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Not sure what was going through the mind of a 13 or 14 year-old me, but this is perhaps what I might call my first ‘serious’ painting. I think that this was the moment when drawing or painting for me became a self-conscious entity, for better or for worse. A point in time when I became self aware of art as something more than just applying marks to paper, for mere enjoyment or for school. Suddenly, I had discovered Ego. I was something special. And in my hormonal-driven delusions of grandeur, I had finally found my spiritual Zen-like destiny, and become an artist.

It was the early ‘flower power’ days, hence the rose. But I was too young to be allowed long hair. Maryborough Boys’ High would not let me get away with that. Although to them, this WAS long hair. I was constantly being told off by teachers at school, to get my hair cut.

img959ab crop, autoAt the time I guess I thought a flower, open dressing gown and home-made amethyst pendant was close enough to what I was allowed to express. The big song of the time was “San Francisco” by Scott McKenzie. And I was one of the Beautiful People (but only in the privacy of my own bedroom). But I painted to an LP of sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar called “Sounds of India.” In my mind, I thought the sitar notes denoted colour.  Since then, I have always painted to music – usually of an ambient (& non vocal) nature.

The ‘thing’ on my eye is  an old magnifying glass  – with a tortoise-shell sliding cover (i.e. retractable magnifier). I still have it (pic below) – and I found it in my grandfather’s attic when I was a boy in England. Maybe about seven years old. I couldn’t let it go, so I hid it in my pocket and took it home. I was a naughty boy at times. And guilt-free it would seem, seen here about 7 years later in Australia. Sorry, Grandad – it was for a good cause ( a young boy’s insatiable lust for unusual gadgets).










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