The Twelfth Quality of Creativity – Confidence

Merry Christmas for 2015. This is an old post which somehow dropped of this BLOG. I have added it again. I hope you enjoy reading  it.

Working away in my studio, aiming for the perfect state of FLOW, I began reflecting on my many years of creating art.  Although the creative process can follow a similar trail each time you work, it still can leave you wanting a better outcome.

Why is this so?  When inspiration fails, when it seems a little dark outside, know that change is coming. I have often wondered why the creative flow can seem so inaccessible at times. I recall being told to find a word or phrase to fall back on when things are not going well. The right word or statement can have amazing powers to lift the spirits.

Without confidence we do nothing.  We flounder like a fish out of water.  I am told that in the recent floods there have been a few fish washing up in unexpected places. It doesn’t take a crisis however to lack confidence. Creativity is like the ebb and flow of the sea. The main thing is to never give up during these dark nights of the soul. The tide turns and confidence returns. Just think if you had given up and just around the corner was an amazing opening. Of course without confidence we may turn away from opportunity.

While making mistakes is a normal part of creativity, watching children painting and drawing is a real treat. They never hold back or doubt their abilities. Plenty of confidence leaps about as they jump in. I have the fruits of my grandchildren’s labour hanging up in my studio. I find the little art works on the wall after they visit. I enjoy the different moods and forms of expression in the work.

This, of course, is the secret, to be just like the children when we create, forget the end result and enjoy the journey. Confidence just has a way of coming back to lift the spirits.

Blackall Artist In Residence 2015 – Part 2

Part 2 –  Following on from the last post

Please view The Flying Arts – Blackall Cultural Association Residency VIDEO

Rested and relaxed we arrived in Blackall on the 6th October ready to begin an intense two weeks of activities that shaped my residency brief. Settling into the Living Arts Centre accommodation and surveying the complex gave me a feeling of boundless anticipation. The centre was at my disposal for the next two weeks.

The spacious Gallery Workshop would allow me time to begin creating my next exhibition of digital artworks. I also gave two one day workshops here on Finding Artistic Direction and Creating with all the Senses. Another half day workshop on Building a webpage for artists and Professional Practice was also given.

The residency came with other commitments mostly at the Cultural Centre, the artistic hub of Blackall. I opened the Festival at the Photographic Awards and judged the annual Heartland Art Awards. As artist in residence I was also given a featured area to display my own artworks.

Exploring the surrounding town and bush tracks became an early morning ritual on our bikes, and I also discovered the Artesian Spa. The Festival bought many into the town with ongoing entertainment from bands, races, markets and demonstrations.

My last day came by too quickly. I farewelled Blackall by spending a day with three classes of future artists at the local schools. Much fun was had by the eight and nine year olds in the drawing exercise.

On the road again home we visited Yaraka, population nineteen, spending time on Mt Slocome watching the disappearing sun send a diffuse glow over the vast landscape. Continuing on via Welford National Park we encountered many photographic moments before arriving home again in late October.

My Blackall journey will continue on through the experiences, stories and photographs that will continue to influence and fuel my artistic output for a long time to come. My thanks to Flying Arts and the Blackall Cultural Association for this wonderful opportunity.

Living Arts Centre Blackall

Living Arts Centre courtyard in Blackall Qld

Living Arts Centre Blackall: Artist in Residence accomodation

Living Arts Centre in Blackall Qld:  Artist in Residence accommodation


Blackall Cultural Centre, the hub of the Arts Festival

Blackall Cultural Centre, the arts Hub of the Heartland Festival

Blackall artist-in-residence 2015 – Part One

Tallegalla to Dargonelly Rock Pool Campsite at Carnarvon NP

October 2015  We travelled to Blackall, Western Queensland, to begin my artist in residence with Flying Arts and the Blackall Cultural Association. The journey from home offered the most spectacular dramatic skies. There is always some reservations about deciding to break the journey to camp in difficult areas, Mt Moffat being one that cannot allow any sign of rain to mar the escape route out.

It’s a tough drive pulling a caravan in to Dargonelly Rock Pool campsite which sits in the forest offering a short refuge from the rest of the world. With no phone or internet to break the silence you soon connect with nature, the chattering parrots and a lone male emu with his brood of chicks.

With only a few campers present there is much to see with walks to take to amazing natural sites and indigenous art sites in protected areas. Sitting around the camp site, alone now on the last day, the steadily increasing wind threatened to send us inside the caravan but we persevered, listening as the rustling trees lulled us into in to a deep sense of relaxation. With the warm breeze on our skin it felt good to be alive.

Here are some photos taken of the camp site before we continued on.


Camp Site Dargonelly Rockpool Mt Moffatt Carnarvon NP Qld

Dargonelly Rock Pool at Mt Moffat Carnarvon NP Qld

Dargonelly Rock Pool at Mt Moffat Carnarvon NP Qld


RE:Location Project …the next layer

Veiled Horizons Dusk 122 x 122 cm acrylic on canvas

Veiled Horizons Dusk 120 x 120 cm acrylic on canvas

After returning from visiting Ireland and the UK it is exciting to see new work finally starting to take shape.

Currently I am painting although I am longing to start working on some digital images for the Re:Location exhibition.

My first work took on the ambiance of  my own back yard. I overlook the Minden Valley and late in the day, as the sunlight fades, it becomes atmospheric, almost spiritual.

The third work I finished had moved offshore, taking me back to the ancient architecture of the churches and castles  and the tiny streets of my ancestral lands. The family tree then emerged and I knew it was complete. I am looking forward to posting more artworks as they emerge and I relive my wonderful seven weeks of travel.

Ancestral lands 122 x 122 cm acrylic on canvas

Ancestral lands 120 x 120 cm acrylic on canvas

Coping with the unexpected

We arrive at a time in our lives when an unexpected experience is pivotal in changing who, where and what we believe in. Today I am visiting the orthopedic surgeon who put my painting wrist back together in late January. While he must see the tragic results of many traumatic injuries he remains upbeat, loving what he does. ‘I am just a carpenter ‘ he smilingly says ‘ I just work with bone instead of wood’.

I recently began reading Taking Heaven Lightly written by Roisin Fitzpatrick, an artist whose near death experience went on to take her art to the highest places. While my smashed wrist was not life threatening, as was her brain haemorrhage, there was some concern regarding the future of my art career.

However lessons learned in life are game changers. I painted with my left hand while I questioned my path and today I am still in the studio. At some point in a recent overseas journey my right hand became part of me again. It may not be as agile as it once was, but it is early days.

Chateaubriand in Travels in Italy wroteEvery man carries within him a world which is composed of all that he has seen and loved, and to which he constantly returns, even when he is travelling through, and seems to be living in, some different world’.

Catching up with some unfinished work produced the following videos on my projects and books.

RE:Location Art Pod Project -VIDEO

Three books on the creative journey -VIDEO