Somewhere between then and now my thumbnails have fell off. Painting back at the river felt like I had come full circle – it was quite a while ago since we’d been. In between there was specatacular vistas of coastline, waterbirds and the discovery of fluro paint. There was only a few of us missing too. We talked about Barbies, Cy Twombly and Ildiko Kovacs over banana cake and home grown mandarins then got down to business.
I started with a small sketch eastward on the river toward the bridge and a man fishing at the boat ramp. Arthur Boyd’s territory. The last couple of paint trips I’ve gone back to using small thumbnails- my largest works always had this basis. I don’t remember them falling off but I know the finished work was definitely more complete, stronger.
Robert Juniper was a great early influence. I think he taught me a lot about colour and relevance of spatial areas within a work.
In the early days I’d sketch my influences, make studies of their particular works and then turn those into my own compositions. The snap of Robert Juniper I chose first, then I pulled out a sketchbook at random. These sketches date 2002. It’s hard to believe it’s that long ago, I still feel I have such a way to go. It seems like yesterday -I use to play Artist Roulette – scan the library bookshelf until something twigged. Lesley the librarian had a love of art and an old MG so even though a small library it had a wonderful stock of art books, especially Australian art. I have her to thank for ordering in treasures from other libraries for me.
I remember a painting I did from this thumbnail – it was a tiny cropped area from one of Junipers works, I always had scribbly notes around it -where to adjust, what colours. I think I’ve been neglecting this lately.
The shot of Robert Juniper is from one of my favourite books “Painters in the Australian Landscape” by Robert Walker. It was a book that I took out regularly -one in Lesley’s Library. I was lucky enough to pick one up in the Lifeline Book Fair -it was signed! It was destined to be mine!