ARE MUNDANE SUBJECTS BORING?
A lot of paintings contain imaginative subjects and compositions that attract one’s eye and often excite us. But what if the subject is a group of similar-shaped objects, with no real ‘stand-outs’? What if these objects or shapes are so similar that it’s hard to find a focal point? This approach is a real challenge, but for some unknown reason it’s one that I enjoy. What at first looks ‘boring’ can be quite interesting if each object/shape is studied individually.
When we first look at a painting, what do we see? A certain shape or colour may stand out and ‘draw’ us in. We then explore the composition, deciding its merits and then walk off to the next painting on the wall. It’s often that simple and it’s part of the viewing process we undertake and according to research we spend about 7 seconds on most of the paintings we view in galleries.
What is there to see in a collection of pumpkin seeds, as illustrated in one of the coloured pencil paintings I’m currently working on? What’s so special about the 3 paintings of pieces of slag from the former smelters at Chillagoe in Far North Queensland? The answer? I believe the ‘mundane’ and the ‘ordinary’ that we so often recognise is anything but that. No two objects are identical. Sure, it may look like a pile of rubble, but closer examination opens a whole new world – the ‘macro’ world. Small can be interesting if we take the time and not just look, REALLY LOOK. If you haven’t, there’s a whole new world waiting for you!