‘By the Sea’

susanwellington-bythesea-oiloncanvas

I used to live in this little seaside suburb called Williamstown in Australia. Every day large container ships would sail by- the eucalyptus trees creating a frame for them. On summery blue days they seemed rather cartoonlike because of the salty air and misty atmosphere of the sea. I wanted to capture this feeling of the incredible dazzling blue atmosphere. The light which warms the earth. The trees which reach to the stars and connect to the earth. And the blocky little container ships in the distance. That dark blue shape in between the trees is my idea of one of these ships. It’s pretty abstract I know.  In the end I wanted a simplicity, solidness and roughness like the quality of a ship’s anchor in the painting.
There’s also a number of visual attributes that this and other paintings I’ve called the Iconic Landscapes share. Firstly the vertical orientation. This I did firstly because it relates it to religious icons. You’re forced to look upwards mainly rather than into. Like an idol to adore. Not that I want anybody to worship my paintings. It’s just that I feel that the landscape is kind of sacred.
Secondly There’s also a two part visual structure. The basic one is between sky and earth. And there is a constant interweaving between the two creating a new dimension. It’s that Yin and Yang thing- the masculine and the feminine that is the heart of my paintings.
 
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