ON THE ROAD
(The following notes were written in Anthem Arizona USA on July 23rd 2003)
The last year has been hectic given the miles covered and also exhibitions in Dubai and at present in Scottsdale Arizona. Since painting in Egypt, I have returned to Australia and have also visited Seattle (Washington State USA), Southern California and the Sonoran desert where I completed two beautiful canvases of the Saguaro National Park, west of Tucson which comes close to the way that I feel about these ancient lands. Close by was the Saint Xavier monastery built by Spanish Jesuits and I painted a little small format of this beautiful building for a close friend in Arizona.
The Mount Rainier canvas in Seattle will be published on the catalogue soon, but unfortunately the two canvases from Vasanta Way (Hollywood) of downtown Los Angeles and of the hills, were sold wet to a client in Hollywood, before they could be photographed for the web site.
This year I also revisited London and Paris. Both cities produced two medium formats of Westminster Abbey from the abbey grounds and across the Thames (Waterloo) A painting of Paris from the Basilique du Sacre Coeur which also shows the balustrade at the bottom of the steps was produced in wet weather. This required an appeal to the French gendarme who stopped me midway through the painting due to a lack of permit.
The other Paris painting made the European trip worthwhile for itself alone. It was painted from the northern bank of the Seine near the Place de Concorde and close to the water. Two French barges, the Eiffel Tower looking southwest across the southern bank with lots of water. I am proud of this painting and it will be added to the catalogue soon.
A little tale of these two paintings. After finishing them, I visited the Musee d'Orsay where all the great impressionists are housed in Paris. Museum security locked my two paintings in a special room while I viewed the rest of the gallery. That these two paintings were housed in the same building as all those great canvases by Pissaro, Cezanne, van Gogh, Monet and Sisley - even for just a few hours - gave me a high which is undescribeable, and when you see these two paintings on my catalogue soon, you will understand why the ghosts in the d'Orsay would have smiled.
After Paris, Dubai and another exhibition before a short stay in Australia, I have now returned to the United States to attend my exhibition here in Scottsdale Arizona. I am also involved in the production of a TV documentary which will highlight many different countries of the world, a lesson in painting the way I do (in situ) and an impressionist's view of Art and the world in which we live. Also reflections about the other impressionists who painted the way that I do.
(The following notes were written in October 2002)
During this calendar year of 2002 I have been painting in the USA and Europe. Recently an exhibition in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) introduced me to the Gulf region and subsequently I have been painting in Egypt and Oman as well. Fascinated by the desert country as usual and also the bedouin tribes and their colourful and timely nature.
Earlier this year, Arizona and the beautiful Saguaro cactus brought my easel back to Sedona and also the surrounds of Phoenix where I was finally able to paint the "praying monk" which is a feature of Camelback mountain rising from the suburbs of this desert city. Sedona produced some more buttes and redrock canvases.
In September I visited Alexandria in Egypt before travelling down the Nile from Giza to Luxor, across to the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea. Egypt produced five canvases, however the Giza and Valley of the Kings, paintings were sold on arrival in Dubai.
Earlier in the year I revisited Sweden, painting the last of the winter snow at Gothenburg and the wind islands south of here. Also north in Umea and Norrbotten. Before flying to the Gulf, works at Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath in London.
Painting in the UAE and Oman during June and July proved difficult because of the heat, but I managed to produce almost 20 paintings there. Now I have returned to Oman after visiting Australia and the United States.
The hand of God, the wind and mysterious forces of the earth, in particular it's tectonic ferocity, have all combined to make Oman a sanctuary for nature, a paradise for (geologists, photographers and painters) those who love wide open unspoiled spaces.
On this return to Oman I visited the Musandam Peninsula in the extreme north. Musandam means Anvil in Arabic. The Shihuh tribe live in these rugged and high mountains where pride is very strong. The sea and mountains fight a fierce battle. Today they exist intrinsically bound to each other.
When the evening falls...the green, fawn, blue and mauve masses melt into a translucence discernable against the night sky.
