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Manly Creek Boat Series No 1 (88 x 61 cm)

This seascape is one in a series, where the artist has painted Wynnum Creek jetty as it was in the 1970s. The artist is looking out to the bay and the islands on the horizon. In order to capture different light effects, the same subject was painted at different times of the day. This technique was introduced to the art world by the Impressionist movement towards the end of the nineteenth century.

The structure of the seascape is horizontal in order to give a satisfactory, panoramic view. The ‘thirds’ rule has been applied. Atmospheric perspective (visual depth) has been achieved, by having the mid tones of the sea and mountains on the horizon line, transition to a lighter coloured sky. The softer, lighter colours are in contrast to the stronger, and brighter colours in the foreground. Sunlight from the north/north-west shines on the poles of the jetty and shadows are cast. There is some reflection from the coloured boats and trees in the water.

The warm colours in the painting are in contrast to the cool blue colours of the sky and water. Soft pastels, rose/shell pinks and soft shades were used quite often by the artist. The paint blending in this painting was probably a method the artist learned very early in his career whilst studying with David Fowler (1924 – 1971), a local watercolour artist.

The mixed short and long brush strokes used for the sky show cumulus-stratus clouds, hinting that there may be a shower later in the day. The smoothly blended colour of the jetty is in contrast to the longer perpendicular brushstrokes in the water, the curved ones used for the boats, and the dabs of colour representing the mud.

Boats are aligned well and naturally. Who was Vincent? A friend? Or is the artist referring to Post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh?

There is a relaxed mood to the painting. The two birds on the posts add interest and give the painting a heartbeat. Compare this with similar paintings in Anything Ocean and Anything Else, Private Collection.

Acrylic on Masonite, 1970s. (Cleaned and framed.)

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