Landscape painting

Oasis In The City by Geoff Harrison

In my exhibition scheduled for June 2020 at Tacit Galleries in Collingwood, I will be exploring the recuperative and consoling powers nature has to offer to all of us. The exhibition will be based around Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens which I have visited many times for psychological recovery from the challenges of modern existence, such as losing one’s job, difficulties in relationships or even working one’s way through art school. It’s the responsibility of art to make us appreciate the importance of modest moments in our lives, such as the play of shadows cast by a tree on a path.

Hill Of Contentment Oil On Canvas 102 cm x 102 cm

Hill Of Contentment Oil On Canvas 102 cm x 102 cm

Modern advertising often specialises in glamourizing the unattainable; that is, places that are rare, remote, costly or famous.  Yet here we have an exotic location right under our noses that we can visit at any time.  And the sun need not be shining to appreciate the mysteries of these gardens.   A visit on a quiet and drizzly day can be an oddly therapeutic experience as you get the feeling that you have the whole gardens to yourself – tearooms and all.  Without the perpetual buzz of sight-seeing aircraft overhead, one can absorb the almost surreal beauty of the gardens, the thought that has gone into the landscaping and the far flung vistas.

Grey Day In The Gardens Oil On Canvas 71 cm x 107 cm

Grey Day In The Gardens Oil On Canvas 71 cm x 107 cm

Thanks to the barrage of advertising that constantly assails us, we lose the value of things that are close to hand, such as a quiet secluded area that allows time for contemplation. We become ungrateful for things that are free or don’t cost very much and we lose the value of ideas and feelings.

Casting A Long Shadow Oil On Canvas 102 cm x 76 cm

Casting A Long Shadow Oil On Canvas 102 cm x 76 cm

In this series I have not bothered with depicting precise species of plants as this is not meant to be an exact botanical record.  It’s a mood, a feeling that I’m intending to convey.


Art Of The Night by Geoff Harrison

Night time has been described as the time when reality disappears and imaginings begin.  People somehow seem less sane at night.  Shakespeare described night as the witching time and the night seems to have been a particularly productive time for Vincent Van Gogh.

Moonlight Near Roxby Downs                      Oil On Canvas                       101 cm x 142 cm

Moonlight Near Roxby Downs                      Oil On Canvas                       101 cm x 142 cm

I completed the above work in 2014.  It was inspired by a photo I saw of a lightning strike in the area and I was particularly interested in the sheen on the water created by the lightning fork.  So I decided to turn the scene into a moonlit night time image, partly because of the challenge it presented and partly to highlight the isolation of the scene.

And yet, the cold moonlight perhaps gives the scene a softness and harmony that may not be present during the daytime when you could image the appalling heat during the summer  months.  Interestingly, I found reproducing the sheen on the water the most difficult task - making it look authentic.  The vegetation in the foreground is largely an invention, through necessity as I couldn't make out the detail in the photograph.