Laidley Street Series No 4 (60 x 44 cm)
The Laidley Street series is similar to the artist’s Manly Creek Boat Series in Anything Ocean, because he used shell and rose pinks, magenta and soft violet colours in all the paintings. This suggests that the artist went through two similar periods in his career. Pink was the ‘new black’ in early 20th Century, and Picasso had distinct blue and pink periods in his career. When artists paint series of landscapes in one dominant colour it suggests that there has been a change in the artist’s frame of mind.
In this painting, the artist has paid attention to harmonics, and the relationship between colours. He has maintained his own style, though in parts of this painting, he does use similar brush techniques employed by French Impressionist artists. The brush strokes on the trees, and the blurring of paint as the painting recedes, are examples of this.
In order to bring out the best in his colour choices, the artist used simultaneous contrast. He did this by placing a red colour close to a green colour, and he linked gold and blue colours by placing them in important positions on the canvas. In so doing, the artist enhanced the viewing experience.
The excellent outdoor light from the west gives soft warmth to the painting, and is in contrast to the harmonious, cool blue and green colours. Shadows from the buildings are cast across the street.
The artist has used the ‘rule of thirds’ and applied linear perspective to the painting. (See previous painting details.) The colours used for the bitumen on the street have been well blended, and the brickwork shows detail. The mood and sky colours suggest it is a relaxing, warm spring day, in a pretty place with interesting people and happenings. The artist has captured the ‘way it was’ very well.
Perhaps the inclusion of an animal or person in the painting would have added a heartbeat. Compare this painting with No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 5 in the Laidley Street series.
Acrylic on Masonite, later career. (Cleaned and framed. Slight enhancement of signature during restoration.)