Author Archives: Bev Byrnes

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grinding malachite in oil

grinding malachite in oil

“The way of the artist is the way of perception, just as the way of the philosopher is the way of thought and the way of the devotee is love.

Cezanne said, ‘The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.’

He meant that if we look at any thing, no matter how simple or commonplace, and truly go to the heart of that thing, which means to the heart of that experience, we will find something so extraordinary, something that will revolutionize the way we see our self, others and the world. This is the true revolution that makes all others revolutions pale.

An artist tries to make something that expresses and evokes this realisation, something that takes the viewer directly to this experiential understanding. A true work of art triggers this revolution.”

– Rupert Spira


finito… finalmente!

© Bev Byrnes--Blouse

Bev Byrnes — Blouse, oil on panel, 25 x 36″, 2015

Finished… finally. Oil on panel, 24 by 36 inches. I truly enjoyed this one. A very meditative piece to work on (unlike the last, which was full of struggle and frustration). Turned the corner on this from ‘stabbing in the dark’ to ‘I’m getting the hang of this’ in terms of paint handling.


the mark of beauty

2014 Du Quan puerh from Essence of Tea

2014 Du Quan puerh from Essence of Tea

Sampling some newly pressed sheng puerh from this year’s spring harvest. It’s the teas that linger pleasantly in the body and haunt the mind long after, beckoning return, that are worth seeking out. Such is the hallmark of great beauty. A memorable tea, a moving piece of music, a great work of art… momentary blessings can sometimes etch deeply into the soul.

“It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.” Voltaire

“Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil.”   -Kahil Gibran 


non-conceptual painting

still some work to do..

work in progress (oil on linen) — Bev Byrnes

Some time away from the studio which has delayed progress a bit, but the end is nearing now. I decided to finish this piece with glazing so have been working the grisaille to bring it to a high degree of finish. Should be ready for color by next week. Just entering my favorite stage of a painting where I can begin to tweak for subtlety and nuance.

A few who’ve seen this work in progress have called it a trompe l’oeil painting, but that hasn’t been the goal. It’s brought to mind the matter of intention while painting. Though it looks like a blouse, the idea or intention of painting a blouse is nowhere in mind while working. In the past I’ve sometimes been asked to teach drawing classes. I always title these classes ‘Learning to See’ rather than ‘Learning to Draw.’ Doing work of this kind essentially requires the abandonment of conceptual thinking to as great a degree as possible, and an opening to recognizing — seeing — what is simply there, what is seen as purely visual information. Instead of painting lace or a sleeve, the focus is on simple visual information like light and dark (value relationships), hard and soft (edge or line quality). Stepping back to a broader view the smaller details of light and dark merge into larger patterns revealing unities of flow (whether flow of light or line). The more subtle the information your vision is able to pick up, the more nuance you can add to the drawing or painting (if you choose.. there’s also much to be said for editing the information). The matter of learning how to use the materials is a far distant second to the matter of learning how to see.

© Bev Byrnes--WIP

work in progress (oil on linen) – Bev Byrnes


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© Bev Byrnes

The Further You Go

by Andrew Colliver  (1953 – )

Mercy, there have been revelations.
Grace, there has been realisation. Still, you must
travel the path of time and circumstance.

The further you go, the more it comes back to paying attention.
The rough skin of the tallowwood, the trade routes of lorikeets, a sky lifting
behind afternoon clouds. Staying close to the texture of things.

People can go before you and talk all they want,
but only one thing makes sense: the way the world enters
and finds its voice in you: the place you are free.