Auburn River trees


Okay, I think I’ve finished a painting today. This one has been in process for a month or so since we visited Auburn River National Park which is a tiny park with a beautiful pink sandstone gorge and lots of bottle trees in growing in their natural softwood scrub which is a type of dry rainforest. Thick vines and bushes make it a bit impenetrable but you can usually catch glimpses of the big fat trunks of the bottle trees on the edges of the vegetation.

We camped there for a weekend in March, it was a hot weekend heading over 35˚C most days and almost every biting insect Australia has to offer came to stay with us at dusk and dawn.

023_AW_13Like so many parks, it is an island nestled among all the neighbouring properties and so this painting started emerging not long after we came home. This is daggy flash-photo and the piece may find a brush back on it over the next few days… but it’s close and part of the story I plan to hang late next week.



17 thoughts on “Auburn River trees

  1. wow Adrienne just wow! I love the softness of it and the colours I just want to touch it!!

  2. Your expeditions recall adopted-native NM daughter Georgia O’Keeffe’s. She and a companion would drive her Ford Model A far from home and amenities. She would remove the back seat and paint in her mobile studio when the insects or weather proved too much, cook over a fire, and sleep in a tent. I have a very good book that compares photographs of the sites where she painted to the works she created there. It is on loan so I can’t call it out it right away. I’ll post it in comments here soon. Anyway, interesting to she how she interpreted what she saw, distilling and abstracting while remaining faithful to the sense of place. CC

  3. “Sense of Place” as a matter of fact . . .
    O’Keeffee: Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place by Barbara Buhler Lynes, Lesley Poling-Kempes and Frederick W. Turner (May 4, 2004)

  4. Grazie Nolan, and all you lot. If this blog is about feeling connected to other artists while in isolation then it’s really working for me!

    And thank you again for another book title Carey. I know G.O’K’s work a little but didn’t realise she was a plein air gal. It’s quite a strong practice for some Australian artists as often the weather is pretty forgiving.

    Oh, and I see if one was to visit New Mexico one could visit her museum. Mmmmmm. Now there’s another good reason…

  5. And you can visit one of her homes in Abiquiu New Mexico. Her other NM home is nearby at Ghost Ranch. It is not open to the public. (There is a book on her houses too!) Amazing, amazing country. I think that you might feel a kinship with O’Keeffe. You see so much of her work on calendars and post cards that it is easy to dismiss her, but the more I get past the fact that she is rightly popular, the more I love her work. Of course you need to see the real deal.

    I would not describe the New Mexico weather as forgiving most of the year, but for some it gets in the blood. Am I a plein air painter? My conceit, (goal) is that I in part transmit the environment so much as render it? Uncomfortable blog mystical bent reveal . . . Jeeze. CC

  6. OK, how about . . . I wish to be inspired by rather than to directly depict my environment.
    Talking about art is tricky. People can’t look at art when they are rolling their eyes. CC

  7. I once heard an Australian artist being interviewed who said that when artists talk about their art it’s through their art. The piece is the conversation, it is the art speak, and that most artists do find it tricky to put it into words. This artist also said that the most esoteric, intellectual art language tends to come from academics and dealers, not the artists themselves.

    I thought this was a really interesting point, and I’m glad they’re out there to do that talking and interpreting, but it’s often not our language. The first book out on John Wolseley uses a lot of ‘intellectual-speak’. I read it cover to cover and felt quite dumb at the end of it. I have no doubt it resonated with someone out there, but not me. Same with the first major book on another Australian artist, Fred Williams, who’s work I love so much. But the recent 2nd book on Williams is highly readable and the review of it said same.

    Secret Shame Confession: I don’t read ALL my art books. Some of them I just look at the pictures. Okay, it’s out there now…

  8. That’s me Adrienne……I , mostly, only look at the pictures too. But that’s ok because we are getting all the information we need in our language.

    Now for my favourite quote by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. ( I actually read books about him and his ideas….and his mandalas and artworks.) Now to the quote…

    “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

  9. I am there with you on the quotes. I also think that there is much art that is a clearly a product of the intellect and a very predetermined, methodical, learned, right and wrong process. I admire much of it, but it is not what I am attempting.

    I imagine that we all had second thoughts about blogging, yet here some of us are almost daily. If we don’t try to talk about art, at least some of our process, than this space is essentially and electronic gallery. OK. I think that this space should serve our individual purposes. I like the verbal exchanges very much and have no problem separating them from the “play instinct.” Many of us seem to get out there when writing Artist’s Statements or talking academics. That is why I like the book “Inside the Painter’s Studio” because it is an artist talking to other artists in their studios. The pretense falls away for the most part. So, I’m trying to cut through obfuscation (by using words like “obfuscation”, right?) get past my own filters, and join in a conversation.

  10. As a regional artist it is my observation that we (regional artists) are sometimes less articulate about our art practices because of lack of opportunity to interact with our creative peers. This is where so much can be gained through blogging. I think we are all starting to realise and appreciate that. cx

  11. When I got back into showing a few years back, I dreaded art talk. I have since discovered that once I get over the nerves I won’t shut up. I am far too edumacated now (BFA) to hope for idiot savant status, so I kind of like to absorb the context/biography/quotes of artists that I admire. I suppose that painting for me is an attempt at the Zen practice of long preparation, then “forgetting” in the act of doing. But I do always have my “Monkey Mind” chattering away. Always. So . . . my approach is this: considered spontaneity, then editing. Repeat as necessary. Kind of glad that my pontification is buried here in the comments.

  12. Beautiful work Adrienne, and terrific conversation here too – a blog working well it would seem!! All the best, Rob

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