A site to share my drawings, paintings, photographs and thoughts.
Monthly Archives: September 2022
The Prettiest Star
In the past I have written about “undercover white” (Click on the underlined words to see the post). This is my method of putting a layer of white underneath colour to increase its glow and luminosity.
In this drawing I did something different – and for the first time. I put a light layer of grey underneath all of the surroundings (but not under the bird himself) before putting colour layers over the top. I did so because I wanted the background to be exceedingly muted. My hope was that the purple-backed fairy wren, with his pure un-greyed colours, would stand out from all the rest.
I drew the same bird several months ago. “Beautiful Bird” sold earlier this year but I liked him so much that I did another drawing of him for my April 2023 exhibition.
In the latest drawing “The Prettiest Star” (thank you, David Bowie, for the title) the bird is slightly inclining his head towards the viewer.
Here is the drawing I did last December. Both drawings are sourced from a photo-burst I took of him while he stood still for at least two seconds. Purple-backed fairy wrens don’t hang about for long.
A few weeks ago I published a post on a drawing called “Celestial Forest“. I loved working on the drawing so much that when I finished it I knew I had to make a considerably larger version for my April 2023 exhibition.
“Celestial Forest” had been composed from the left side of a photo I had taken at Donnelly River in June. For “Transcendence” I worked from the whole photo.
“Transcendence” reminds me of Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionist painting “Blue Poles”. However in my abstract realist drawing the verticals are (thankfully) not poles, but living trees.
As I stood in that patch of forest I was so moved by the sunlight filtering through the trees that it felt like a divine experience… as if I were inside a prayer. The interplay of light, wet leaves and branches became a kind of moving leadlight.
What was a word to describe this? It was Matthew who came up with my title. “Transcendence”, he said, and I knew that he was right.
I did not want to compare “Transcendence” with “Celestial Forest” so I waited until the latter had gone to its new home before putting final touches on the former.