In 1976 our year ten art teacher Mr Stewart introduced the class to the Impressionists as part of the syllabus.Whilst not the most diligent of students, perhaps slightly rebellious to an education system that had identified me in the will be a “fisherman, farmer or alcoholic” demographic. Stupidity was not one of my qualities. A quality I do have then and today is one of steadfast unrelenting progress towards goals.

In the course of the Impressionist lesson, I heard the names Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cezzane and Sisley of their endeavours and experiences. As well as being informed that the chances of ever seeing these artists works from their observations of life around them was next to zero. I made a promise that I would.

How the world has changed in the 42 years since 1976, I have not become a fisherman, farmer or alcoholic. In fact now have my own footprint in an industry that did not even exist then. In 1996 I saw my first Impressionist originals exhibition in Melbourne, the goal was reached.

May 2017 I was in Melbourne attending the reception at Parliament House for the walkers re-enacting the trek from Robe to Ballarat of the 20,000 Chinese migrants to Australia seeking their fortune. At the same time the Van Gogh exhibition was at the National Gallery of Victoria. Again the moment was seized and I have the artist’s life shared with mine. The latest chapter was purely the cream on the cake. Walking into the second room of the Colours of Impressionism and seeing a painting that was featured in that art text book in 1976, right before me across the room.

Today I spent a morning having a chat with another artist mate, who is busy creating a series of works for digital reproduction. An industry of physical objects transitioning to distribution digitally for the benefit of the creator and the purchaser is nothing new. Hearing of the conflict and opposition to this newness as it moves to being accepted, is a topic that seems to be watered down often.

I face negatives with a stoic smile and acceptance of the need for people to speak. Many distributors of free advice are self centered, ignorant, stupid and enjoying a moment of aggrandizing themselves. My creativity is putting a roof over my head and food on the table. It is bloody hard work. Hours of research, typing text, thinking ahead of the moment we live in to prepare for next year and onward.

Living in the moment is fueled for me, by inspiration from the past. The way things were, is put on a pedestal for what purpose. To make people feel a relationship with security and comforting experiences of yesteryear? When I see the coaches, students of today have for the 45 km trip to high school compared to the buses of my time, the future wins. No more sweltering 40 degree hour plus journey home, no air conditioning, buses that got so heated the fuel vaporized stopping for 15-20 minutes and wait for the bus to be drive-able and get us home.

The end of a journey is the reward for taking the first steps. We walk with our feet not our ears. Doing the best I can all the time, keeping it simple works for me.


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