In this interesting landscape, reminiscent of the ‘ephemeral’ effect of light through the trees, a technique employed by Australian Impressionist ‘plein-air’ artist, Elioth Gruner (1882-1939), there is a deep connection between air and earth. However, there is an addition of a spiritual element that was so important to the artist.
The artist used the ‘rule of thirds’ to compose this painting. The focal point is the central section where light streams from the sky, and highlights a tree that has outstretched, arm-like branches. This resembles the cross of Christ, called the ‘tree’. White, the colour of unbroken light, streams across the tree. It symbolizes Christ’s purity. Trees are positioned carefully across the canvas.
Visual depth has been achieved because the artist manipulated colours. They transition from solid colours in the foreground and central section, into a hazy skyline.
Red-violet is the mother colour, and along with contrasting green and yellow colours, sets the mood for this bush meditation. The artist’s brush techniques keep the painting interesting. Smooth, long strokes of blended paint have been used on the trees, and short, angled dabs of paint have been used in the foreground. There is also some soft layering of paint.
Despite the sacrificial theme in this painting, the atmosphere is not at all gloomy, as shadows are not painted in black. Fresh, new energy has been created by varying the intensity of colours.
The artist loved the bush. Perhaps, in this painting, he is suggesting that quiet, bush meditation adds value to our lives and draws us closer to Jesus. This may have been a progressive piece of artwork.
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed.)