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Laidley Street Series No 3 – Demo at Laidley (85.5 x 59 cm)

This acrylic painting from the artist’s ‘rose and pink’ period, shows skydivers demonstrating their skills at Laidley, an Australian country town. From midlife onwards, Laidley was the closest town to the artist’s home.

As a rule of structure, the artist used the ‘rule of thirds’ horizontally and vertically. The wide street foreground takes up most of the bottom third, the town activities the central section, and the skydiving activity in the top third. Linear perspective has been achieved as the wide street narrows and disappears in the distance. Simultaneously, the textured buildings on the right side of the street become smaller, as they disappear at the same point in the distance.

The main focus is on the central section of the canvas, and the viewer’s eye is attracted to the details. However, as the eye travels around the canvas, the skydivers can be seen in the distance.

The red and blue-violet coloured mixes that are dominant in this painting, are seen in many of the artist’s paintings. They are in contrast to the orange-gold and yellow-green colours used for other elements of the painting. The colours harmonise well and are repeated in the jumpers’ canopies.

The shadows cast from the buildings indicate it is early afternoon. When he carefully blended the colours for this excellent, spring sky, the artist used techniques explained in his Merlin Enabnit’s tutorial, ‘How to make Summer and Spring Skies’.

This is a neat, interesting painting and the vehicles provide conversation topics for the viewers. Compare this painting with No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 in the Laidley Street series.

Acrylic on Masonite, later career. (Cleaned and framed.)

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