Meditation at Murarrie (61 x 45 cm)
Even as a youngster the artist loved horses. He loved Australian rural life and appreciated the scenes around him. He lived at Murarrie in the latter part of the 1970’s, and in this landscape he used the ‘rule of thirds’ horizontally and vertically, to place the principal (horse) and secondary subjects (buildings) on these imaginary horizontal lines.
The viewer’s attention focuses on the happily grazing horse in the left, central section of the painting. Its shadow, along with the tree’s shadow, is cast across the grass. The water in the dam or creek reflects the colour of the sky and the surrounding yellow-green grass. The horse’s mane glows in the mid-morning light.
The colour transition from the mid tones of the central section, behind the building, through to the soft tones of the hazy mountains and sky, assists in giving the painting a sense of visual depth, or distance.
The sheets of iron on the building, or worship centre, have been created by overpainting the original layer of paint. The artist used diagonal brush strokes, and applied a slightly darker shade of violet-red and brown. A symbolic Christian cross has been placed on the building, (possibly at a later date). Interestingly, horses have been regarded as emblems of spiritual renewal.
The soft, hazy tones of the mountains give a relaxed feel to this harmonious painting.
It is a well-planned, tidy, uncomplicated painting. Much time and effort was taken in placing colourful dots (stippling) and dabs of paint that form the grass and small trees. The white, wooden post and fence railings seen in the foreground, are synonymous with horse studs.
Acrylic on Masonite, mid-career. (Cleaned and framed.)