NERAM Armidale
Acrylic Works on Paper and Canvas

Art is about the manipulation of materials and elements in order to convey an idea. For me it is an ongoing challenge to transform basic matter into what we all aim for as artists, the ultimate artwork. The initial trigger may be a landscape, a scene where the placement of forms, the colour and light, strike a chord. The struggle then begins in earnest with the image being inwardly churned over and manipulated before being transferred, via thumbnail studies on paper, onto canvas or board. This is no easy task when the aim is not to produce a literal image, but to capture the sensation of being in the landscape, along with its many rhythms and moods.

There is a constant layering, pushing and dragging of liquids, scraping, gouging, stippling and splattering, cutting, shredding, glueing and glazing, until the right effect is achieved. It can be seemingly never-ending until, if I am lucky, it all clicks into place, and before me I see a pleasing composition where the interplay of colour and light brings the surface to life. I can then feel that I may be one step closer to acting as a medium for something greater in the cosmos.

Many of the outcomes are unexpected, good and bad, and can result in the development of new techniques, as long as they can be duplicated in subsequent works. Numerous hours can be spent at the canvas for it to be then totally unravelled in one brief sitting. One of the biggest lessons for a visual artist is not to give up after failure, as for me a good forty percent of what I do does not work, and I am forced to paint over surfaces I may have worked on for days.

However the drive to create paintings never diminishes and while it can be wildly frustrating, it can also give me the ultimate high.