The capital of Oman is Muscat. Sparkling white topped with golden minarets - is nestled in the middle of a maze of brown pleated mountains plunging down to the Indian Ocean. For four centuries this royal city of Oman from where Sindbad the Sailor started his exotic journeys; has been watched over by the two forts of Mirani and Jalali tightly knit around the sultans palace. The last week I have been painting the coast west of Muscat. Along the Hajar mountains which rises as it heads west into the heart of this timeless land.
(The following notes were written in December 2001)
The year 2001 has been eventful and prolific.
Early in January I hung out in Los Angeles where the paintings of Malibu led me further inland to the Mojave desert around Joshua Tree and Pipes Canyon. It was at Pipes Canyon that I experienced a mountain lion whilst painting the Sleeping Indian series. There have been other occasions when I've encountered animals in the wild notably in the Okavango Delta in central Africa and the Great Karoo in South Africa. I enjoyed the Mojave and it's colourful history with regards indigenous peoples given the soft groundwater there that have sustained so many generations.
From there it was east again towards Sedona in northern Arizona. Arriving as the late winter snows were melting and the red earth with it's magnificent Buttes and cobalt undergrowth presented an artist's haven. The Arizona paintings have unique colorist personality and I was in a very enthused state of mind. Arizonans are a beautifully spiritually enriched people and encounters with the locals at Sedona made my visit there worth remembering.
Europe had not yet blossomed into summer when I touched down at Schipol in Amsterdam to begin painting there in May. The London series as always was painted under cloudy skies, but over the years I have become used to the moods of London. The Greenwich painting from the Point gave me an interesting view of the Thames with St. Pauls, but the Westminster canvas on a rainy day seemed to have captured the spirit of that city.
Amsterdam, Paris and Prague followed in quick succession interspersed by rural scenes in France and Belgium. The Sacre-Coeur painting (Paris) brings me great pleasure and for any collector this painting which is priced at USD 15,000 in the catalogue will be fought over by agents and owners in the years to come. Hopefully I will be present to witness all this drama.
Prague is fast becoming a very favourite city to paint and I never tire of Karlov Most (Charles 4th bridge) having painted it from Strelecky Ostrov (the island in the Vltava river) and from as far away as Petrin and Mala Strana. This year, Prague which is fast becoming my golden city, produced six canvases and the weather held just long enough for me to complete my work.
Big bird took me
over to Mumbai (Bombay) in India. During June and July the monsoon rains normally
drive tourists away from India and it suited me fine. On occasions I was the
only guest in beach resorts along the southwestern coast. Having India and
it's cyclonic and fierce mid-year weather all to myself.
The Goa Benaulim beach painting was lashed to two coconut trees like a ships` sail while I virtually threw paint at it during a cyclone. Harrassed by monkeys and flying debris. India is always a treasure for me to visit and the subsequent canvases at Varkala, Allaphuza, Kaniyakumari and Hampi with it's glorious Vijayanagara history was a pleasure beyond comprehension. I traveled back to the north via the state of Karnataka which is mainly desert and dry. Until Poona in the north the vegetation is sparse and the locals impoverished.
A short stay in Australia during August, and I was back in the United States, visiting friends in Hollywood and Malibu. These last few months I have been the guest of the beautiful people of Arizona in it's futuristic city of Phoenix and the northern suburb of Scottsdale where my heart resides.
Being in the USA during the cowardly attack on civilians in New York and Washington in September have shaken my grounding, and I grieve alongside Americans and those affected. A short while ago I arrived back in Australia and am aware of the peace here and the familiar smell of eucalyptus trees. I will spend a few weeks amongst friends in New South Wales and visit my home on the Orara river near Coffs Harbour, before returning to the USA. Hopefully I will be showing my work to the public either in Phoenix Arizona or Los Angeles California during early 2002.
This On the
Road link to my website will become a means to follow my progress around
the world, this being the first chapter of an interesting process.
Enver Larney Sydney Australia December 2001