Art

I have always been 'artistic', which seemed to be considered a 'nice to have' but inferior in value to intellect. So it wasn't til I took a hiatus from the corporate world about a decade ago that I really had the opportunity to develop an art practice, and to find the mediums I love to play with most.

Ironically, when I went back to work, one of my biggest discoveries was that practicing art had rewired and opened up my brain in a way that took my thinking capabilities to a much higher level. I became MUCH more intuitive about how I approached problems, much more flexible in finding different ways of looking at them throughout, and much more playful and effective in how I went about making things happen. Bit of a win, really.

While I've explored many mediums, the ones I spend the most time with are drawing (always – it's how I listen, think and process), printmaking (intaglio etching), collage (very much how I solve wicked strategy problems and the source of most of the images on this site and all the images in my book) and large scale mixed-media works on paper. I have two studios at home. One devoted to art making, the other lined in whiteboards and devoted to thinking. They are my retreats – the places I go to think and make things and process and stay sane – great spaces to hang out in. And a great reminder of how closely aligned the two activities are, since the stages and challenges of making a painting are exactly the same as a strategy project, and I often move between the two. If you watch the way I paint, you see the way I think...

Here are a few I prepared earlier...

Some of the roomful of paintings I've done . I started with the monoliths - the huge pots. Really, they taught me to paint. Pots because at least I didn't have to worry about being able to draw them. They're about 2.5m square, painted with about 40 layers of largely transparent mixed media on a torn and recreated heavy paper strata. They look really solid from a distance, but become diffuse as you walk towards them. These two live on my walls at home. They both have long stories attached to them. Feel free to ask me sometime if you're curious.
These are smaller and you can see the style has become denser. I'm obsessed with texture. For me they are more portraits than still lives. Each of the objects seems to have so much character, and that's what I try to capture. 
Aah the fishie postcards. There's a story attached to these too--you can read about it in my Wicked Wisdom book. I've made about 70 of these so far and show no sign of losing interest. I love them. They gave birth to the book, which was hugely significant to me as an example of how I can combine art and strategy. And the process of making them--of making any collage really--is fundamentally the same as the approach I take to tackling messy wicked problems. Who would have known illustrated fish could have so much character?
These are recent collages. I've been doing fishie postcards for the last few years and I wanted to move on. So there is a series of book covers coming (they tend to be found on council cleanups etc) as well as a pile that just go where the whimsy takes me. Still a bit partial to the comic speech bubbles for humour and incongruity, but that too may pass.

Fishy process video

Life Stills Solo Exhibition

Frog painting process video