These paintings are inspired by the wild coastlines which border the Bass Strait and Southern Ocean, from the dramatic rim flanked by the Great Ocean Road, to the beauty of Bruny and the rock-strewn shores of Kind Island. They began with walking in these places, taking mental and photographic notes, and absorbing impressions. They emerge on the canvas as poems in paint, reflective compositions rather than direct renditions.
These works draw upon the visual richness and complexity of these littoral environments, giving prominence to the fragile wildflowers and wind-sculpted plants that cling to cliff edges, thriving in an onslaught of salt air, cool mist and sea-spray. In this sense, they can be unconventional landscapes, foregrounding the intricate, understated beauty of small stones, layered rock and coastal heath.
Sometimes I have tried to imbue them with the excitement and dynamism that raises our spirits in the vicinity of the ocean, and let those big skies speak tumbling cloudscapes or luminous evenings spread out over the ocean with the harmonies that I love in the work of painters like Von Guerard. These artworks begin with rapt observation and evolve into celebrations of those alluring borders between land and sea.