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A Revelation - Inspiration Coincided with Aurora Southern Lights New Zealand, May 2024

(acrylic / oil on canvas, 2200mm x 1500mm x 37mm, 2024)

Solar features an iridescent golden background with textured symbols and subtle shifting colors, warm and pretty. The foreground features an oversized orchid stem bearing several blooms. Although essentially white, the orchid petals are shaded in almost supernatural tones of purple, blue and green, with shocking accents of orange, yellow and red. Sculptural forms intrigue in an over-sized tower of organic fragility.

This work stood in my studio unfinished for half a year. The background was complete, and the symbols had been laid in a soft field of color: emergent transcriptions shifting beneath a drifting gaze. However, the flowers remained unpainted. Inspiration dropped away.

Then, a while ago, I was overwhelmed by the urge to finish the work. The flowers almost painted themselves in unruly, preternatural hues.

"I wonder what this painting is called?" I asked myself.

"Solar" came the unequivocal reply.

"Why?" I wondered, but I resolved that it would suit.

I finished the work over the following weekend in a feverish studio marathon.

The following Monday, I began to see posts in social media about an unusual atmospheric event: the Aurora Borealis Southern Lights had appeared above New Zealand, coincident with massive solar storms. To my surprise, the unusual colors of the petals resembled the tones and hues flooding social media, and my inspiration was (retrospectively) revealed.

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