VIS210 major project: artist research

These artists present grass in interesting and beautiful ways. Below is a little about their work and the techniques they use.

Barbara Weir
Grass Seed Dreaming

Barbara Weir's work depicts grass dreaming in intricate detail. Line captures the movement and rhythm of wind in the grass and layers of colour and repetition defines individual blades and light.

"Barbara Weir uses two distinctive stylistic conventions, one linear, the other an all over dotting technique. For her Grass Seed Dreamings, it is linear (this story refers to the grass seed that is part of the bush tucker found in the region. Seed is collected, crushed to a fine powder and then used to make bread). With these paintings, she combines both aerial and side-on view to describe dense fields of swaying grass in close focus. These are both diaphanous and mysterious in impact. Exquisite linear layers of finely painted filaments, they seem at once to be appearing and disappearing setting up pulsating rhythms which are further accentuated by soft plays of flowing colour that weaves gently into and over the canvas surface."

The Grasses
This series of paintings of grasses speaks of the complexity and depth of nature and cycles of birth, growth, aging and death. Layers of thick and thin line direct the eye and varying shades of colour fall and rise in dense repeated patterns. Line goes in all directions yet there is order.

"...Jacobs begins her creative process with close-up photographs of grasses and a light pencil drawing of lines on a full-size sheet of watercolor paper. Then, working from light washes of transparent color to dark and more opaque mixtures of paint, she fills in the spaces created by the overlapping of these shapes." - M. Stephen Doherty

Melinda Marshman
The paintings of grass are stripped back and spare. There is no wasted detail, just large blocks and lines of colour and minimal strokes of light and shade.

Melinda Marshman is an artist who is "...recognized for her spare and reductive style, whose painting practice reflects her unique way of seeing things. After initial 'conversations' with nature, unnecessary detail is filtered out in the studio to express sensory memory and the joy which she feels within the landscape."

oil on linen on board

Friedrich Hundertwasser
In this work of rural landscape, green dominates and divides the painting. Flowing horizontal and vertical black lines create containers and separation. There's an illustrative, hand-drawn quality to the fields, roads, dwellings and waterways.

"You have to imagine two worlds, two globes, which get so close to each other that they almost touch. Then they are antipodal, i.e., the people standing on one side have their heads pointing towards the sky, and the others do, too. When the two earths converge, the heads and feet touch. The weeping I show here has a very poetic and philosophical meaning. It is the city dwellers who go to the countryside to weep because they are unhappy in the city. They mourn the lost paradise." - Hundertwasser 

Grass for those who cry
Mixed media: watercolour, egg tempera, oil and tinfoil with Uhu glue on drawing paper, primed with chalk, zinc white and PVA; mounted on canvas with PVA and wallpaper glue
650 mm x 920 mm

Andrea Kowch
Wide open spaces, folds of land, intimate connection with the subject and far perspectives, and floating and dream-like imagery are used throughout Andrea's works. There's a softness and blurred edges to the lines and colours, like looking through a veil. Sombre and subdued colours dominate.

Often depicting rural scenes using grass as a strong element, Kowch's paintings "stem from life’s emotions and experiences, resulting in narrative, allegorical imagery that illustrates the parallels between human experience and the mysteries of the natural world."

Queen Anne's Lace
30" x 24"
acrylic on canvas

Watchful Eye
16" x 20"
acrylic on canvas