Steve Freestone

03 5966 2796

freestone5@bigpond.com

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Artist Statement

 

I graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1994, majoring in Painting and Photography.  I then completed a Post Graduate Degree with Honours in Painting and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Melbourne.

 

My earlier work explored both Portraiture and Landscape with influences from Edward Hopper, Edgar Degas and locally Rick Amor. These works were constructed from a variety of resources using different light sources to create a type of stage-like settings. 

 

After a number of solo and group exhibitions, I was fortunate to obtain an art teaching position locally at the Upper Yarra Secondary College. This incredible experience with both talented and dedicated art teachers gave me the opportunity to go to Yarra Valley Grammar where I taught for 17 years. What a fantastic school and arts program. During my time at Yarra, I had positions as Head of the Fine Arts Department, the Certificate IV in Art and Design coordinator and lecturer.

 

During a couple of trips around Australia, I developed many resources to start a series of paintings. This culminated in a number of exhibitions of paintings of the Flinders Ranges. This current work is primarily from the Kakadu and Kimberley areas of Australia, with future series of work planned of the West McDonnell Ranges and Western Australia. 

 

My work is primarily about process. It is about drawing, observation, colour, brush strokes, the use of form and observation. With observation, I recall the emotional moment of viewing the landscape and try to emulate that into my painting. It is also about colour. The use of complementary colours to enhance areas, and using these juxtapositions to enhance the value of the composition. This is partly influenced by the colour theories of John Constable, Eugene Delacroix and Vincent van Gogh. The brushwork is also an important part of my work. I create a feeling of music with a variety of energetic strokes juxtaposed to laboured detailed areas. This is order against disorder, which relates to the human condition. 

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Finally, the most important aspect of my work is poetry and concept. I make sections or quadrants of the work exist primarily separate from the rest of the painting, a type of abstraction. This creates a three-dimensional unity of the picture frame resulting in a strong tension between form and space. My use of composition and abstraction is influenced in part by abstract expressionist painters Hans Hofmann and Richard Diebenkorn. 

 

All of these processes culminate to create the meaning of the work. Using landscape, I endeavour to enhance our love of nature. Primarily my work is driven by a strong spiritual connection with the landscape. The Northern Territory and Kimberley areas of Australia are some of, if not, the oldest land on earth. Anyone who has visited the gorges, rivers and deserts of our North would understand the magnificent vistas, colours and emotional relationship with our land.

 

Landscape is universal, so it connects us to each other. As John Constable, the English Romantic landscape painter, said, “We see nothing truly until we understand it".

 

© 2016 by Yarra Valley Arts Inc.

PO Box 510, Healesville, 3777