Brian J Thompson
My first encounter with the medium of watercolour was in my early teens with the viewing of ‘Blue Hills’ by the late Harold Herbert which now forms part of the National Gallery of Victoria collection (1930. Felton Bequest. Watercolour over pencil. Image 37.0 x 51.8cm. Accession # 4386-3). In that painting I discovered the subtle, transparent medium of watercolour depicting the Australian landscape.
Having lived all of my life in Victoria (especially Northern Victoria) I have come to know and appreciate what it has to offer the practising artist; the muted greens, greys and blues plus the miriad of earth colours that abound in the various landscapes (and seascapes) within the state and beyond. Then of course there is our own intrusion into the landscape with the varied and historic timber, brick, stone and corrugated iron structures. All of this has provided me with a ‘new vision’. I now discover more colour, tones, shapes, textures and detail than I ever saw or appreciated before. This is the challenge before me to depict!
I aim to have my paintings evoke in the viewer a sense of understanding of the landscape/seascape; a realisation of the shapes that often go unnoticed, the discovery of the colours and tones that are frequently overlooked plus the detail not seen in the landscape/seascape I encounter.
Perhaps I cannot explain it any better than quote Warren Brandt when he stated, quote, ‘The most important thing to remember is that the finished painting must be plastic that is, a living, breathing, moving thing capable of arousing in its spectators an awareness of the artist’s feelings about the world.’ Before putting pencil or brush into action I spend a lot of time deciding on the size and format of the painting; whether it be vertical or horizontal. An elongated format is a favourite of mine. The painting’s title is also carefully considered. I ask myself, “ Will the format and title enhance the proposed painting? ‘The Golden Mean/Golden’ is also employed in the composition consideration. In my ‘journey’ there has been (as in the game of cricket), many an innings from which hopefully I have learnt the error of my ways, or built upon the discoveries made and successes achieved. There is always the next painting; the elusive goal that continues to drive me on.
The ‘journey’ continues!
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