Wild Water, oil on cotton, 91 x 122 cm SOLD
This recent painting is my celebration of the Cataract Gorge in flood. The paint was applied with abundance, vigour and speed in the spirit of the raging waters themselves.
I entered this painting in the 2011 Tasmanian Art Award, 9 April to 17 April, where it presently hangs with a satisfying red sticker on the label.
The Launceston Cataract Gorge is an amazing place , all the more so for being adjacent to the CBD. Tamed to a sedate trickle by hydro-engineering and picnic tables, the Gorge patiently dozes under the keel of tourist boat rides.
But annually it wakes, shakes off the tourist excursions, and rages towards the city centre to surge spume under Kings Bridge. Alongside observation platforms its waters heave and buck with gouging force, brown with mud, whipped white with unpenned fury (see a Youtube clip).
In this spirit, the paint was liberally applied with energy and speed. Picasso once said, "If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse... but surely you will see the wildness!". I made that my aim. Stylized dark and brooding rock forms combine with stylized swirling and roiling white marks for water to create a composition of diagonals, a wedge driving inexorably towards the light - and towards human habitation.
Locals make the annual pilgrimage, bringing their children, just as they were brought when they were children, to do homage. They stand, spell-bound and silenced by cusec thunder, awed by primal force, elated and unnerved by the Untamed and the Unstoppable.
Painted last December. The labour on this painting was one of the reasons why my portrait production dried up at the time. I had sold an oil landscape the previous year at the the Tasmanian Art Award but that was significantly smaller in size.
I figured i haven't got time to waste, so went for broke.