This book, Travels with my Art, explains that I’ve been a filmmaker all my life, both fiction and documentary, but I also painted and drew whenever I got the chance.
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 and so it was a real challenge. But the results turned out well and they 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 like him, have breezes buffet my canvas, bugs land in the sticky wet paint, and pick up on the force fields that are out there in nature and which he talks about 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 that 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 discovery is that every painting has a story to tell. Often we don’t know why an artist did a particular work. But I’m able to tell the stories and do so in the book.
I tell too how I started doing bicycle art. My idea was to persuade people that sitting up straight like they do in Europe, is something we should be doing in Australia too if we want cycling as 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.
Below you’ll find a sample chapter of Travels with my Art which I hope will persuade you to buy it, either a hardcopy or digitally.
By the way, I have been supporting a young artist living in Benin, Jean-Baptiste Degbeni, for several years, and now am helping him get to an art school in South Africa. Some of the money from the book will go to that project. You can see some of his drawing under his name on the community page