Sometimes I will try the same subject numerous times. If a painting turns out well or has some interesting feature that developed by accident, I’ll try it again. Or try it in a different painting medium. That was the case with these paintings of deckchairs by the fence. The fence itself plays an important role in these studies. It closes off the scene, so there is not the distraction of mountains in the background or a car on a distant road etc. Then I’m free to concentrate attention just on the subject close at hand.
If a painting ranges from close objects to distant mountains it will lose focus because the main subject is not highlighted. The eye doesn’t know where to look and it soon wanders off the painting altogether.
The place where I initially drew sketches for the deck chair paintings was a bit overgrown and the fence was definitely falling down. But if the fence was straight, the lawn carefully manicured and the flowers neatly trained, where would be the charm?
The fast-spreading Covid is currently locking down most people in the southern states of Australia. We here in Queensland might all soon get to see a lot more of our own backyards. The way the virus rampages we could soon also once again be cooling our heels in lockdown. For the sake of our collective mental health, perhaps it’s time to ignore the sagging fence and let the grass and weeds grow long. Instead, perhaps we should try to regain our equilibrium and break out the deckchairs for a spot of reading by the fence!
I will hold my next exhibition of paintings at the Metcalfe Gallery, Brisbane Institute of Art, Windsor. Open from 27th August to the 8th September, 2021, 10am – 4pm. Please send me a note and I’ll email you a reminder two weeks before the start.