a personal opinion and in no way am I trying to influence you.

  10. Dad, I am thankful that you are and were so giving to your family, very sacrificial.. I think that says alot about you. I love reading about the great memories you have, of times that really stick out to you as joyous and inspirational. Goodness forbid you neglect the 'nice' things in your life to chase after the unreachable goals set by the 'art world'. I say continue doing what makes you happy and keeps you balanced.. this approach has worked well for you in the past... you have created some really great art works. Although I am all for taking more time for yourself.. to paint/draw etc.

  11. Mothers Milk! That sounds like the name of a hippy folk band from the sixties. Maybe something more Germanic like Volksband, would be a better name. Thanks for the nice comments, daughter and mother to be.
    Aren't you in that painting Called,'Photoman' on posting,'Camera'.


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