J Darren Gilbert
2 Beach Avenue
"Ripple in a Rock Pool"
Sea-weed has become an obsession with me. To portray sea-weed in a way that reveals to others its beauty is a challenge I have given myself. The sinuous lines, the rich subtlety of the colours, the textures from rubbery to feathery and the reflections and distortions; as an artist I couldn’t ask for more. The subject of the acrylic on canvas painting called "Ripple in a Rock-pool" depicts the crazily distorted shapes created by an incoming wave on the algae growing below.
Painting wildlife, including plants, gives me an excuse to spend hours marvelling at the way mother-nature has put it all together. Living in bushland near the coast I have a never ending supply of subjects close by. I came across the fungi growing on a nature strip and their maroon caps and violet coloured stems captured my attention. They were dug up with a spoon and lived temporarily in the lid of a shoe-box while they were painted. The green-hood and bird orchids were growing in a pot on the veranda and were therefore easily incorporated into the design. I love the way translucent light filters through the nodding head. The plants look so delicate yet are hardy enough to survive the driest of summers hibernating in a pot their leaves bursting forth at the first hint of autumn.
"Macleay's Swallowtail" (on Members Gallery page)
While on an alpine ramble we came across a number of Macleay's Swallowtail butterflies feeding on the flowers of grevilleas and beard heath. It struck me that for such a colourful butterfly they were remarkably well camouflaged on their food plant. They were painted on water-colour paper in gouache.
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