Song of the Earth

1999 -2007

This series had a long gestation period. The idea developed as I worked on 'Hillcrest', my country property, and planted thousands of trees. The sudden confrontation with nature, after years of being cloistered in city studios, had an overwhelming effect on me. I was able to experience nature’s presence in all its intricate variety. Mahler's Song of the Earth helped me give structure to the series.

I decided that I wasn’t quite through with the poured-on veils of paint that I had used in the Klingsor’s Garden series. This time however I began to use a stick of pastel to delineate some of the areas created by the running together of the different colours. Some areas I completely painted over with more opaque colours and some areas I left in their original running form. These drawn, pastel lines would eventually become the prominent feature in the next two series. The pastel lines, which I had used in the earlier paintings to delineate shapes, now began to change. I no longer used a pastel stick but painted them on. They also started taking on a life of their own by floating all over the surface.