News: September 2007

Selected as a Finalist in the Heysen Landscape Art Prize

I am very happy with the news that one of my drawings/paintings was selected as one of the finalist pieces in this 2007 Heysen Landscape Art Prize. It's the first time that I've entered this competition. The Heysen Landscape Art Prize is named after Sir Hans Heysen, one of South Australia's finest landscape artists, and is held in Hahndorf, S.A. (where Sir Hans Heysen lived). The exhibition will be held from 29th September until 31st October, at the Hahndorf Academy.

My entry that was selected:

"Inside the black, with the warm smell of fermentation"

37 cm x 53 cm, pastels on coloured-ground acid-free ‘Canson’ paper.

This drawing was done as part of my "Microcosm" project - concentrating two years' work on one Moreton Bay Fig tree.

I wanted to produce an accurate colour study of the tree forms near the centre of tree, under sunny conditions. This pastel was produced within about two weeks of sunny afternoons, based around a focus time of 3:30 pm.

It was interesting to see how after just one week, the shadows of the massive boughs at the same time each day, had moved significantly. This told me just how 'fast' and dynamic the slow changes from one season to another actually are - the sun being a little lower in the sky after the one week, and a little bit more to the east. We find it difficult to judge changes to things that appear to be static over a medium passing of time (such as changes in clouds over about 5 minutes, or sunlight over several days).

I was surprised by the variation of colour observed within the massive boughs and forms. There was much subtle reflected light experienced from the smooth bark. The leaf-litter posed quite a challenge in terms of colour textures and reflected light.

I am pleased with the results of colour tones within the massive boughs, the expression of the sunlit canopy, the expression of the sunlit leaf-litter, and the feeling of 'presence' within the whole composition. I am also pleased with not over-working the piece, leaving some prominent areas of the image quite open and loose.

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