Outback Selection (60 x 44 cm)
The artist studied the techniques used by artists from the Australian Impressionist movement, and applied them when painting his country scenes. Australian impressionist artists created natural, ‘plein air’, paintings. They went outdoors to paint in order to capture the effects of natural light on the landscapes. As this artist was not always able to do that, he observed the fleeting effects of outdoor light, and noted their qualities. Then he completed the paintings in his studio.
In this Australian landscape, the artist painted red roofs on the selection’s buildings. This colour was typical of roof colour during the early twentieth century.
The composition allows the viewer’s eye to travel up the muddy, dirt track that is so typical of many outback properties, to the settlement amongst the trees. This could be the family home, grandma’s and grandad’s house, or the old farm from a bygone era.
The golden grass reflects the soft outdoor light, and this gives energy to the painting. Shadow is cast from well-placed trees. The mood is calm and nostalgic.
The earthy colours are appropriate. Yellow-greens contrast with the rusty red colours and stimulate the senses.
The aerial perspective in this painting is strong. The richer colours in the foreground transition through the mid-tones of the trees to the soft, purple-pink mountains and the tinted sky. This gives an illusion of distance.
Brush strokes are both long and smooth, as well as being ‘stippled’ and dabbed.
The artist had a strong sense of the topic when he painted this harmonious landscape. A possible message for the viewer is that this was the good country life. Maybe it still is.
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed. Minor alteration during restoration.)