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Gallery - Paintings and Drawings 1

Following are images with brief descriptions of about twelve artworks.

Click on an image, or a link to 'more details...', to go to a page with more details about that artwork, as well as a second (related) artwork.

Once you are looking at artworks in more detail, you can use the 'prev' and 'next' links (at the top and bottom of each details page) to go to the previous or next artworks in the gallery, or return to this gallery page.


1. The Sun

The Sun
66 cm (w) x 66 cm (h), oil paints on cotton canvas.
Date produced: 1986 - 1987

The original idea for this piece was developed as a pastel drawing on brown paper, from another pastel drawing carried out on-site during one sunset, seen at West Beach. The square shape and placement of the sun in the exact centre of the square are deliberate compositional choices. I wanted a mesmerising sun, a sun which provides our daylight, a sun which is the centre of all continued life on our planet, and a sun that appears to rise and set on a daily basis (hence picking a time just before sunset).

I wanted a simple composition, which could be like a classical symbol with a strong statement. In this way, I wanted to develop an image which was similar in nature to many of the paintings by Vincent van Gogh. So we have the sky, the sea, the approaching night, and the sun with its brilliant, warm radiance. Light is broken down into pure, ‘simple’ colours (I actually found that the subtle tone of the colours was vitally important for the sense of ra ...more details...





2. Inner Strength - Moreton Bay Fig Tree, Adelaide Parklands

Inner Strength - Moreton Bay Fig Tree, Adelaide Parklands
58 cm (w) x 76 cm (h), charcoal on cream acid-free drawing paper.
Date produced: March - May 2005

I produced this drawing entirely on-site in the Adelaide Park Lands. It was produced as part of an art project called "Microcosm", where I spent two years (2005 and 2006) working on pieces directly from one Moreton Bay Fig tree growing in the Adelaide Park Lands.

The drawing’s view is a very wide-angle view of what I saw. I was sitting very close to the tree, with one leg of my portable easel not far from the ground shown at the bottom of the drawing. Working with such a wide angle view directly from such a huge subject was quite a challenge in itself.

The ideal light for producing this drawing was when it was overcast, but that didn’t happen very often, and when it did, it put the drawing at some risk of damage should it rain suddenly (it did get some fine rain drops on it once). Most of the sessions were carried out in fine sunny conditions, using the different times of the day for drawing different parts of the subject (when they were su ...more details...





3. Form and Space – The Sugar-Berry Tree

Form and Space – The Sugar-Berry Tree
55 cm (w) x 75 cm (h), conté and pastels on acid-free coloured-ground ‘Canson’ paper.
Date produced: March 2001 - May 2002

This was produced entirely on-site, at the Botanic Gardens in Adelaide over about 40-50 separate half-day sessions. This magnificent tree has so many interesting features that I wanted to try my skills at capturing some of them. The tree is located in a quiet, shady corner of the Botanic Gardens, away from most of the foot traffic that goes through the gardens. This drawing went through considerable development. In the end, my overall plan for the drawing was to use an ‘exaggerated aerial perspective’ to capture most of the forms of the tree and the surrounding space. That is, I wanted to use colour to express (or give an indication of) how close or how distant various surfaces were (the more orange a surface was coloured, the closer it felt, and the the bluer a surface was coloured, the more distant it felt). I also wanted to try to express the space and air around the forms using pale blues to surround appropriate sections of the forms. This approach required working with v ...more details...





4. From the Foot-Bridge Through the Forest

From the Foot-Bridge Through the Forest
75 cm (w) x 55 cm (h), conté and pastels on acid-free coloured-ground ‘Canson’ paper.
Date produced: May 2002

A Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo flies slowly along the valley. Walking across the footbridge, which stretches across the pine forest valley through the cleared area shown in the drawing, often makes me feel as though I am floating, or flying. I deliberately didn’t draw in the bridge, and wanted to draw the scene as if I were floating without the bridge holding me up (which is why I wanted to show the point directly below me). I’ve used a very wide-angled curved-space view, with an exaggerated ‘aerial perspective’ (in the colouring), to help express the forms, structures, and hopefully even the ‘breathing’ air around everything. I applied grids over the surface of the ground and around the tree forms, to help give a stronger sense of form, structure, and orientation.

Drawn partly on-site, in the pine forest at Flinders University, and drawn partly in my studio at home directly from an earlier drawing that was done entirely on-site. A more comple ...more details...





5. Soft Colours in the Western Sky Before Sunrise

Soft Colours in the Western Sky Before Sunrise
73 cm (w) x 39.5 cm (h), unfixed pastels on paper.
Date produced: March 2017 - April 2018.

This is a combination of a sequence of hand-recorded studies from direct on-site observation, creating an overview of the changes in the soft colours observed in the western sky of a clear day, just before ‘sunrise’. These subtle patterns of soft colours in the sky are amazing spectacles that feel to me to be both emotionally calming and inspiring at the same time. Recording these soft colours from direct observation is important because the light and colour is extremely subtle, and photography can’t easily capture the full colour and nuance of tone that is observed.

A similar sequence (but in reverse) occurs in the eastern sky of clear days just after sunset.

I suspect that these patterns of soft colours are the result of refraction of sunlight through our planet’s atmosphere at these special times.

The location for this pastel is West Beach in South Australia. I lived at West Beach from 1982 until 1986, and did a number of st ...more details...





6. The Shoulder

The Shoulder
57 cm (w) x 38 cm (h), conté on brown paper.
Date produced: November 1982

Drawn directly from a model, within a single 2-hour session.

