What do I do?
Observing the chaos
In motion
Exploring the Chaos
A new series which explores uprooting


Once again, I have uprooted. I have moved many times in my life and this time from the UK to NZ. As I write this, I have no real home, I am in transition.

I do not always immediately fall in love with my new homes but do eventually through trying to find the beautiful in my surroundings. This was the case with moving to Hoylake on the Wirral peninsula in 2005. I found it initially too windy, the beach too barren, I was used to trees and found it hard to bond with the landscape. I spent months walking an hour everyday along the coast. I would scan the ground for shells and pebbles, I discovered mermaids purses and sea potatoes... then  the birds. I started to know all their names and their migration patterns. I started to understand the tides. I fell in love with the clouds, the sea and the coastal landscape and this growing love was reflected in my art. Picasso said that painting is just another way of keeping a diary. This is absolutely true for me. My children, my life, my theories are on the canvas'. I cannot do 'formula'. My paintings change as I change, as I move, as I get inspired.

At this point in time, I am a colourist and an intuitive painter who has been exploring chaos, with an increased interest in creating the illusion of spacial depth on flat surfaces. I'm trying to create my 3-d depth effect series without the use of the 3-d glasses. This is attempted through throwing paint from the paintbrush onto the surface in order to create movement and manipulating hand movements in order to create perspective.  My method is similar toPollock although seeking different result. Emotionally and intellectually, my latest pieces seem to be a response to the sea change happening around us and to my life in general...as it is absolute chaos and I am uprooting. In the previous series I have been using visual metaphors with a particular focus on the shell to express my perceptions of world events as well as more personal ones. Storm Brewing and Sea change may in fact be reflections of what I intuitively felt was going to happen in my life.

As I grew up on and around the stage (both my parents were actors and quickly wanted to have a go myself) many of my paintings have a theatrical element to them. Objects are under imaginary spotlights or subjects are in poses, like stills from a film. My technique has become looser, although this might be symptomatic of my switching to oils, where there are less time constraints. My thirst for depicting accurate light on and through objects has become stronger as has my love for chiaroscuro and tonal play.
My works fall into two main categories. One iscolourful and bold; the other reflects nature in a more realistic way. It has recently dawned on me that as a child, I had two worlds. The inside world at home of colourful plastic toys, Fisher-Price mainly, and the outside world of nature, where I spent time playing in fields and trees. When one looks at my bold, colourful works (mainly abstracts), hints of this past "inside play" childhood comes through, in the way objects are shaped and in the way the light comes through them. The other style reflects a more natural colourpalette and lighting.
I am truly in love with the process of painting.

I tend to alternate between the two painting styles, although occasionally I will combine them. The natural based paintings tend to be methodical and planned, I have a rough idea of how they will look like before I even apply paint to canvas. The other is instinctual, similar to the Inuk (Inuit) sculptor, who works with a piece of soapstone to discover the animal hiding within. Contrastingcolours and organic shapes develop as the painting grows, with a goal of harmony, and a search for balance. It is an adventure in two dimensions, that when finished, offers the viewer a complexity of visuals, and hours of meditative pleasure. 

Written by

Micheline Robinson

28 Dec 2012