I paint from life, either in my studio or ‘en plein air’, without the aid of photography.
I have written just a little bit of background about some of the works in this exhibition.
The painting “Black Cockerel’ was one of many done whilst sitting amongst the cages of prize poultry at the Royal Adelaide Show for a week. The art was in dodging the flying sawdust and wheat when the birds were scratching in their pens. This one is a proud little Langshan rooster.
The painting ‘Plums in Blue Bowl’ was a finalist in the 2011 Fleurieu Art of Food and wine Prize. The plums were picked from Roland Weight and Lise Temple’s garden.
The painting ‘On the Shelf – Eggs’ received a judges commendation as a finalist in the 2011 Heysen Prize. I was intrigued by the various tones, warm and cool, in the composition, and tried to paint them, as I saw them on the shelf.
‘One night at drawing – no v’ was one of a series of ten quick 2 minute sketches whilst at the Hubbe Ct sketch group in Adelaide – which I recently worked out that I’ve been attending for over 25 years. Whilst many of my drawings are more detailed and ‘finished’ as longer timed poses allow, there is something refreshingly spontaneous and fluid about the shorter poses.
The fruit and vegetables I paint are often grown in our vegetable garden. There is something immensely satisfying about watching something grow and develop and then stilling its form in paint. Sometimes it seems as though Alfie and I grow things solely for art’s sake and it is usually only when they have been painted that we think to eat them.
The ‘Burra Jugs’ are, as the title suggests, a pair of jugs I found in an antique shop, just up the road on one of my early visits to Burra last year. I am very fond of the particular shade of blue, the quietness and restraint of the objects, and I like jugs, the weight of them in the hand and the idea that they contain something to be shared.
The watercolours of the bronze sculptures outside the Art Gallery of NSW were painted whilst we were waiting outside for the doors to open. We often take watercolours and sketchbooks on our travels around a city and the country. It is a very good way to get the feel of a place.
Light is such an important aspect of studio painting and, as I grew into my newly expanded studio space last year, many of the paintings were experiments in the changed light conditions – side lit from the right or left, overhead skylights, blinds up or down. I ‘lost’ my favourite shelf to place and paint objects on (ie Eggs on shelf) and gained a brand new south lit window sill ( cherry plums and Satsumas in …)
Alison Mitchell, March 2013