Saturday, January 24, 2015

Australia Day 2015

When asked to illustrate Australia, my country, I have to stop to think which part of this island to show.... Is it the wild and largely uninhabited west coast where crocodiles roam the waters, pearl farms dot the inlets and on land the colours are dusty shades of grey green red and orange but the skies are a burning clear blue?  Is it my home state's capital city with its jigsaw of old and new buildings, its maze of theatres, shops and cafes, and home to so many stylish black-clad women?  Is it the wide pale inland spaces between country towns where fields stretch into the distance, cattle rest under the trees and farm buildings cluster in shades of weathered grey.

I learned the art of decoupage and love the challenge of recreating something from scraps of paper.  A teacher introduced me to the idea of filling some of the spaces with paint rather than paper, and then challenged me to start with a picture but then to extend it myself, using the original artists colours and shapes as a guide; make the picture a different shape, take a small part of a larger one and make this scrap into a work of art all its own....and this is what I like doing best of all.

This box begins with a piece of a Fred Williams painting, The Nattai River painted in 1958.  Its colours instantly bring the bush to mind, the vast spaces where it seems no-one moves except birds high above you.  The piece I used is from the right hand corner and is on most of the lid, and then I extended the painting down the sides, creating a sky and ground and horizon where there had not been one before.  

It might not say "Australia" to you, but it does to me.

This post celebrates the 201st challenge at Opus Gluei and I wonder what other people will create?