Friday, March 20, 2009


These petroglyphs are in N'Dala Gorge about 100km east of Alice Springs.
The gorge is an area of great significance to the Eastern Arrente Tribe
To reach the gorge requires a 4wd but the scenery is outstanding and I highly recommend a visit.
These petroglyphs are said to be a conservative 10,000 yrs old.
They are not surrounded by fences or security. Just sitting there for anyone to look at and touch. Not a sign of vandalism or graffiti to be seen. The place emanates a very spiritual aura. A wonderful place.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The weather is starting to cool just enough to go exploring with more comfort here in Alice Springs.
Last Saturday we ventured in to the East MacDonnell Ranges to try and find some Rock Art and to see for ourselves some of the Sacred Sites within 100kms of the town.
Needless to say we had a fulfilling day. I took well over 300 photographs.
This simple Dragonfly sat still long enough for a couple of shots.
PS3 enhanced the palette.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Filles Érotiques, Dedicated to Alice

The Alice Springs theme continues from Namatjira to these two lovers.
As I've been on a retrospective curve this week I thought this one from late last year is an example of a more recent figurative watercolour.
I've adjusted the saturation a little from what I'd uploaded onto my website previously(for those who have seen it before). It was too pink looking. This is a more accurate jpeg.

"The Turban Guy"

A serial subject who's face s getting around a bit lately thanks to our pal David Lobenberg.
I have "feelings" for this one as my dear old mate the Blue Lake Blotch returned again after some months in absence.
I know this makes little sense to most. It relates to the odd blotchy texture that is in evidence in this painting.
This Australian made paper has, or should I say had a very desirable velvety and luxurious quality.
Somewhere in the making process the paper became vulnerable to uneven absorption and the result is a random blotchiness which when doing a delicate subject is enough to break your heart. I've spent many hours getting a good likeness in a portrait only to watch a child's face turn into something resembling a leprosy ridden camels ass after a couple of light washes of raw sienna. Or a light cobalt blue summers sky into an abstract version of The Battle of Britain.
I have stayed with Blue Lake and been in close liaison with the maker over the last 5 years to try to overcome the problem which has been happening for about 3 years on and off .
Sometimes we get great results, and lately although somewhat hard and brittle has been blotch free. Having this happen again is very disappointing. Too unpredictable to trust with larger important watercolours.
I think I've just about come to the end of the road with it.
Sorry Maurice! The more recent productions looked and felt tough and durable, yet are still proving to be as fragile as a moths wing if this is anything to go by.
Will do another of this on faithful old Arches 300gsm  rough.
Anyone want to buy 15 sheets of unopened Blue Lake?
On second thoughts it'll be fine for oil painting after a couple of coats of gesso.
Apologies for the rave, just had to get it out...!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Aubrey Beardsley POI #2

Having made reference to Persons of Interest as opposed to personal heros in the last post it reminded me of this portrait I did of the british Art Nouveau oddity known as Aubrey Beardsley .
As I mentioned to Bill I've only ever painted two visual artists; Beardsley and Namatjira, both back in 2003.
I picked up a very old book of Beardsley's work back in ther 80s. Fascinating and intricate fine pen work, oft depicting the grotesque, bizarre and erotic.
I found this famous portrait in a book of Frederick H Evans' photography work around about the same time.
Evans was a great british photographer at the turn of C20.
His cathederal interior photography is magnificent and worth looking up.

Beardsley was something of a living caricature I painted this in 2003 on a 76x56 sheet of Arches.