Bold colours and tones give this watercolour outback landscape the impact and drama I was aiming for. The spacial flattening out helped, in this case, to create the desired atmosphere and vertical sensation.
My good friend Jan Vincent, an artist as well, had taken me on a great driving tour of the surrounding hills of Canberra. We stopped at a creek where a couple of trees were starkly set against the pure cobalt sky.
It was a beautiful peaceful bushland scene, perfect for painting watercolours. The colours of cobalt blue and orange sienna are lovely complements which I played up quite a bit in my own painting.
The scenery was very Fred Williams, at least in my mind! I’d taken a number of photos to serve as ‘reminders’ of the day and place. When it came time to paint the subject, I relied on my memories and and the feeling of that place to help me create the painting.
I didn’t want to bring the photo out and become a slave to it. For me, that’s a sure way to destroy the feeling of the place, through the inevitable tightening up trying to get everything “just right” per the photo.
We don’t have to make everything exact duplicates. We are free to interpret and add our own flavour and our own ‘ingredients’ to the recipe! I like to think of painting as a recipe that I am completely free to alter any way I choose. I don’t know what will always happen, but that is the excitement of it I think.
Finally, By looking at this image, I can easily remember the special day, the special place in such lovely company. Its loose, free, interpretative, colourful – I like it.