THE WILD BUSH PAINTINGS
FINDING MY VOICE
The wild bush paintings have been a new and exciting direction for me. After many years of painting in other styles (which I also continue to do) I moved into a temporary studio surrounded by concrete carparks and warehouses. From my small window I couldn’t see any trees or nature, and so I just began to paint what I could no longer feel, see or experience. It was in this space that I finally found my voice. The bush paintings are so challenging, and yet so rewarding because I have to let go of control, and let the painting also find its voice – a bit like having a conversation with each work. I can play in it. I can change direction, I can juxtapose abstraction with realism, empty spaces with detail, pattern with dimensionality…it is such a wonderful problem-solving activity and if I can get it right, the painting feels resolved and settled. But in the end, the painting has to tell its own story and all the elements need to flow together so that there is room for the viewer to enter into the landscape and hopefully bring their own memory or experience with them.
THE ARTIST’S STUDIO
My home studio backs on to a large bushland reserve on the edge of a national park where I walk, take notes, draw and observe in the early mornings. The walking tracks are shaded by tall scribbly bark trees, deep ravines and smooth granite rocks. Grasstrees, Banksias, and native grasses grow quietly in the deep as the sweet smell of eucalypt floats through tall stands of gum trees.
When I am in these wild bush landscapes, I am drawn back to the romance of my childhood, riding horses and wandering through the bush. When I breathe in the bush I regain my sense of peace. I remember who I am. I feel grounded when I stand and listen to the land; when I look at the trees and dream; when I savour the moment in a painting; when I reflect on an abundant life.
THE AUSTRALIAN BUSH – A WAY OF LIFE
Most of us live within a moment of the Australian bush and as a culture we are learning to embrace its distinct earthiness, its subtle hues, and its chaotic rhythms. Most of us love to walk, run, ride or just explore the national parks, walking tracks and natural reserves in our own local area and we love nothing more than experiencing the majesty of Coastal ranges or the fierceness and beauty of the outback.
I love the landscape of this country, the optimism I feel when I am immersed in it and the pure sensory pleasure I get from walking through this unique part of Australia.
I am interested in the idea of romantic notions attached to the Australian bush and I am attempting to explore the boundaries between abstraction and realism, emotion and perception and our obsession with this beautiful land.
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