This painting was an exploration into a composition with a strong vanishing point. I wanted to capture the shadow pattern on the ground particularly from the fence to emphasis the converging perspective. As someone who has spent a lot of time in a cold and wet temperate climate I am really enjoying the strong light of Australia and the interesting effect it has on the landscape.
These watercolours are from a recent walk around Congwong Bay near the New South Wales Golf course. It is interesting to view the traffic from the cargo ships sailing in and out of Botany Bay. From this vista there is also a clear view of the historic military fort island Bare Island which is connected to the mainland with a board walk. In the painting above I was almost looking into the sun and the sea reflected the sunlight. I have left the paper with a very thin wash to try and depict this reflection. In my work at the moment I trying to be minimalistic in my use of brushstrokes to suggest the scene. Watercolours are a medium where the phrase 'less is more' reigns supreme. They can be very unforgiving with heavy-handedness. I feel the painting below is overworked and does not flow as well as the painting above.
A friend recommended I visit Parsley Bay and I am so glad she did. It is a wonderful picturesque oasis off Sydney harbour. The bay is a narrow inlet from the harbour with a large lawn behind the beach and dense vegetation to the sides of the inlet. Parsley Bay is most distinguished by its footpath cable suspension bridge which spans over the water. Sydney is full of these wonderful harbour bays that provide a lovely calm to the city. These watercolours were painted in the winter so feature no people. I can image in the summer I would have to capture the many swimmers as this is an idyllic swimming beach. I intend to come back and capture that.
View from the Bridge, Parsley Bay Boats
Watercolour on Arches 180gsm Paper
25cm x 17cm
Parsley Bay Rocks
Watercolour and Ink on Bockingford 300gsm Paper
21cm x 30cm
The top two paintings today were pure watercolours. The third painting is ink and watercolour. In this 'Parsley Bay Rocks' I wanted to abstract the rocks and vegetation to give a sense of the many patterns that emerge in a space like this.
I have written a review of the Sydney Biennale of Art in the online magazine New Linear Perspectives. This magazine which has varied and interesting articles on art, literature, music, nature and more.
Vandyke Brown Ink, Sepia Pen, White Acrylic and Watercolour on Watercolour Paper
42cm x 29cm
The california bungalow is a familiar sight in Sydney. As the name suggests they are a style of architecture that take their influence from America developed between 1915 to 1940. Their low pitched red triangle roofs framed by foliage are a dominate feature of the landscape here.
Watercolours are a lifestyle choice for me at the moment for two reasons; they are beautiful and results can be achieved quickly. Each piece takes me about ten to fifteen minutes. I work with three to four layers always from top to bottom. The first layer is a thin wash that I allow to dry, and then I work in the detail with the subsequent layers. The quality of materials is fundamental in this medium. The top painting of today ‘Wedding Cake Island in May’ is painted on relatively good quality Bockingford 300gsm cold-pressed paper. It provides a reliable balance of absorbency and flow that keeps the paint luminous. The other paintings from today are on paper of a lower quality. As a result the paint seems bold or over worked as I struggled with the absorbency in painting.
The unrelenting autumn rain paused long enough for Maniac Two and me to take a trip to the Sydney Art Biennale. The intention was to do the whole Artwalk from Cockatoo Island to Artspace but the combination of our toddler walking pace and the immensity of the exhibition meant we spent the day at Cockatoo Island. Having never visited the island the experience was much like an art treasure hunt where art merges with non-art. I even caught myself marvelling at the rows upon rows of tents pondering its commentary on the military or identity. Later I was told by an official this is a permanent feature of the island where people come to... wait for it... camp. Apparently I was not the first to ask her if it was part of the show. This former imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory, gaol and shipyard makes a perfect setting for contemporary art. The ferry ride to the island created a sense of escapism which was elevated by the juxtaposition of historical relics and art. There were many memorizing exhibits but the one I was most taken with was 'The Feast of Trimalchio' by the Russian art group AES+F. It is a circular video installation in a warehouse at the furthest end of Cockatoo Island. I felt transported into another world of plastic decadence which left me pondering consumerism and tourism. Below is a taste of the exhibit.
The emphasis of Nicola Moir’s work is on those familiar ‘in-between’ spaces, capturing the everyday detail of how we know, move through, and imprint our values on the city. These are the forgotton spaces we inhabit between work, home and leisure. They are the spaces where we come together as a community.