This book, Travels with my Art, is a type of memoir.
It explains that I’ve been a filmmaker all my life, both fiction and documentary, but shows that I also painted and drew whenever I got the chance, which most people aren’t aware of.
In the late 1980s, I made a feature film called, Vincent and Me, which won an Emmy. For that film, I painted 30 copies of Van Gogh’s paintings, the originals not being accessible. I’d never much painted in oils before, so it was a real challenge. The results turned out well and led me to realise that I loved Vincent’s style of painting, and that I wanted to get outside in the sun and the wind just as he did, have the breeze buffet my canvas, bugs land in the sticky wet paint, and pick up on the force fields that are out there in nature. Vincent describes his painting experiences like this in his letters to his brother, Theo.
I had come to a turning point in my life. Painting Plein Air as it’s called, was so much fun. I discovered that I liked it almost as much as film making.
Now many years later since, I’ve kept virtually all the paintings I did in the Impressionist way. I’ve been able to put them together in this book to see what they add up to, to see what I’ve discovered.
I guess the main finding is that every painting has a story to tell. Often we don’t know why an artist did a particular work, but I actually have the reasons, and am able to tell the stories which I do so in the book.
I tell too how I started doing bicycle art and lino cuts. My idea was to persuade people that sitting up straight like they do in Europe, is something we should be doing in Australia if we want cycling as a transport, to take off. We also need to be able choose whether we wear helmets or not as they do in virtually every other country except ourselves and New Zealand.
I can also put an original drawing dedicated to the buyer in the back of the book, for whoever chooses to buy that option. I’m yet to see this been done anywhere else.