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When Stars Align, This Happens

Everyone benefits from stepping outside their routine once in a while and immersing themselves in a new experience. I have been a little under the weather of late. Mostly because it hasn't stopped raining. But I also was sick with COVID, despite taking the recommended three times dosage. I was not seeing things as brightly as I could, this impacted my motivation and when I'm not in the studio, it all seems a little dull. I saw that Wendy Sharpe, a highly accomplished artist whom I have known and followed for many a year was giving a talk in Brisbane, I decided it was time to take a trip and just shake my world a little. What pearls might I collect. Our approach to painting is along similar lines, as her work is referred to as "strong figurative paintings, her use of narrative and a sensuous use of paint. Her work addresses timeless issues such as love, passion, human relationships and what it is like to live in the world, subjects rarely expressed today in contemporary art." Me too I thought, and I wanted to hear what she had to say.

I was accompanied to the venue by my dear friend Dorothy, and we arrived early at Metro Arts, enjoying a coffee together. I was so impressed by how much West End, Brisbane had changed. Multicultural, vibrant and full of interesting shops and restaurants. Already my spirits began to rise.

Wendy Sharpe giving her talk at Metro Arts, 7th May 2022

Whenever I am listening deeply, I doodle. My notebook was soon filled with ideas as I sat in the theatre. I was able to shift my perspective and in that moment, became aware that all was well. I have posted some of the doodles I made while I listened to the lecture by Wendy Sharpe. I asked a question about Art Statements. A tricky aspect whenever one has to enter an Art Prize. I asked how much weight, what one writes in the artist statement has on influencing the selection process of one's artwork? Otherwise, I have always wondered, why do we have to write one? My question wasn't adequately answered, but I suspect I didn't articulate myself well enough. Who doesn't get a bit nervous when speaking into a microphone? So my friends, I am none the wiser.

After I returned home, I got straight to work, and began painting "Counting My Lucky Stars"

You might enjoy seeing the underlying structure of the work, and the nod to the word 'counting' represented by the 33 in Roman numerals that make up the jetty upon which she lies. The stars make up a constellation of a 'being' that floats above.

Counting My Lucky Stars, oil on canvas, 100 x 76cm, 2022 $3500

It's still raining. But I have another adventure on the horizon. I am going to be traveling into the drier outback region of Queensland to participate in a 3 day painting workshop.

I look forward to sharing what other 'new' things I see. The important thing is to stay awake to possibilities and embrace all the twists and turns. Even if the directions can be a bit confusing sometimes..

and as I say good night, any chance I'll actually get to read the paper have been dashed.

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May 21, 2022

Reading your very positive page gives me great pleasure Saren. Your squiggles are interesting also. Enjoy your outback workshop. I’m sure you will bounce off that with many interesting paintings which we will all look forward to. You are progressing in leaps and bounds. You do amazing work. Always a pleasure to view.

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