Darkness and Light on the Tasman
DARKNESS AND LIGHT ON THE TASMAN
Maker's Space Gallery, Burnie 2018
Top Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart 2017
I began painting seascapes after moving to Tasmania three years ago. At the time I was working on the construction of the Three Capes walking track on the Tasman Peninsula. I was easily seduced by the sometimes tranquil, often wild views of the Tasman sea.
My painted seascapes from this period were attempted copies of my own photographs. Not entirely satisfied with this approach or its results, for my last show First Light I began painting en plein air on the Tasman Peninsula and closer to home up on Kunanyi/Mt Wellington. My focus was to observe and capture the changing light, that wasn't accurately coming through in photographs. These plein air paintings were exhibited as artworks in their own right as well as being stepping stones towards new studio pieces.
For this current show I have stepped even further away from any reference material. None of the paintings that made it into this show (and there were plenty created that didn't) relate directly to a single photograph, or sketch, or note taken out in the field. The paintings were instead made by flooding blank canvasses with colours that relate strongly to the sea, and by making marks that (for me) relate to water and the ocean.
I have found this way of working at times very fun and rewarding in its playfulness and at other times frustrating and confusing, with little to guide me or suggest a resolution to a particular painting. Some of the paintings came easily and were painted in one session, but most of them were laboured over, and built up over many sessions, with the initial layers now completely buried, obscured.
This different way of working has brought about a more physical interaction with the material of paint and has perhaps allowed a bit more of what's inside me to come out.