Once a week, I’d go to a studio in North Adelaide to join a group of artists who would all contribute to hiring a model for a three-hour session. The models were often asked to provide a range of quick poses and then some longer lasting ones. This model was set up in a sitting pose, that she was asked to maintain over the course of the remaining two hours of the afternoon’s session. After doing some quick sketches of different aspects of her pose, I chose to concentrate on trying to describe the 3-dimensional structure of her shoulder, as I saw and experienced it. I was very happy with the subtlety of tones and structures recorded. ...more details...





7. Butterfly

Approx. 50.5 cm (w) x 65.5 cm (h), oil paints on cotton canvas.
Date produced: January 1983, while living at West Beach

This painting was produced entirely on-site at the end of my street, at West Beach (I lived there from 1982-1986).

Looking at some healthy garden plants, I wanted to respond to the greenery and the flowers as two different ‘dimensions’ of experience - the greenery as one ‘dimension’ (overall structure and collector of sunlight for the production of food), and the spectacle of the red flowers as another ‘dimension’ (the visual attractors of insects and birds for the plant’s reproductive system). I tried to use different approaches in painting them, to express these two aspects as being different ‘dimensions’.

A white butterfly was seen flying all around the plants, and I deliberately painted one in simply at that location to indicate its weightlessness, and to also to give it the role of being the central point of interest. It balances the whole painting with its unique note of white (extreme high tone) ...more details...





8. West Beach in the Morning

West Beach in the Morning
75.5 cm (w) x 60.5 cm (h), oil paints on canvas.
Date produced: While living at West Beach, after my first exhibition (1984-1986)

This was painted on-site, at the end of Rockingham Street, at West Beach. With this painting, I am trying to express a beautiful, crisp, clear morning with cool fresh air, and warm sunlight.

“The magic of colour, with the richness of reality and presence; being able to see the infinite detail, and to feel the freedom which most of it exists within. A mixture of greens and yellows against expanses of pale blues. The mysterious distance of the horizon, and the blue water.

“Just to forget, and be born for the moment, to experience such a fresh and vital new world.”

This painting was worked on between 9 am and 10:30 am, on about 5 days of similar weather. With this painting I tried to exaggerate (a little) the amount of yellow I saw, in order to better express the feeling of the sun’s light and warmth. This was something I thought of doing after seeing the effect of a discoloured artwork reproduction. It is something that I found w ...more details...





9. The Fish

The Fish
45.5 cm (w) x 66 cm (h), oil paints on cotton canvas.
Date produced: While living at West Beach, after my first exhibition (1984-1986)

Painted on-site at the little creek that runs through the middle of Barratt Reserve, at West Beach. I originally did see some orange fish swimming in the water, and wanted to include them in my composition, which was based on a series of horizontal bands, and slanting lines from reeds being blown by southerly breezes. The purple-coloured water was genuinely observed and was felt to be a mixture of the reddy-coloured water reflecting the blue sky. ...more details...





10. Tamarisks, Almost Sunset

Tamarisks, Almost Sunset
66 cm (w) x 45.5 cm (h), oil paints on linen canvas.
Date produced: While living at West Beach, after my first exhibition (1984-1986)

Painted entirely on-site, just outside the old drive-in theatre on Military Road, West Beach.

Just before sunset is a fabulous time for interesting light. This painting was done to record the colours and light at that special time of the day, as accurately as possible. The trees with their fine needle foliage were an interesting subject that I used many times in my artwork, while I lived at West Beach. This painting took many weeks to complete, because the light at this time of the day changes very quickly - I was not able to get much work done on any one day before the light was all quite different. I returned every suitable day at the same time of the day to resume the painting.

This painting is similar to another painting of mine, titled “Tamarisks, Late Afternoon”, but it was produced at an earlier time in the late afternoon. ...more details...





11. Cliffs of Witton Bluff

Cliffs of Witton Bluff
65.5 cm (w) x 50.5 cm (h), oil paints on stretched paper.
Date produced: While living at Christies Beach (1986 - 1987)

Painted entirely on-site, at Witton Bluff, Christies Beach, S.A. I spent many afternoons working on this painting, out on-site. I found this particular section of cliffs to be very striking and interesting. The glow of the cliffs made the sky look very rich and quite deep in colour. I remember struggling to decide on the right colours to use for the expression of the stunning glow of the cliffs in the sunlight in front of me. This is because paint can’t match the intensity of light and colour being reflected off the cliffs in full sunlight. There was a conflict between matching the observed colours in the scene, with having the painting express the intensity of light and colour coming off the sunlit cliffs. To express the rich intensity of the light and colour coming from the sunlit cliffs, I found that I needed to use bright yellows in my paint mixtures and constantly check the way they felt.

I took a photograph of the cliffs at the time (in 1986) from a similar spot ...more details...





12. Reclining Nude from the Back 2

Reclining Nude from the Back 2
50.5 cm (w) x 37.5 cm (h), conté on cartridge paper.
Date produced: 1989

This was drawn directly from a ‘life drawing’ model, during my degree (B.Ed. - Secondary Art Teaching). I am very happy with this result. Highlight areas for me (shown in the following detail images), were the forms around the shoulder region, the lighting across her lower back and buttocks, and the soft flesh behind her knee.

Because I usually work directly (on-site) from natural environments, much of my work could be considered to be ‘life drawing’.

In my early twenties, I would regularly travel to an organised life drawing studio for drawing sessions. I enjoyed the discipline aspect of this type of drawing - the human figure needs to be drawn extremely accurately, or it will look/feel malformed. We all judge human forms constantly in our daily lives, and so are highly critical of such images. As part of the activity of striving to achieve accurate representations of human forms, I found that I became more interested in concentrating on s ...more details...


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