Watersheds is a series of oil-paintings by Richard Blundell, focusing on Daisy Hill’s bush landforms. A hallmark of these paintings is the integration of Eastern meditation processes with Western ‘en plein air’ practices.
Painting starts as meditation ‘of’ place by being ‘in’ experience. Mindful ‘deep-seeing’ a specific ecosystem in a state of ‘non-attachment’ is an antidote to the deforming constructs of a striving and ambitious mind’s inner eye. The ‘way’ of this approach includes complete adherence in reporting experience using en plein air traditions.
This ‘way’ has unanticipated associative outcomes. In series, Watersheds ‘reports’ on the global shifts in atmospheric circulation over time. Across each painting, the feedback loop of El Niño in 2019 with wide-spread bushfires and drought followed by La Niña’s ‘greening’ can seen. The problematic changefulness experienced moment-by-moment during en plein air painting is eliminated by slow watchful mindfulness over four to six weeks of painting. Landforms become still and frozen. Routinely painting in Daisy Hill Conservation Park and in my Land-for-wildlife bushland garden establishes connection to Tingalpa Creek and to the Redland region. The ‘matter-of-fact’ of Watersheds becomes a form of action research which responds to the Buddhist axiom ‘The mind is a painter’
MONDAY 13 MAY –
TUESDAY 11 JULY 2023
Floor Talk and Light Lunch:
12noon Thursday 25 May 2023
Image: Richard Blundell, Emptiness (detail) 2021, oil on linen. Courtesy of the artist.