Cloud Dwellers

A rainbow is God’s way of showing us 
multifaceted colours of provision and care. 
A rainbow is eternal truth visible in technicolour.
Imagine it as a radiant spectrum
of Grace molecules.
It lands on the rooftops of our houses,
waters the ground we walk on,
and dampens our skin and our hair 
like so many glistening diamonds.

A rainbow houses cloud dwellers
And Shepherds the Spirit,
as she weaves her magic over every horizon.
And those who watch over us,
the closest of soul friends 
Are wrapped around us like a 
cosmic blanket.
When we step away from our dreaming bodies
we can return their embrace. 

Forever East and Forever West

It was all an illusion
The darkness
The vertigo of it all
Like those paintings
with the black swirling lines.
I was, in fact planted deep in the soil
My face upturned to a gentle sun.
The breeze reached out wide.
From forever East to forever West.
Expanding,
Embracing.
Skipping,
Twirling,
Swaying
Behind me and before me.

I saw my right hand
full of all your gifts
Like gold.
My left hand held sorrow,
Like myrrh

My feet entwined with the ground
And you were there, too.
You are the Ground.
And I knew
in those mysterious inner knowings
that I could move
Forever East or forever West
Lay asphalt on my roads.
Devise my own schemes,
Write my own story
Make a multitude of mistakes.
And all of it like a kaleidoscope
Inside your heart.
Because, as you said,
“I Created You
Before height or depth
or East and West”

Unfinished

Today it occurred to me that I have accumulated a backlog of unfinished drawings and paintings. Rather than follow a rabbit trail that spirals into self-sabotage and despondency, I decided to try to see it in positive terms. What if unfinished artwork is not a sign of being distracted or undisciplined but a necessary part of creativity?

I’ll never forget one time when I was renting a studio which, as part of a heritage building in Fremantle, had frequent visitors who came to look at the building as well as the art in the studios there. Taking advantage of the sunny morning,I was working on the front porch when a man and his partner greeted me and asked if they could have a look at what I was painting. I was working on an intuitive, colourful artwork which as far as I was concerned was far from finished. He told me he wanted to buy it “as is”. “Can I just tweak this bit?” I said, motioning toward a part of the canvas that looked halfway between a bizarre-looking bird and a flower. “No, I really want to buy it as is” he replied.

Later as we were talking I found out that his daughter had died tragically in a car crash. My son was also claimed by the roads just two before at the time. We each had this acknowledgement that grieving parents share; an unspoken “you also understand this reality of living through the unthinkable”.  I realised just as his daughter’s life was unfinished, there was a poetic truth and melancholy beauty he could see in an unfinished artwork. Now more than ever, after losing my own precious boy, I am beginning to see that the true meaning of creating is not about product, but communication of ideas, thoughts and messy emotions. It’s about he communion and solidarity we share in being human and a bit broken and unfinished ourselves. 

Art unfinished is raw and candid. It reveals the artists state of mind before it is erased through the fine tuning we do to create an image that is deemed worthy of the external gaze.

I decided to photograph my unfinished pieces, not only to reflect on them but also to validate them as meaningful explorations. They are pockets of inspiration, which is valuable whether bought to fruition or abandoned. They silently protest the mantra of productivity we have in our culture. They remind me that it is the process of creating, not the end result that holds the true magic. The magic of responding to inner prompts and being brave enough to try and sometimes fail. 

 

Art tutorial inspired by illustrator Kay Nielsen

I’ve been steadily uploading some art tutorials and talks on Youtube lately. I feel a real call to offer some open-ended art ideas aimed at unlocking creativity, and just adding inspiration for those wanting to embark on their own creative journey. I hope you enjoy!