When I finally got back to Sydney I must have looked a bit like Jesus straight out of the desert, I was thin and had a throat infection. However my new plan for a series of large paintings, was so convincing that I actually found some financial support for it and rented a large flat on Anzac Parade to set up my studio. My time in Art School was not wasted. I knew what to buy and how to proceed to quickly turn out 80 large canvases, correctly made on wooden frames. Once we had these knocked up and set into a system of shelving, the actual painting proceeded quite quickly.
As I mentioned on the previous page my inspiration for these paintings was taken from the New Testament. The collection was to be entitled 40 days and 40 nights as a direct reference to my revelations in the desert. There were 40 themes, each theme had a fairly normal representation which was the 'day' and an abstract representation, 'night', that was in the form of a 'hard edge' acrylic, on a black background. The abstracts were the astral or rarified hypnogogic counterpart of the 'days', that were executed in oils. The abstractions were the weakest part of the series and some of these will probably haunt me in my next life.
Of all the paintings here was only one that was exceptional, and it is the only one that I used a real model to accomplish. What I wanted to portray was Christ's face in the moment of his greatest pain. I had a friend pose for me and asked him to wrinkle his face as though he was experiencing some excruciating pain. He did the pose so well and for so long that he actually experienced a partial momentary blindness when he came out of the pose. This painting was not carried much beyond the initial first coat but was in my eyes far superior to all the other work. Some years later this painting disappeared from our basement one night and must have been taken by someone who knew me well enough to know where I kept it.
The real plan behind this scheme was rather complicated and might have worked but we never got around to testing it because we ran into a con artist who promised to put all the paintings into his new gallery. All that we had to do was help him get the gallery set up. Days and weeks went by and I could see that we would be doing a lot more work than we bargained for just to get the gallery off the ground. In the end I had a feeling that I was swimming against a strong current, and decided to go back to working in Vancouver, to pay back the considerable debts that had now accumulated.
At this time I had also some very personal incentives for returning to Canada, about which I will write some day, suffice to say that this trip which was my first time ever away from home, instilled in me a passion for travel and the search for paradise.
One night shortly before I returned to Canada, I had a very intense dream, in that dream I saw two naked children running playfully along a beautiful white sand beach. In the dream recognized these children as my own, and that this beach was in the Islands, I saw a beautifully colored lagoon and luxuriant palm trees, and then I awoke with these images still clear in my mind. And I realized that this was what I wanted in life, to be living in a South Sea island paradise and to see my children enjoying a life of great freedom.
Note: I have, in storage, a few photos of certain of the paintings from this series, I will add them to this page in due time.