Painting, Photo Reference and Glorious Nature

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Nature is a huge inspiration for me. I feel so alive when I am in nature. I love running long distances on beautiful trails, hiking and exploring different terrains, and traveling to experience a variety of new landscapes. I also love photography. I’m always pulling out my iPhone on runs when something grabs my attention. I do create fine art photographic prints with my professional camera but also use photography as reference for my paintings. In my earlier post, I spoke of wanting to start with a photograph I had shot as inspiration and just see where the painting would go. I thought it would be interesting to share a few photographs and the subsequent paintings from my recent studio explorations…

Sometimes the photo reference may be quite obvious. I shot this image on a rainforest hike in Far North Queensland earlier this year. And yes, this painting is also inspired by the rainforest. The painting is small (6 x 6 inches) and I was interested in playing with pattern and darks and lights.

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The next photo reference is a little less obvious. This image was shot on my Arctic trip and the painting below initially started off with a lot more blocky, structural qualities until “water” and “waves” eventually took over. There are some color palette influences but what I especially like is that the little bright green color in the painting would never have found its way there if I wasn’t looking at that gorgeous green light coming through the iceberg in the photograph.

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I was looking at these two images below, also shot in the Arctic, when I created the painting beneath them. When you look at the photographs and the painting together, it is easy to see influences such as the color palette and pointy mountains juxtaposed with flat expansive spaces. However, if you were to view the painting without context, you probably wouldn’t immediately think of the Arctic unless you had been to that exact location. Instead, perhaps the abstract painting may evoke a sense of some type of landscape either familiar or unfamiliar.

Look for the Arctic landscape to continue to pop up in my paintings, and I’m sure you’ll catch a glimpse of rainforest visions too.

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