My work has long been inspired by old masters of the chiaroscuro tradition. Just take a look at the rich, high relief of the brush sculpted oil painting creations of Caravaggio’s (Italy) Supper at Emmaus(1600-01), Rembrandt van Rijn’s (Dutch ) The Night Watch (1642) or even Ugo Da Carpi’s (Italy) Chasing Avarice from the Temple of the Muses (c. 1518). You will immediately see the breathtaking challenge of their bold contrast of light and shade to draw out volume and depth of their subjects.
The difference that I have attempted to make is adapting the transparency of strong watercolours, rather than the opacity of oils, to the more modern, pragmatic settings of metropolitan and country Australia. My work represents the rich tapestry that I found in the explosion of life from childhood and adulthood scenes of city buildings to Sydney’s magnificent harbour with its tugboats, lazy fishing dinghies left reclining on the sandy foreshores through to the majestic dynamics of sterling thoroughbreds racing at Randwick Racecourse. I particularly enjoy the challenge of applying the chiaroscuro technique to my nocturnes, using the striking contrasts of street lights and floodlights against backgrounds of night skies and Victorian and modern architecture to stir the viewers’ sense of being drawn into a fresh, three dimensional living experience of art.
Barrenjoey – Northern Beaches Sydney (framed)
From this busyness and drive of urban life I work to draw an appreciative response to the peace and rest of country serenity. Here we find the winding rivers and streams, cloud draped mountains, brown rugged hills and dusty roads, the blue skies with scudding clouds and the luxuriant green of pastures. It is hoped that my appreciation and rendition in the bold, sculpted presentation of light and shade draws the viewer in to share the artist’s unambiguously holistic appreciation of all things Australian.
In 2009, my painting trip to France opened up a new world of inspiration and light to explore. Painting in Italy in 2011 extended my appreciation of European scenes, colour and village life in Europe. Numerous examples of the influence of people on the landscape will draw me back to those ancient and historic settings for further study.