Thursday, 10 August 2017

Painting landscapes

I suppose landscapes haven't really been my forte over the years. I preferred animals or flowers, but the further I venture into art in my middle years I have realised how much I really do admire artists who painted only landscapes and how many times I see landscapes and think 'I wish I could paint that'.

In 2015 I painted my first real landscape painting 'Billabong Wonga Wetlands' which is a local area which is rich in bird life - recycled farm land. Because I spend a great deal of time there bird watching and discovered all kinds of rarities there, to me it is a special place, and I find that I can paint better having some kind of connection. Also, this painting was the first I did onsite for a very long time. The Billabong itself is often home to tortoises, carp, Kingfishers, Darters, and various honeyeaters in the trees overhead. The water is a brown colour, but on good days the sky and scenery does reflect down into the waters. Although the painting could have been worked a little more, I really like it as it captured the day I was there so well.

049 'Billabong Wonga Wetlands' 2015 acrylic on canvas

It wasn't until 'Three Brothers' that I felt that each tree has its own personality and connection with the land. This scene, from a photo I took at Tumut, these massive gum trees relatively close together felt like they were related and connected together somehow. I loved their gnarly branches and bark and the colours of the afternoon light. It was hard to paint, and took almost 2 months to complete.  Although each tree was different (the one to the right looked like it had even been struck by lightning at one time), at first glance they look similar, its not until I looked more closely that I could see how different they were in shape and experiences.
126 'Three Brothers' 2015 acrylic on canvas
 I did this sketch of a misty forest at a Lookout near Pambula, NSW. It reminds me of a painting that plagued my childhood as it was pasted on a door at my primary school - one of Hans Heysen I think, which was probably much faded. One day, I would like to make a proper painting like this that shows that mysterious quality of a thick forest lost in fog. You kind of get the feel for it below.
'Misty Forest sketch' 2012

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