Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I just finished the second NASA painting. The first is now titled 'Twister in NASA' and the second one is titled 'Baptism in NASA'. Hopefully they will turn into a series, displayed as a grid of small paintings on a single wall. I have begun to set the work parameters: three primary colours, black and white, three characters in a landscape, loosely painted, astronauts, NASA in the title and a vague storyline. Here's the first two displayed together in my studio.

NASA series paintings 1 and 2 - 2008

This is the one I completed this afternoon - it took a bit longer than the first one - the primary colours I chose were more difficult to balance and there were a few composition issues. These works are meant to be seen in a large group and so individual merits can be adjusted a bit, but they still stand as works on their own.

Baptism in NASA - 2008 - Acrylic on Canvas

Because of all my cleaning around the place, I have started to do a bit or sorting of photos and accumulated stuff. This is a photo of my son and myself in the eighties - he is now 25 years old and is the local Pharmacist. This photo was taken by a friend - he won a photo competition with this photo - it's at a house we lived in at Morningside in Brisbane.

Jonas and David

This is another one from the same photo session - my wife can be seen at the far end of the corridor - the painting is a work I did at High School (Grade 11) - it was my first big painting and was hung in the Gold Coast Art Prize and shown on the 6 o'clock news.

David and Judy - The Canberra Oriental


  1. very narrativical paintings what you got there, the NASA ones. Got some of that Max Beckman feel but not so scary. Mostly the dude with the hat. looks a bit like one of the spacemen has pulled the other ones head off and is trying to re-attach it with some kind of fastener at the back. I think I've seen those figures before in your art...
    Bloody dog's barkin at possums or something - have to go kick him up the bum

  2. Yes Roj, I am always pulling figures and ideas from the past into new works. I don't try to stop this process, I just let it happen. And your right about Beckman and the narrative stuff. The story or pseudo story will unfold over the subsequent paintings - I am already beginning to fabricate meanings and possible theories about these works which will lead into the next works. But that's part of the process and the fun bit - dreams and possibilities.

  3. oh man, these are just fantastic, I bet more so in the real. drooooooooool! the paintings that is, hee! hee!

    hey why did you remove your comment from art news blog re frued's painting. I would like to read your take on it :)

  4. Well, just like fruedy I made a mistakey and tried to amend my way and got caught in a blog loop.

  5. I'd also be interested to see the new work 'in the flesh'. And, I agree with Roj about the beckman quality. I have to same I am very taken by both of the photos in this post for different reason. The Canberra original is one that deserves to be in the coffee table monigraph they publish about you one day. I LOVE the high school painting that you're standing in front of. Where is it now?
    PS What's this about Freud...I love Lucian's work. Do I need to come round to your place and rip yer bloody arms off?

  6. had on a min loretta, he was being nice about the freudy thing on art news blog ;)

  7. David, thanks for all your caption ideas :) I will share them with the skeleton crew and see where it goes.

  8. Corrine, that's ok I had fun thinking up a few.

    Loretta, yes you do need to come around to my place and rip my arms off. Looking for supplementary income is driving me mad - I feel I am caught between "what could be " and "inevitability". But, I have felt that way since I was about 20 years old. The high school painting is folded up in storage - I should pull it out and repair and frame it. I almost sold it at the Gold Coast art show in 1980 but the stretcher was made of second hand bits and pieces and the canvas is some sort of calico printed fabric I picked up at a army disposals at Southport.

    It's funny because when I did this painting, Scott Redford produced another painting at the same time. When they were both presented before the teachers it was generally agreed that mine was the better work. At that time (78-79) I was also creating slide shows of the Gold Coast with self recorded songs - the accent was on the Kitsch aspect of Gold Coast life - another Scott thing. Life goes on.

    Yes, I have always loved Beckmans work - I don't know how he gets such compression and intensity.

    Yes, Loretta you and Ernie should come around this week - it will force me to clean up the place.

  9. Footnote:
    The thing about Scott Redford is that he had the sense, intelligence and determination to follow through on his instincts. he has in some ways managed to lift the game above mere kitsch. Besides, I only lived on the coast for about three years - approximately 1976 to 1979 and he has I believe lived there his entire life. I tapped into the glitzy appeal of the coast as an art subject very early on but promptly moved onto other subjects as I moved to Brisbane in 1980. In some ways my look at the coast was honed by a more southern and cynical mock of the things of Queensland, being an ex-Victorian. While Scott's look is more of being one who was brought up in that culture - I don't think his work is that condescending towards the coast but more of an embrace. I strongly identify with his work and appreciate it - especially in the sense that he is reckoning with the culture and times he grew up in.
    I suppose all in all one must see the opportunities and develop them but find ones abilities no matter how meagre they be and exercise them. Anyway, life and an art life can be a tangled tale with many a strange turn and missed opportunity - the trick is to keep going if you want to keep going.

  10. Call me old fashioned, but I need a proper invite David...you will find the number in the book if you've misplaced it. As for cleaning up, I prefer dirty art.

  11. Where are you?
    I thought I'd been slack!
    Is all ok?

  12. Loretta, I have been working full time for the last three weeks and just haven't been in the mood or had the time to adjust yet. I will get back on task after a while. I will be O.K. but everything just got compressed and convoluted and I need to get back into a rhythm again and get back some control. Thanks for your concern.


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