this is a fence panel, but it reminds me of the beach when the tide has gone out…or you could crop it a different way and it would be like a sea and sky scape…either make me happy 🙂 the wood grain pattern has a beautiful li, a flow that is entirely natural, a record of seasons that went well or badly for the tree. there are many lines, but because they are in the li, they do not impose, they rest easily on the eye, in the mind. this humility in art and life has always been valued by the daoists, the value of a space that creates potential greater than a solid block… the value of yin, the receptive.

lao tzu : shaped clay makes the form, shaped space makes the function

this is a detail of hsien/heavenly, one of my favourite paintings, alas, damaged in the housemove. i will be looking at it with new eyes and making more work from it…

it was 2m x 90cm and very much this colour, with striations and inflections that photography/digital reproduction just can’t cope with, but you can get an idea…it was very refreshing and harmonious and i was always surprised it didn’t sell, perhaps it was just too big for most people…but i really enjoyed working on it, though i was exhausted after a couple of the layers, marking a grid with a fork across a door sized piece is hard on your rib and shoulder muscles, but i felt a great rapture, i was definitely in the li… and my father-in-law said at the 2003 xhib that it made him think of floating in a sunlit pool. he was very shy about it, but i think he was pleased he finally understood one of my paintings – yes, they really are that simple! hsien/ heavenly because it takes me to another dimension, away from the stress and anxiety, a place with no agoraphobia, open and safe and filled with dappling light…a place outside this world, a taste of immortality (hsien translates as immortal as well) a huge topic approached humbly, with simple tools – my hands and a fork and lots of paint!

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