The Twelve

Above is one of the first paintings I ever did. It was painted in a friend’s garage using automotive paint. Despite its lack of artistic merit, I knew, on it’s completion, that I would spend my life painting. I held the conviction (and still do) that if I devoted myself to it – giving it my time, energy and resources – something beautiful would happen, something akin to creation. All I had to do is show up and keep trying; and when I learned to do it well, to push beyond that and do it better.

As Jacob Bronowski said:

“Creation consists of finding unity, finding likenesses, finding pattern…Nature herself is chaos; she is full of infinite variety without order. But if you see her with inner vision, a creative mind (whether poetic…or scientific…) there comes a moment when many different aspects suddenly crystallize in a single unity. You have found a key; you have found a clue; you have found a path which organizes material. You have found what Coleridge called “unity in variety.” That is the moment of creation.”

About a year after the garage painting, I experienced one such moment of creation – a kind of exponential, creative leap forward; from there I began the project I have been working on for the past 17 years.

The project, when finished, will consist of 12 paintings. I am currently working on number 8. They are the roots, foundation and soul of my art practice, and the reason I do everything else. They are a labour of love and I happily weave my life around my 3 daily painting sessions. For many years I thought they would be the only work I would produce, but that has turned out not to be the case.

I do not put images of the 12 paintings online, but anyone who wants to is welcome to come and see them.