I have been selected as a finalist for the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize for 2015. An annual painting competition depicting a New South Wales subject ‘en plein air’.
“The term ‘en plein air’ refers to the practice of painting out of doors, in direct engagement with nature, where the transitory effects of light can be observed and recorded. It has a history in Europe of several hundred years, the most famous exponents including Salvator Rosa and Claude Lorraine in the 17th Century and Corot and the Barbizon school painters in the 19th. In an Australian context, the Impressionists of the late 19th century, including Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts were devoted to painting out of doors, and thus brought a new understanding of Australian light and landscape to the public through their work. Fred Williams, Australia’s great master of landscape painting in the twentieth century, used studies painted out of doors as the foundation of his work. These artists and others established a strong tradition of painting ‘en plein air’ in Australia that continues to this day.
Contemporary Australian artists paint ‘en plein air’ both in the bush and the city. For many it is a private aspect of their work, rarely exhibited, which provides a complement to their studio work. For others it is their principal method of working. Australia’s climate and landscape has long proven conducive to working out of doors and continues to fascinate the public.”
My painting is two canvases, total size, 40.5 x 82.5 cm, ‘Denbigh, Inside and outside the home gate’, (near Cobbity, NSW) acrylic on canvas, 2015. It was great to be out of doors painting, in the beautiful green countryside near Cobbitty on the outskirts of Sydney, once an old rural and pastoral area. It also interesting the longer you look and are present in a landscape the more there is an abstraction of form, I likened the simplifying of mark making to notes on a musical score. My work depicts the landscape inside and outside the home gate, showing the different colours, trees, and roles the environments signify on a rural property. The exhibition will be held in the Fountain Court at parliament House from wednesday 17th June until Friday 31 July. Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5pm.