Travel and Painting

Every now and then I check out the stats on the blog from where people are reading my blog from. It’s quite astonishing how many people from so many very random (to me) countries are having a look at my blog. Heaps of Canadians, for example!  Or maybe it’s just one dude in Canadia who is just sitting there staring at my work obsessively….

BTW. If Australians are from Australia, then Canadians are from Canadia.  I have a bit of a policy in pointing that out to the Canadians I know, they find themselves being forced to own that as truth.  At least to my face.

There are folk from all over the place having a bit of a look see and that is most excellent.
The point of this blog is to show off my art work and burble about things that interest me and how they relate to art and why and how and what I choose to work on. It’s nice to see people taking an interest!

The point of this blog post is that I have never really done justice in artwork to all the utterly cool places I’ve been to.

I have done a fair whack of overseas travel but I’ve never really painted or drawn from that, other than the trip to Nepal from 1998.

Prayer flags, Kathmandu outside monkey temple

Prayer flags, Kathmandu outside monkey temple

I went back to Nepal two years ago – did the trip across Tibet and down into Nepal, and the scene I took the photo from above and painted, had changed almost beyond belief. The roads are no longer potholes and dirt, and modernization has hit the city a lot (though walking to the temple from the tourist town still was just the same, the bits that were really modern were the high end and tourist bits rather than the back streets, which still had that utterly repulsive and yet exotic rotten buffalo bone smell)….

I’m not sure why I don’t paint overseas things much. Possibly because they are quite alien to me, also I’m in holiday mode not art mode. I will photograph more things I might want to paint now that I am doing more with landscapes, too. I also don’t feel much affinity for landscapes overseas even if i find them beautiful or wonderful to be in – they don’t make me want to paint them. They don’t call to me the same way that almost anywhere I go in Victoria (the state I live here), does.

Nepal 98 was a life changing trip, Nepal 2011 was less so – I’d done it before and it was very strange revisiting a place like that. Was only there a few nights on the last trip and it was a great recovery from being in Tibet where I suffered greatly from the altitude problems. You don’t really know how unrelenting and horrible that can be till you’re at 3800 metres, and you break out in spots, cold sores, blood noses, plus that horrible headache and feeling of nausea that lasts the whole time you were there! (“Did you go trekking?” … “TREKKING, i could barely climb into the landrover!”)

I’m going overseas again in November, off to Bangalore and Chennai to go to a friends wedding; super short holiday.

I’ve been to India before – went and did a tour of Madhya Pradesh and so i saw Sanchi, Mandu, Bhopal, Ujjain, Maheshwar, and the Bhimbetka caves. What utterly awesome bit of India that was, even Bhopal which most people only know through the Union Carbide tragedy, was a wonderful city to visit. I also did the golden circle trip which was less awesome, full of people hassling you to sell you things, though still quite spectacular (the Taj Mahal is actually as good as it claims to be, which is surprising, though it is in Agra and frankly, agra is horrid), and also that incident of the car-breaking-down-outside-a-cafe-for-hours-who-only-had-fosters-beer thing put a bit of a damper on that bit of the trip.

I have done no paintings of India at this point. I am taking my better camera this time, maybe I’ll come back inspired!

China held no appeal to the bit of me that likes to paint landscapes. Some of the scenery was very beautiful but it’s not something i feel the need to get down on paper. I also disliked it a lot – I was actually there this time last year – not somewhere i want to immortalize. Since then my feelings for the place have become a lot more complex but none of them are overly positive. Not painting it though. ew.

Other places I’ve been but don’t want to paint – France, Italy, England, Scotland, Wales, Japan. I’ve considered Easter Island but not of the moai, there was a magnificent volcanic crater i cannot do justice to but would be spectacular if i could. Maybe one day when my skill has improved, I’m still very much learning to do landscape. Chile, down near patagonia, was wild and rugged but when i was there it was very grey and cold and nothing I would paint.

I’m going to try and do some more landscapes. My favorite landscape painter is currently Arthur Streeton. He has a trick of painting parched heat, of sunshine and dryness, which is how most of Australia is most of the time (lets ignore that utterly insane rain over the last few days and in fact right now…. WTF Melbourne Weather!!!!). I wish I could paint like that. Something to practice up to getting my own way of painting so marvelously,  I guess.