A Manifesto for my being a painter of the poetic. Poetry, in the words of Audre Lorde, is "the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought." And, Stephanie Dowrick: We call a moment poetic when it takes us ‘elsewhere’ from the ‘where’ of the familiar. (p58)
I want to make paintings that are: o Substantial, o Profound, o True. (( I am intrigued with how as a teenager I was so moved by John Keats words in Ode on a Grecian Urn: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. (lines 48–50) And I am still working to comprehend how this statement shapes what I am doing.)) o I want to make paintings that have a purpose, a reason, and that are authentic. o I want to paint what a powerful privilege it is to be alive. I want to paint the intensity of that feeling. o I want to paint works that are shaped by the rhythms of the land, and life. o I want to make paintings that seek to intensify the ordinary. o I want to make paintings that emerge from ‘authentic gestation.’ o I want to make paintings that build on my discipline of drawing the figure; that are felt, not measured. o I want to make paintings in which the brush mark, the gesture is always evident. These are the works of human heart and hand, not machine. o I want to make paintings that invite both, spirit and mystery, to dwell. You cannot paint spirit and mystery only make paintings in which spirit and mystery might choose to dwell. o I want to make paintings that soar, and lure, at the same time. o I will paint humbly, and be open to uncertainty (rather than paint arrogantly and dogmatically.) o I will make endless repeated efforts to render the same image… “that way we go into our deepest being and produce what no other artist can.” (Tom George) o I will strive to make works that are elevated and powerful in their spiritual force, (Influenced by Scully’s description of Rothko.) o I will look at the work of Aboriginal artists, especially those of the East Kimberly to discern their genius for inventing an abstraction that somehow, depicts, and brings to life, all that is slumbering beneath the surface of the land. o I will look closely at Western Artists, especially, Matisse, Avery, Rothko, Scully, Pollock, Diebenkorn, Guston, Dubuffet, Keifer . and Australian artists, Tony Tuckson, Ian Fairweather, Roy Jackson, John Peart etc., o And, I will value the process of making paintings above the showing of the paintings. “The poet is poet by making feeling and language mingle regardless of whether a poem ever comes.” (M.S. Burrows)
o This all works to address the question: How can I, how will I, paint paintings that are substantial, profound and true?