This is one of many plein air paintings I made at Middle Head on Sydney Harbour in the summer of 2015. A storm was coming and I was forced to abandon my work in a huge downpour. The oil paint was starting to slide off the work. When I got to my car the sun came out and carried my gear back to the site and finished.
This is a plein air painting made a Birchgrove on Sydney Harbour. The Blues Point Tower is seen by many as an eyesore because of it’s somewhat arrogant and intrusive location on one of Sydney’s beautiful headlands but I like it’s simple Modernist lines and colour. It, like the Harbour Bridge behind it, is a part of our history.
Clifton Gardens Tree, 30cm x49cm, oil on canvas, 2015
Plein Air painting made at Bradleys Head, Sydney Harbour
The sandstone edges of Sydney Harbour are lined with the twisting torsos of these Angophoras. Their smooth surface, skin colour and occasional lumps and bumps are very human like. I paint them as modern dancers as they twist and turn to position themselves to catch the light.
I spent more than a week painting the flooded rapids of the Nepean River and made 4 of these paintings. I was thinking about Courbet and the early 19th Century plein air painters and trying to get a feel for the way they saw things and the tonal treatment they gave their European landscapes. This one is pretty big and detailed for a plein air work and I’m pleased with the way the rocks show through the water.