I am primarily interested in composition and colour. Although I almost exclusively paint Australian native plants, I am not trying to depict them in a realistic manner. I am completely in awe of the beauty of these strange forms and find it almost impossible to be interested in painting any other flower. Sometimes I paint from life but only as a starting point from where I stylise and interpret the flowers in my own way.
My paintings are not panoramas of the wide sweeping plains of our country but rather the snippets we remember after a walk in the bush, the flashes that return to us of the flowering gum, the wind rustling the leaves, the crunch of the dried leaves and bark underfoot the Grevilias, Banksia and Paper Flowers we walk amongst. I am trying to capture an essence, a memory a feeling.
My still life paintings is anything but ‘still’. My use of colour and brushwork aim to create a contrast and impression of movement at odds with the idea of ‘things’ being static. They are imbued with meaning for us, Personal, sentimental, perhaps even sinister.
To that end the performance aspect of my process starts with an impasto surface which interrupts the picture plane with movement, texture and colour. From there I find my way through to a composition and a colour palette. Sometimes I use colours I am uncomfortable with to trigger a change in direction, always starting from a point of the unknown and then using mark making and colour to create a tension in both the composition and colour. The heavily textured surface stops me from getting too tight and has a life of its own. A large part of my process is automatic painting then a lot of problem solving to bring it all together. Eventually I get to a point where I leave it alone, bring it inside and live with it for a while until I decide whether it is finished or not. This process can go on for weeks or even months before the work is finally resolved.
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