Saturday, March 16, 2019

Week Four in the Gardens

Even though is is now Autumn, we had incredibly hot weather this week. I worked mostly in the studio apart from a couple of little forays outside to walk in the gardens.

Robyn Bauer- Lotus painting

I have taken hundreds of photos I can work from although I still want my work to have a quality of having been done on location. The magnificent lotus plants are growing in a raised pond just outside the admin and library complex at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. I wanted to capture both pods and flowers. I have finally moved to working on canvas after all the drawings I have done.

Robyn Bauer - costus barbatus

This brightly coloured flower is a type of ginger called costus barbatus and it really stands out against the more muted colours of the eucalyptus behind it. I am building these paintings up in layers and they are still works in progress.

I managed to get hold of these books about Australian landscape artist John Wolseley from the Mt Coot-tha library. Much of Wolseley's art has really been a search for a way of representing the uniqueness of Australian flora, fauna and the environment generally. They are visual meditations on the natural world. He seems to achieve a spiritual interaction with the landscape. (Aboriginal people have always done this) 
Many artists working in a western manner have never quite achieved this depth of response. The landscape has been painted, but there has been not so much focus on the flora and fauna except for natural history artists.

What I am aiming for is something that crosses these different traditions; Not a photographic representation or a collection of scientific observations,but something that takes from or blends different approaches. I am nowhere near achieving this yet but maybe after my year in the Gardens I'll have more of an idea. 

What I can say so far is that I want my work to show some visual clues as far as colours, shapes and a response to an object or place in the gardens. I have plenty of visual stimuli and my drawings have explored some textural observations. I am trying to find my own way.

There is also the excitement of process. As I've said before, I want even the studio work to have the immediacy of en plein air response.  The excitement of discovering something exotic to me will hopefully come across. 

1 comment:

  1. I t has been educational and fascinating to read your blog and follow your artist-in- residency. It is flying by do quickly for me. I hope that the time is going lovely and slow for you. What a treat to sketch and paint there. I lived in Brisbane for 15 years and was not a sketcher and now get a glimpse what I was missing out on.