Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The first week of January has finished and I start work again tomorrow. The long Christmas/New Year break has been revitalising. It has mainly been taken up with family gatherings, unpacking for the new house, reading and painting. I have gone out in the landscape to draw when I can.

Last week I drew at Dangar Lagoon which was formed glacially first then through sedimentation. It was a picnic area in the late 1800s and early 1900s for people from the Uralla area. Agricultural use of the land and draining for goldpanning has denuded the landscape. It is still a haven for birdlife however and the horizontals of grass, water, scrub are attractive to an artist. A few years ago my painting of the area showed no water at all whereas now it has plenty of water which is great to see.

At the weekend I will draw at Mt Yarrowyck outside of Armidale. Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve protects an Aboriginal cave painting site. The artwork is between 150 and 550 years old and the area is part of the traditional land of the Anaiwan people. The natural features of the land and the wildlife in it feature in the Aboriginal culture of the area. They are part of the dreaming stories.

In my days off I completed a few small works based on the Flinders area and the Tablelands area. I also have been preparing two larger canvases by layering textures and colours in preparation for works based on the outback landscape. I like to have a dense background to my painting with colours and textures of different kinds showing through the final work. I find it gives a richness and complexity to the work that I enjoy.

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