Luncheon on the rock 2006 Oil on Linen 450 x 450mm $750
In 2006/2007 I was working on a variety of canvases in a small patch of Western Sydney Dry Rainforest. I delight in the pastel tones of the dry leaf litter and the wonderful light as the day progresses. This community of trees represents so many aspects of my work today.
The more I inhabit an area the more I want to paint each and every tree and that from more than one angle. A true community is where the small and the frail are as important as the large and dominant.
This small group of trees are gathered on a rock ledge, a family , a community. In design they are rather like Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) basking in the sun. My first major canvas Figures in landscape No 1 is subtitled Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe and was the seminal work that has directed my painting perspective for thirty years. So here I am returning to a theme. Luncheon on the rock. At the same time the metaphor of life causes wonder at the ability of a group of trees to survive in such a thin soiled hostile environment. The secret is in the collective, in community, which provides much of the mulch that is its sustenance.