I FEEL BLESSED TO BE BORN NAIVE The rock, a million years old, that I sometimes sit on in Bundeena to review my life can be full of surprises. It sometimes tells me I have learned very little in my life. Aged 79 I am still as naïve as the day I was born! Of the primitive artists I have admired all my life it was Henri Rousseau, the French naïve artist, I chose to be my mentor at the age of 40, the beginning of my art career. I grew to love his art at an early age. It was for me probably because his paintings depicted his own imagination, his dreams, his fantasies, his unreal world, where there were no problems only hope for the future.. I chose Rousseau because from the age of 19 I decided when I visited the great, great art galleries of the world I always asked myself when I left the gallery what painting I would like to have under my arm on the way out. In the Louvre, in Paris, it was never The Mona Lisa, or a Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne or Monet. No it was always one of dear old Henri Rousseau’s paintings. The way to select my favourite artists has become a habit I have kept all throughout my life, it tells me where my heart lives. It’s the reason I never walk out of a gallery without taking my favourite painting in the gallery under my arm and in my head as I leave. Over the years in my imagination I have stolen all my favourites from the Tate in London, The Louvre in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art in New York. No gallery is safe when I walk inside. At the age of 21 I left Australia and landed in London in the early 60’s. As soon as I arrived I was fortunate to be introduced to and shake hands and have a glass of Champaign with Salvador Dali while on a holiday in Spain. At that stage of my life I didn’t realize how important in the art world he was. At the age of 22 I got lucky and was introduced to Brett Whiteley by another Australian artist in London Tony McGillick. In the next decade Whiteley became Australia’s greatest artist, at that time we were both in London and the same age. He remains today the youngest artist selected by the Tate to purchase one of his paintings. Visits to his studio in Kensington during the 60’s were a rare and unique privilege for me to experience. Then a few years later meeting David Hockney through an Irish dear friend the famous restaurateur Peter Langan was a turning point in my life. In London in the 70s Peter Langan started me thinking of a life after advertising. A few years later a painting Peter purchased of mine was hung in his famous Langan’s Brasserie next to a Hockney, what a thrill that was for the boy born in Dimboola Australia. Today in 2018 Hockney has become Englands most famous living artist. In 2016 we flew to Melbourne to see his latest exhibition. It was amazing! During my 20 years in London I had surrounded myself with some of the most creative people in the world and they all taught me something. As an art director I only chose the best writers and photographers to work with. The writers were Leonard Weinreich and Tony Brignull. The photographers were Bailey, Duffy and Donavan. They were my favourite’s in London. In Paris Helmet Newton, John Lou Seif became my hero’s. Then in the USA, Avendon was the photographer I wanted to work with. None of them ever let me down. Several became lifelong friends. What more can you ask for? Thinking Rock keeps the knowledge. .Me, I just live the life I’m handed. So far, so good......

March 5, 2018

Of the primitive artists I have admired all my life it was Henri Rousseau the French naïve artist I chose to be my mentor

WHY DO PEOPLE BUY ART? It’s a question I often ask myself while contemplating life sitting on my favourite rock. The Rock usually gives me the answers but this time all I got back was a question. “Why do you buy paintings?” It’s a good question that deserved a simple answer. At the age of 26 I was spending a trout fishing weekend in Abagaveny, a small village in southern Wales. As I checked out of the hotel to head back to London I thought I should write a message in the visitor’s book to thank the staff. As I flipped through the pages to see what others had written I came across this message by a previous guest. It simply read, “Life is short ….art is long” Those 6 words haunted me all the way back to London and by the time I reached home I had made a promise to myself that I would buy a painting to celebrate each year of my life. I calculated if I lived to be a 100 I would have 74 paintings to pass on to my children and the next generation. I knew those paintings would survive long after I had gone. It’s a promise I have kept and my collection will hopefully continue to grow. Many of the paintings I have collected have been painted by naïve or primitive artists. Each painting tells a story of their life, each expressing their hopes, their dreams, their personal feelings. By the time I reached 40 years of age I had visited most of the great art galleries in Europe and the USA. I had developed a short list of painters and their paintings that I would love to own, but could never afford. Those six words. “Life is short….art is long” changed my life. It’s the reason, aged 40, that I produced my first painting . Almost another 40 years later, aged nearly 80 I will have completed 800 paintings . And hopefully there’s more to come.

March 5, 2018

Those six words. “Life is short….art is long” changed my life. It’s the reason, aged 40, I produced my first painting .

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I FEEL BLESSED TO BE BORN NAIVE The rock, a million years old, that I sometimes sit on in Bundeena to review my life can be full of surprises. It some...

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