20,000 years ago, in Lascaux, France, cavemen produced the earliest examples of European art. Ceremonial renditions of bison and other beasts celebrated early man’s struggle for survival, and marked the artist as something of a shaman. Using only ochre and charcoal, he captured the spirit of the slaughtered animals as a way of paying homage to the Gods. From these beginnings, the European artistic tradition flourished and grew. The aborigines, amongst others, have been at it much longer than that, of course, but, culturally, the European tradition is the one that I identify with. Those cave paintings began a dialogue between man and his Gods that continues to this day. The Gods have changed shape over the intervening millennia, and in the last century the focus of much of modern art has been on intellectual concerns. But, for me, painting remains essentially an homage to nature and the mysteries of our provenance; a celebration of human experience. When I paint, I feel like I’m part of a long and noble tradition.
I was taught how to use oil paints by an old surfboard shaper turned artist, Jack Rhodes, in Nimbin in 1979. Since then, I have painted continuously, though artistic curiosity and financial constraints have often led me into other areas, such as cartooning and animation, with varying degrees of success
In 1985, I won a Desidirius Orban Youth Award from the Arts Council of Australia, for a series of streetscapes I produced in Charters Towers, North Queensland. The following year, I won the Townsville Art Prize and was included in the Sulman Prize exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW. I also featured in the Sulman Prize in 1993.
Since moving to the North Coast in 2001, after a decade and a half animating, writing and drawing for surf magazines, I have been pleased to be able to concentrate more on painting again. I enjoy tackling many different subjects — portraits, landscapes, figure studies and still life. I work directly from life, without the aid of photography. I have participated in many group shows over the years, including the Country Energy Landscape Prize, 2003, Art on the Rocks in 2005 and at Rex-Livingston Art Dealer, Surry Hills, in November 2007. I recently had my first solo exhibition in over a decade at Black Rock Studio, Nambucca Heads.
I’m happy to accept commissions, by arrangement.