Tao Sublime Creation: Rising Mist at Dawn

I start with abstract marks, but as soon as possible search for landscape within. Alexander Cozens, a mid 18th century watercolourist, suggested starting with abstract ‘blots’ and referenced Leonardo looking for landscape ideas in ‘the cracks in old walls’. Then closer to our own time Pollock claimed to have ‘thrown away the brush’ and worked solely with the marks that paint itself made. Yet he said of his own black paintings that ‘the figure’ would always appear, emerging unbidden even from within abstraction. The technique evolves from historic watercolour, with a key difference that when acrylic dries, it cannot be removed. Tao Sublime Creation: Rising Mist at Dawn speaks to the profound sense of awe we can all experience in the everyday phenomenon of dawn and responds to Kazemir Malevich’s wonderful ‘Black Square’ of 1915 also painted with dense black. But here I’m aiming at radiance, mist, and atmosphere ‚ – the chiaroscuro and sfumato of a dawn in Northern Tasmania and a challenge to the black square.

Tony Smibert


Acrylic on canvas