This painting has a history, and not unlike humans, it has gone through different stages which have informed its current state. One could even talk about a layered narrative, one that was necessary to inform and dissolve into this current state. That sounds rather fluffy, so let me try again: I’ve painted this work at least three times. And all three times it felt as if it was done. Like in finished, signed. Only to slowly start bugging me and stir up my restless soul. All sorts of ideas would form in my head – in flux what-ifs. And some of those would inevitably end up on the canvas.
Is this done now?
Yes, it is! Well, maybe. The history is there, to question, intrigue, and engage. Not unlike humans with a number of decades behind them, the history is in their faces and demeanour. Riddled with life’s experiences, a wealth of knowledge.
(When one looks closely, the words “my portable rose garden” are hidden in the work.)
750mm x 750mm acrylic on fine canvas
Because of this delicate and fragile habitat where we share our world with animals, it is up to us to make sure that we leave the smallest of footprints possible. Care is needed to make sure we keep our eyes open and be vigilant about endangered species, like the kakapo – their numbers picking up slowly after near-total eradication, yes, by humans and introduced pests. The housing ‘boom’ is bad news for flightless birds like the kakapo, who has a distinctive call that, ironically, sounds like a deep, throaty ‘boom’.
The kakapo, also called owl parrot, is a species of large, flightless, nocturnal, ground-dwelling parrots of the super-family Strigopoidea, endemic to New Zealand. It has finely blotched yellow-green plumage, a distinct facial disc, a large grey beak, short legs, large feet, and relatively short wings and tail Wikipedia
This work is inspired by this beautiful bird, acrylic on linen with touches of metallic and iridescent paint. The mood changes with different lighting.
1020mm x 760mm x 35mm
acrylic on linen
On my mind is my footprint. This painting is the last layer one on top of many, many, believe me. I’ve painted, overpainted, stripped back, and repainted so many times, I fail to recall all the images and thoughts that went into this. Preservation is on my mind, so it’s no surprise that there is a person, a tree, and a book in the image, is there? The perfect trio of recycling.
There is some texture, as a result of the layered process on the surface, as well as on the frame (sides). The painting is burdened and imperfect and loaded with history. This painting is me. My name is Abracadabra. No magic word is ever going to fix our planet, but a little bit of care and consideration from us all might make a big difference
Birds have always been a metaphor for freedom – I would surely have loved to sport a set of glistening feathery wings which could carry me up and away high into the blue yonder… I can go there without flight though, in my dreams! I soar away on thoughts and memories, flights and fantasies that boggle the mind and it makes no sense. Does it matter? Hell no 😉
Learn to fly