The Common Estate (61 x 45.5 cm)

The setting of this painting is a country cemetery.

In The Common Estate, the artist has used the composition ‘rule of thirds’, and roughly broken the painting horizontally and vertically into nine areas of importance, where he has placed important subject matter.

The principal subject matter is the row of white-crossed graves. The graves occupy the central third of the painting and attract the viewer’s eye. This cemetery is probably one that belonged to a Christian denomination. However, it could be the memorial section of a public cemetery where fallen soldiers are remembered, though not all graves have crosses as headstones.

The usual little ‘rest’ building found in cemetery grounds, is included in this painting.

The colours that the artist chose are realistic. The colour of the red flowering trees contrasts with the green colour in the central section, and blends well with the yellow and orange-red foreground. An analogous colour palette has been used in this painting, i.e. colours side by side on the colour wheel. 

The cropped gum trees, painted in smoothly blended ghost gum white and violet, frame the cemetery and give a sense of visual depth to the painting. Careful manipulation of colours also assists in giving the effect of visual depth. The brighter colours in the foreground, where the light source is strong, move through the mid-section to a hazy skyline, where softly blended blue tones give a sense of distance. 

The painting has texture and the short, angled brushstrokes used for the grass, give a sense of movement. Attention has been paid to detail and shadows have not been omitted.

The marks on the canvas indicate that the artist, who had difficulties with mobility, probably bumped the canvas with his brush at the completion of the painting.

Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown.

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