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Finding Magic in the Saltwater Realms

Summer has been long and unmerciful here in the western-most city of this big island. It is late February and at times it has felt as though the bright, big-sky days will stretch on forever. Autumn is promised and we are just starting to see signs of her arrival. Over the weekend we felt the joy of receiving the gift of rain, a blessing for the desperate and scorched earth. We have been subject to heatwave after heatwave with temperatures soaring to 40 celcius and above and the earth was parched and begging for relief.

I have found comfort inside the cool shell of my studio, recreating my adventures in the salty realm on heavy cotton-rag paper. Work has been flowing from me with a certain ease and finally, after years of distraction and discomfort, I feel as though I have come home to my art. Right now I feel a great deal of joy in creating and it's showing up in my work in layers of colour and an exuberance of form and texture. I am not holding back, not one bit, and it's filling me up!

I am heavily focussed on creating a cohesive body of work this year. It requires a lot from me as I find it difficult to focus on one thing for long periods. But I am determined to build something that I can be proud of, something I love and that expresses this great admiration and awe I feel for the world below the waves. I've been pouring myself into experimenting with materials and finding new ways to convey the strange and otherworldly forms of marine life. It's so much fun but also challenging and I am being continually tested by the works that have emerged in the studio. I don’t plan paintings, I just let them form over time and there are incomplete pieces scattered all over the place waiting for resolution. I am deep in the process and muck of making and it’s utterly delicious to be wading around in the strange pond of my imagination.

My recent works are inspired by summer snorkels and time in the sea. We’ve been exploring the little reefs at our local beach every chance we get and heading a little further afield on weekends. This time in the sea, or near the sea, is a necessary part of my process right now. I’ve been bringing our old GoPro on our adventures and attempting to capture some of the strangeness of the underwater realm. These images have proved to be valuable as source material and I think I’d like to get a better camera for next summer. 

Isn't the saltwater world magical? I'll never get over how amazing and enchanting nature can be!

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