The ‘Australia’ prompt for this weekend’s challenge brought a welcome opportunity for me to look back in time. Since my retirement three years ago, and until travel was halted by the global pandemic, I divided my time between Cornwall, UK, and Tasmania, Australia. Retirement has given me more time for creative activities and the landscapes of both Tasmania and Cornwall have provided inspiration.
I produced this painting in response to an art challenge by Meander Valley Council in Tasmania, under the heading ‘Moving Mountains’. My colour palette included the fading greys of the Great Western Tiers mountain range, the golden sunlit paddocks of bone-dry grass, and the bright orange lichen seen on fractured coastal boulders.
To create a sense of movement, I viewed my landscape through a curtain of eucalyptus branches swaying in the wind and rattling their dry leaves. I also like to work in Lino print, and I’ve been influenced by the Lino print artists of the Grosvenor School working in the 1930s, who used curved lines to portray movement.
Eucalyptus leaves can be green, golden, rusty brown… pink, even. Using artistic licence, mine are even more brightly multicoloured. To achieve the random colour pattern that I wanted in the leaves, I painted these loose brush strokes in my chosen colours first. Then I blocked out the negative space around each leaf shape, as shown in the first image.
I hope you enjoy this glimpse into summertime on the other side of the world. At a time when we in the UK must stay at home, we can at least travel in our memories and imagination.
I called the painting ‘Listen to the leaves’. It was painted in acrylic paints on canvas, finished with an additional layer of matte medium.
(currently studying Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma Course)
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