I am a regional Queensland artist working largely in landscape and portraiture, committed mainly to the joys of charcoal and oil paint. My work is grounded in the immediacy and speed of plein air drawing and the chromatic interplay of multiple layers of transparent oil paint. My goal is to transmit the emotion of my meditation on the subject as directly as possible to the viewer, unaccompanied by any distracting intellectualisation.
I drove 1100km to get to Bimblebox, and the resulting distance from my familiar surrounds was, as usual, a great way to shift my perceptions. I revelled in the opportunity to dedicate so many days to art and immerse myself in a new environment.
As expected, the Western sunlight was crisp and unrelenting and the countryside was dry and dusty. The wildlife was vigorous and varied and the natives (Paola, Ian and Karl) very friendly. I was struck by their stoicism and industry. The other artists intrigued with the variety of their practices and inspired each other to create.
I wasn’t interested just in the beauty of Bimblebox, I wanted to explore as many facets as I could. I seek out variety and complexity. Hence I attempted portraiture, landscape (natural and industrial), figure in the landscape, and nocturnes. All drawings were “en plein air” and from life, executed with as much speed as possible, using charcoal of my own making.
I took my oil paints with me, but didn’t use them out there. I was more interested in experiencing the place and reacting to it than becoming absorbed in a lengthy internal dialogue with paint. I saved the paint until I got home, spending several weeks in the studio, applying glaze on glaze (over the charcoal drawings) until the job was done.
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