Jo Mcintyre

Creative Artist with an eye for the environment and a streak of humour.............

COMMUNING WITH NATURE

After I retired from the NSW State Library in the mid 1990s I spent about 5 years researching my McIntyre Scottish forbears. I wondered about producing an illustrated account of their story and started on a series of sketches. Founders of the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia, two McIntyre brothers infamously provoked a riot by Roman Catholics in Maitland in the 1860s. As their letters show their world view was fanatically Puritan – their belief in “the heathendom of Popery, their focus on good works in education and preaching, and their fervent wish to be granted an afterlife. They were not interested in communing with nature.

Unlike my Scottish forbears I often find myself trying to experience and depict things from the perspective of other creatures such as cats, chooks, dogs, birds, insects and even jellyfish.

To view the gallery in sequence please use the play button located at the top of the image or alternatively use the forward and back button to view at your desired pace.

Food for Thought Sketch
Food for Thought Sketch
Pencil on paper 1995 This pencil sketch was the first for a series intended to illustrate my Puritan ancestors’ mental detachment from the natural world. Here I’ve used an ant-eating echidna to represent the natural world and I’ve borrowed the way it’s depicted from an early UNESCO publication of Australian Aboriginal paintings. The artist’s name is unknown. I was attracted to its “other –world” quality. I had my great grandfather Rev Allan McInyre in mind while doing this.
  • Food for Thought Sketch
    Pencil on paper 1995 This pencil sketch was the first for a series intended to illustrate my Puritan ancestors’ mental detachment from the natural world. Here I’ve used an ant-eating echidna to represent the natural world and I’ve borrowed the way it’s depicted from an early UNESCO publication of Australian Aboriginal paintings. The artist’s name is unknown. I was attracted to its “other –world” quality. I had my great grandfather Rev Allan McInyre in mind while doing this.
  • Food for thought
    Charcoal on paper 1995 Here I’ve developed my Food for Thought sketch – making church-like foliage to strengthen the sense of alienation from nature.
  • Searching for Salvation
    Pencil on paper, 1995 My great grandfather Rev Allan McIntyre emigrated from the Scottish Highlands to the beautiful Manning Valley north of Sydney in 1845. He took his Free Church ministry seriously, regularly mentioning his hope of receiving a place in heaven. Here I’ve used the unnoticed plight of a native sugar glider, desperate for shelter, to convey detachment from the strange new land around him.
  • Rowing with Sharks
    Pencil on paper 1995 In the 1840s my great grandfather Rev Allan McIntyre of the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia gave three sermons every Sunday in different locations on the Manning River north of Sydney. In his 60s. he was undeterred by sharks or anything else.
  • Morning Appraisal
    Charcoal on paper, 2006 Geckos and people live in relative harmony in North West Australia.
  • Walking the Dog
    Digitally made image 2010 I used Corel 11 painting software for PCs Once Broome was a pleasantly uninhibited place
  • Jellyfish Moon
    Digitally made image 2010 I used Corel 11 painting software for PCs Once Broome was a pleasantly uninhibited place
  • Jellyfish Doubts
    Ink on paper Goldfish in glass bowls quite often appear in paintings. I wanted a new slant.
  • Art and Nature
    Pastel on paper 2006 On my first visit to the Kimberley the heads carved from stone by the Bidyadanga Aboriginal community to the south intrigued me. Hundreds were made in the 1960s. Andrew and I bought some for our garden in Broome. Here a head surprises a passing cat.
  • Have we met?
    Watercolour on paper 2006 Cats can be genteel, even uppity at times. Andrew and I don’t have a cat of our own, but I love observing feline behaviour.
  • In The Beginning
    Oil on paper 1980 When the sun sets over Cable Beach in Broome it often resembles a beautiful egg..This made me think about early life on our planet.
  • Cheeky Chicky
    Pastel on paper 2004 There are lots of pheasant coucals in the Kimberley. This one was stroppy, yet briefly posed for me.
  • Chook Heaven
    Oil on paper 1982 For a free range chook the sky has a thousand eggs
  • Free Range Constellation
    Oil on canvas board 2006 For free range chooks the sky has a thousand eggs
  • Best-laid Plans Can Run Amok
    Acrylic on paper, 1998 New high-rise structures under attack by poached eggs
  • Art Critics
    Ink on paper, 2002 These cultured cognoscenti are on the ball.
  • Awesome-Fivesome
    Acrylic on canvas 2006 Heading for the Surf Club in Broome
  • Surreal Flybys
    Gouache on paper 2007 A Kimberley sunset can be full of surprises
  • Sunset Pearl Dragon
    Gouache on paper 2008 Clouds on the horizon of the Kimberley coastline sometimes resemble feisty dragons
  • Man and Beast
    Ink and collage 2008 Aristotle and writing (human wisdom and civilization), nature (gum leaves and a striking baboon), all in harmony
  • Countdown
    Collage 2008 A second version of Man and Beast: life on our planet hangs by a thread
  • Mother Nature
    Oil and pastel on paper 2006 A popular Termite Tent at a Western Australian Regional Expo