Getting up close and personal with subjects is both inspirational and instructional.
I lived in Coffin Bay National Park as a child and revisited this iconic peninsula in the summer of 2013. Walking barefoot in the sand, taking photographs for reference and closely observing dune vegetation and the wider landscape assists me to experience ‘place’ in rich detail. So that when I need to paint native plants that thrive in a dune environment, I have sensory memories that enable me to recall their colour, texture, the way they move in the breeze, how the sand shifts around their stems.
Even if these plants form just a tiny part of the painting’s composition, I can portray them with more authenticity. The paint and brush strokes are imbued not just with an idea of the plant but a memory.