Ross Skinner: In a Marine Light
01 - 23 October 2016
A jaded eye could be bored with the most spectacular view; if we are open to it, the simplest things can be beautiful.
Ross Skinner has an almost romantic relationship with his craft: I love the stuff of paint, the smell, look and feel of oil paint, watercolour, and soft vine charcoal... I am always trying to find the sweet spot between total freedom in expressing colour and form, and the correct representation that gives the work its meaning as an image.
Ross Skinner´s latest exhibition, In a Marine Light, draws inspiration from Lloyd Rees, an Australian landscape painter pre-occupied with depicting the effects of light and emphasising the harmony between man and nature.
Two painting trips to Gerringong, on the south coast of NSW, attempt to recapture and explore the subject matter of Rees´ work. I discovered it was possible to complete small paintings on the beach with my family in tow... Although, they seem to have an amazing ability to attract sand, commented Skinner whilst admitting that balancing artistic practise with other life commitments involves making the most of time when you can get it because, especially with two young children, you can never plan too far ahead.
Ross admires artists such as Pierre Bonnard, Giorgio Morandi and Clarice Beckett, who find beauty within their own immediate environments. He describes the initial process of painting as being struck by an arrangement of forms, a "look at this!" feeling... The quicker I can begin trying to sketch, and the less I think directly but let that process take over, the more likely I will take away something worth keeping.
Skinner enjoys the immediacy of plein-air painting, which reflects his perceptions of the simple, everyday things around him. I enjoy looking at and recording my immediate environment; flowers from the garden, shadows passing across the yard, and views across Iron Cove from the local parks... (and) the feeling that after working hard on a painting or drawing, suddenly, something seems to come together that wasn’t there before.
Ross Skinner is a three times finalist in the NSW Parliamentary Plein-air prize and a current finalist in the Victorian Castlemaine Art Museum's 2016 Len Fox Painting Prize. He has been the recipient of many art awards including the 2014 Glebe Art Prize Open Painting Award and the 2009 Glebe Sesquicentennial Painting Prize.
"In a Marine Light" explores the landscapes of the NSW South Coast, and Iron Cove in Sydney´s Inner-West.
This is Ross Skinner´s third Solo Exhibition at Artsite Contemporary Galleries.