Abstract landscape painting is an intuitive process for me. Mark making, colour choices, texture building through mediums and tools. As I build the work, some layers are visible through subsequent layers, while others subside. Only when the paintings are finished do I recognise the inspiration. It seems counter-intuitive, but that’s how it works for me.
Often, through the process of layering, what I see on the canvas changes as the work builds. ‘Lakeside’ evolved over time, from a dark industrial landscape to a fire-prone forest, to a peaceful sunset showing through trees. You might see elements of these if you look closely, but I think the image of a lakeside is complete. The quality of the light in the background grew with each layer, and it captures something I recognise in Central Victorian bushland. In particular, the golden glow of the undergrowth, as seen in my photograph ‘Momentarily Glorious’ (below). Initially, I didn’t see the connection between my abstract landscape painting and a photograph I had taken almost ten years previously.
The origin of ‘Lakeside’ was an exploration of texture in vertical lines. I chose a dark background because I wanted a change from white, or bright colours, which often underpin my paintings. Because of this, it took a long time to discover the landscape in the background. I always saw the foreground as water. Finally, I saw what was needed, and it was done. I like the feeling of stillness this abstract landscape holds. I can imagine sitting on the shore, watching the sun disappear at the end of a day.
Works in the exhibition are for sale, and 30% of the sale price goes to the Ballarat Art Foundation to fund grants to artists, and other art projects. In the online exhibition, and at the Fairbanks Eye Gallery, you can vote for your favourite work. At the end of the exhibition, the winning artist will receive a $500 prize.