Thoughts on Painting

For me painting is about Colour, Expression, and Emotion. By this I mean, when I look at a painting, the first thing I see is Colour. So it must be in sync with the subject, I believe most of the time, I choose my palette to suit the subject, be it bright, earthy or pastel colours. Then I must make sure my chosen colours are in Harmony with each other.

With Expression, I must look into the subject and find the ESSENCE. I must express the stance of a model and her characteristic movements and something special that defines her. I must express cold, rain, mist, wind, and light with feelings from within and use atmosphere and movement and tone to achieve this.

While Emotion is another thing all together, this comes from within but without it an artist cannot really put “feeling” into their work. So I must “feel” my subject. Not only feel the bark on the tree or the sand with my hands but also I must feel I am one with the tree, bush and sea or model. When working with the model in the studio I make believe, as if it is a stage play and I can feel the part the model is playing e.g.: “taking morning coffee break as the artist prepares the next stage of the sitting.” I talk to the model in this way as well, so she starts to “feel” what I’m “feeling”.

The most elevating thing ever said about my work was in a local exhibition in Melbourne, when I overheard someone talking about my landscape:

I can smell the eucalyptus in the gum leaves.

Little did she know that I had used oil of cloves in my work for a drying retardant.