It began with cows at Bundanon. The track from the river back to the studio through the paddocks. I would spend hours not talking with anyone, the cows would look intent, like they had something to say so I asked. The wombats weren’t good art critics. They would amble hurriedly away or disappear down the hole looking disappointed at my efforts. Their ability to put poo on a rock summed it up – they were sculptors and looked at my work as being too flat. Maybe they’re right.
Possums have given me mixed messages -they are like the art teachers who can’t help but put a mark on your work, not that I am opposed to that -there has been evidence of nibbling, delicate foortprints in charcoal and the curl of a tail disappearing in the rafters when I turn the key.
A scene in Frida a movie on the life of Frida Kahlo showed Diego Rivera’s dog pissing on a canvas “he’s always my best critic”. Dogs are upfront. Cows chew their cud and mull it over. They throw the onus back to me as the painter -“Fix it, it’s that simple”