The Gift of Art

One of the great gifts of Western Art is that it helps us to see the world more clearly.

Most of us lead busy lives. We don't really have much time to stand gazing at the horizon and staring at clouds.

But with the mental tools of western art we can get more enjoyment out of even a moment of observation.

Bebeah Garden at Mt. Wilson, about 2 hours west of Sydney.
A symphony of colour at Mt. Wilson.

Bebeah Garden at Mt. Wilson, about 2 hours west of Sydney.
My interpretation of the scene.

If you've done a masterwork painting with me you know that we start each session with a quick sketch. A sketch, not a drawing.

Sketching quickly ensures that we don't get lost in the details. We are forced to record the first impressions - the most essential elements of the scene.

Bebeah Garden at Mt. Wilson, about 2 hours west of Sydney. Bebeah Garden at Mt. Wilson, about 2 hours west of Sydney.
Interpreting a scene with a quick sketch.

By studying the works of great painters like Monet, we learn an economical and expressive language for interpreting nature. Those of you with a scientific bent will know about "fractal mathematics". Fractals are the equations which underlie the patterns in nature, like the way grass grows, or how tree branches are grouped.

Painters like Monet captured the fractals of nature and left us a magnificent library to learn from.

Monet: Adolphe Monet in the Garden, 1866.
Monet: Adolphe Monet in the Garden, 1866.

Bebeah Garden at Mt. Wilson, about 2 hours west of Sydney.
A well designed garden balances the patterns of nature with artful geometry.

Bebeah Garden at Mt. Wilson, about 2 hours west of Sydney.
Water features can be endlessly fascinating, as they capture the interplay between land and sky.

I took these images in April 2016 at Bebeah Garden in Mt. Wilson, about 2 hours west of Sydney. - website