A few weeks ago I was house sitting for my daughter. (Actually I was cat-sitting). I took a walk down a track that I had first explored in 2011 soon after arriving in Brisbane. The track is very different now. It’s much more established with wider paths. Some sections now have concrete stabilising the track where water runoff has caused damage. The trees, once small saplings, now tower over the path. The stream is almost hidden.
It seemed like a strange, new, place. Nothing was recognisable.Then I caught a glimpse of water and remembered the image that inspired a number of paintings.
I caught sight of the bridge, reflected in the stream.
The stream as it is today
The stream in 2011
Often you take a photograph because something in the scene speaks to you but it can be a while before that initial inspiration takes shape. It’s almost as though the idea and image need time to incubate, waiting for the right moment to be given life. So it was with the images which inspired the painting, Windarra Reflections.
This is what I wrote in 2013 -
I took the photograph of the creek on Windarra Estate some time ago. It's been there, waiting to become a painting. Excited by the light on the water and the patterns of the reflected reeds, I wanted the painting to convey the light, colour and a little mystery.
This one was selected for the Lethbridge Small Scale Exhibition in 2015 and later exhibited it along with others at a group exhibition at the then Percolater Gallery in Paddington. (The gallery is now Lethbridge Gallery)
Windarra Reflections - oil on canvas 600 mm x 500 mm
I returned to the same image for Reeds Rise from Water. The title comes from From the poem by Samuel Menashe
I selected a small crop of the original photograph and began the painting with loose bright colour and drips of paint. Most of these remained in the completed painting.
Reeds Rise From Water 760 mm x 760 mm oil on canvas
Recently I pulled out some Daler Rowney FW Acrylic inks some of which I had purchased for a workshop many years ago. I also purchased a basic set of Liquitex inks - primary colours, black, white and burnt umber.
For inspiration I returned to my Windarra stream image and used the inks for this painting. Acrylic ink is extremely forgiving. The layers add vibrancy, cover mistakes and are really fun to use.
Windarra Reflections II - acrylic ink on watercolour paper 320 mm x 400mm