This painting was inspired by a walk along Farrer Ridge in southern Canberra. The paths were absolutely sodden from the recent rains, and rather than wade knee deep in mud I decided to head off-path, picking my way through the gloriously lush long grasses as I climbed toward the summit.
Higher up, the trees became twisty and stunted as they do when exposed to harsh weather, and I remember looking to my left at a sunlit glade with dappled light filtering down through the branches. That’s what I set out to paint, but as often happens, it became something else along the way.
I think it started with my choice of a pink hue for the sky. I’m really not sure why I went with that colour, perhaps it was an aversion to using blue which is such a cliched choice, perhaps it was a vague idea of creating a sunset scene – I was painting quickly and in a flow state so I didn’t give it much thought – but it set the tone for what followed.
Once I painted in the basics of the grassy foreground – patches well-lit, and others in shadow, that pink sky began to speak to me not of sunset but of winter mist. Of low cloud enveloping the hillside and only allowing filtered light through. Once that idea sprang to mind, I had to pursue it.
The kangaroos were a final addition – I didn’t see any on this particular walk, but they’re often observing from a distance, spotting you way before you notice them, alert and ready to hop away if necessary.
About the Artist
Andy is a self-taught modern impressionist artist based in Canberra, Australia. Most of his works are landscapes inspired by the hills and wild places surrounding the city and the local region, though occasionally he paints scenes from memories or imagination.
He paints to intuitively express thoughts and emotions through his works, so his landscapes are notable for dramatic skies and intense use of colour. They often convey a conservationist theme, illustrating the damage done to nature yet seeking beauty and hope in what remains.
Andy also looks to explore light in all its nuances; his paintings are typically filled with brilliant ambient light and deep rich shadows. The scenes he creates are what he imagines them to be – landscapes as viewed through the prism of his soul.
His works are created with acrylic paints and inks, as his paintings are built up quickly through countless layers which necessitates a fast drying time, and acrylics allow the freedom to apply washes and tinted glazes over thicker impasto paint.
This exhibition, The Colours I Feel, is mostly inspired by Andy’s ventures into the wilds of Canberra during the autumn and winter of 2022 and 2023. He wanted to paint, not the scenes that the city is famous for, but rather the out of the way places where he found peace and inspiration.