Trees of Man Artist Statement 2014-2015

Landscapes are my inspiration, in particular treescapes around the Nowendoc area. I love wandering around these forests getting confidently lost. I enjoy observing the details of budding leaves and noticing the different wildlife inhabiting the zone. Observing the way light flickers through the tree foliage, lightly touching some tree trunks and leaves and casting shadows on others, I find endlessly fascinating.

When back in the studio I take all of those observations including en plein air sketches and photographs and start devising compositions on canvas that encapsulate those experiences. They aren’t necessarily of one particular view or place. From there I build up layers of washes and different mark makings to create my final works. I mostly use oil paint on canvas or marine ply. I also use watercolour to create sketches, these works on paper inform my oil paintings.

The Exhibition title was inspired by my connection to Patrick White’s novel Tree of Man. Something about the era the novel was set in, the hardships endured, the evocative descriptions of the land reminded me of growing up in Bendemeer NSW. It is an old village that has kept elements of the past alive through stories told by 5th generation locals and through evidence of old houses and slab huts of that era still
around today.