Arid Lands: Watercolour Diaries of Journeys across Deserts
Read full artist's statement
Journeys in deserts have constraints. As a matter of life and death each person needs a gallon of water per day and a gallon of water weighs ten pounds. In mounting this expedition Tony had to be meticulous in ensuring that the logistics of his re-supply caches, pickups and key contacts were accurately planned.
Once his travelling companions have left him alone at a painting site, Tony spends several days absorbing what is around him and committing it to paper. As the essayist, John Halkes observed, "at first sight Tony's "watercolour diaries" seem simple. However this is an illusion, for Tony paints with sensitivity and perception. We feel that we are there, in the very place where the artist is sitting.Everything appears to be resolved and yet transcendental, for Tony sees a glimpse of the nature of things beyond nature and the joy of it all floods into his art."
Each picture has a handwritten diary entry about Tony's experiences while painting. For example:
"April 23 - with BB & PH · camp at Lower Willows · a cold clear starry night · April 24 · hike to Cougar Canyon & up a dry wash to running water · make camp · hike up a ridge to find painting site · restart drawing 4 times · April 25. painting all day · The Santa Rosas subtly change from pink to blue to purple to brown to grey to buff to ochre to blue to pink to purple · 104° at noon · blackflies · a meteorite shower in the night sky · April 26 · painting all day · climb Cougar Canyon to a deep pool · swim · 3 rattlesnakes in camp so we move a few feet · April 27 · pack · hike back to Lower Willows"