My paintings respond to the weather.
On my country travels I watch the world. I see mists rise in the mornings off paddocks and dams, moving with seeming intelligence upward on an adventure. While I drive I watch clouds gathering their troops to quilt over the vast blue. I ponder the grey that builds overhead and then sheets down obscuring the land.
From my new studio in Northern New South Wales, situated high, I look down a long snaking valley onto a magnificent expanse of sky and fertile land.
My other studio, on the flanks of NSW’s Liverpool Plains is a cottage on a working sheep and cattle property. On the Plains rain blesses and curses in alternating turns. The sun can blast the ground and those who stray into its gaze – down to shriveled submission, or in the alternative the sun can revive the country.
We are, of course, weather dependent.
Within us, certainly within myself, there are fluctuating emotional climates and systems that build and release, sometimes outpourings, sometimes welled up within. I understand how people can become their land.
In my painting I see the land in abstract colour. My compositions are a play between depth and flatness, and the vertical and horizontal.
The animals that populate my paintings are those with which we have a close working relationship. Those animals on who’s back in part we’ve built an economy, and whose fate, along with ours, is dependent on the weather. I find the animals appealingly stoic and observant. Formally, I prefer incorporating their figures into my abstract scenes as an anchor that serves to switch abstraction to reality.
In my subject and technique I like to run a fine line between abstraction and representation, going sometimes quite wild with colour, then pulling back into fact, resulting hopefully with a scene that can be felt, and comprehended.
Lucy Vader, 2015