The River Bank (61 x 45.5 cm)
This is a typical, Australian bush landscape. The artist loved the Australian bush and studied the techniques used by Australian Impressionist painters from the mid to late 1800’s.
In this painting, he has created a meandering path that goes to a place unknown, and the viewer’s eyes are compelled to follow it.
In order to give balance to the composition, the painting has been roughly divided into thirds, horizontally. The lower part of the painting is very spacious and covered in grass, the mid-section is crowded with beautiful eucalyptus tree trunks and scrub, and the top section holds the tree tops, mountains and sky. In painting the trees, the artist used the ‘cropping’ techniques used by Impressionist painters.
It is a sunny day, and the silky, smooth tree trunks reflect light that enters from the right side of the painting. They also absorb some of the colours of the foreground. Yellow, as well as being the dominant colour, gives energy to the painting and has been added to other colours. It stimulates the senses, and helps in creating a shimmering effect.
The mid-section of the painting is very ‘busy,’ and has lots of bushes, saplings and grass. The trunks of the trees have been painted at different angles, and this makes the painting look more real and natural.
The artist used a medium sized, very soft, round brush to dab overlapping, analogous colours, (colours side by side on the colour wheel), loosely on the canvas, in order to create a wave of grass in the foreground. Touches of red-violet are in contrast to the yellow colours, and are used for bark on the trees, as well as being dotted over the canvas to keep it ‘fluid’.
The bright foreground colours flow through the central treed section to the horizon, where they meet the mid tones of the mountains, that transition into a hazy sky. By reducing the height of the trees as the scene recedes, an illusion of visual depth occurs. By placing a small tree in the foreground, it became anchored to the remainder of the painting, and helped pull it together.
Attention has been paid to detail, and much time and effort was taken to paint detail into the landscape.
The mood is peaceful and inviting, and the countryside that the artist so loved, is glorious.
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed. Signature strengthened during restoration.)