For most of my painting life my abiding interest has been light - it's both the medium and the message of painting.
Painters are obsessed with beginnings and I'm starting on a series now of works now which show the beginnings of light.
More than just the daily dawn of the sun they show this in the most ancient and primaeval context : emerging from the ocean or casting light into the deep recesses of the forest.
The ocean, in particular, is a mysterious contradiction - which is why it hypnotises artists. While it is larger and more ancient and enduring than our mountains, it is fast moving and energised and ever-renewing. To paint it - especially its details - is impossible. Even photographs capture only the deep stillness - never the fast changes in patterns, reflections of foam and currents.
And so I'm finding more and more that just when I feel I may be capturing a dramatic reflection of dawn light on a wave, this will elusively morph into yet another strange shape.
Like many before me I start to see ancient mythologies in this turbulence and I'm reminded again of Heraclitus saying 2500 years ago:
"We both step and do not step in the same rivers. We are and are not"
- Neil Taylor, 2017
This year Neil Taylor was a selected Finalist in several major art prizes, including the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize, KAAF Art Prize and Calleen Art Award. In 2016 Taylor won the Viewer’s Choice Award for the Mosman Art Prize and he is also a past Winner of the Mount Eyre and Gosford Art Prizes. He is a recent Winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Hawkesbury Art Prize and a 10-time Finalist in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman art prizes at the Art Gallery NSW.