Oyster shells purple rust river everglades tropical rustic evocative

To make the familiar unfamiliar is a large part of making new visual language.

Challenged by the Noosa Regional Gallery to produce works inspired by the unique Noosa Eco-sphere.


Some of the colours and textures that came in the early stages of this painting reminded me of oyster shells.   I remembered that there had been a program to restore oysters to the Noosa river eco-system.  Taking the cue from the painting itself, and the compositional spaces I’d begun to create, (a grid of “windows” at the top and a diagonal curve of circles, I began to recognise the Noosa Riverside from the viewpoint of the North Shore.

This viewpoint is not obvious, for one, access to the North Shore is only by ferry and then by car on the sand highway.  However, this perspective comes naturally to me as I’m always thinking and viewing landscapes from the cockpit of our boat!

So part of my risk-taking nature is to build and create fantasy landscapes that challenge the viewer to see the world from a different viewpoint.  To make the familiar unfamiliar is a large part of making new visual language.


My goal for this year has been to identify naturally recurring shapes in my own work and understanding why I’m using these shapes, when I’m using them and noting the effect.  Whenever I’m painting I’m usually asking very few questions and not thinking about much.  But unconsciously I’m using the same shapes in the same places over and over again.

I’m beginning to realise that this visual lexicon is a personal voice.  Knowing that the brain is hardwired to recognise patterns and create its own picture.  The trick then is to set up familiar scenarios and force the viewer to stand in a different spot to make sense of it.

Someone once said, narrow down your art practice into a few simple words.    I had to narrow down what I’m doing it would be:

Sitting in the cockpit, looking at nature and feeling small.


Above Left:   Sprindrift (Noosa North Shore)
Above Right:  Beach Access 25 (Picnic Cove)