Alvarez, Al (Charles Blackman, illus.) Rainforest Macmillan, Melbourne Vic., 1988 Hardcover . 'By nature, Blackman is a lyric artist who tends to work fast and to rely a great deal on his technical virtuosity. The rainforest paintings, however, are different. He told me he had painted them in one long burst, but only after a five-year gestation period, and each had taken him weeks, not days, to complete. Behind them is the same lyric impulse that sustains all his best work: 'It's like getting a quick image of something in a dark cave' he said. 'Then the candle blows out and the after image remains in your head'. But the after image left by the rainforest is of something endlessly complex and the paintings seem correspondingly dense, as well as curiously intellectual - taut and highly organized against that teeming but orderly background.