Art: In the eye of the beholder


Interpreting art!  What is the artist telling us?  What attitudes, techniques and messages does the artwork convey?


Belinda Wilson, Sudden Burst of Happiness, 2022, oil on linen, 100 x 100cm (39.37″ x 39.37″)

Belinda Wilson is a Melbourne based, established contemporary artist…Her extensive portfolio of paintings and drawings have been realized through a profound resonance with the Australian landscape and its incomparably primitive artistry.

Belinda Wilson is represented by Brenda Colahan Fine Art, Sydney

Sudden Burst of Happiness
The title as circumstantial imposes an idyllic view of a painterly landscape in which it’s peculiar beauty and dazzling uniformities; its troughs, undulations and flourishes are realised both poetically and apparently intuitively. The title indicates emotional spontaneity, ostensibly as a consequence of gazing upon a captivating landscape. 
Whilst this landscape is undoubtedly part fiction and part reality, it captures and holds the viewer’s attention because it appears uniquely ‘unfettered and unfiltered’: complete with spiky, scratchy incidental aspects of a land inevitably impacted by time and the elements. The presence of man and or beast is randomly marked with ‘tracks and boundaries’. Generally, it is a countryside of trees, shrubs and fluctuations; one in which nature evolves as it would in any landscape undergoing perpetual change.

However, what makes this work stand out ultimately are three things: the luminous, seductive light and a unified palette both of which contribute to an idealised landscape that arrests the viewer’s perception; inspiring a sense of awe in the process.


A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art!

Paul Cézanne (1839 – 1906)


Nicole Kelly, Books and Windows, 2022, oil on polyester, 170 x 200.5cm (framed) / (66.92″ x 78.93″)

Nicole Kelly’s works are autobiographical expressions of recent experiences in Bundanon (NSW), Tasmania and Provence (France)…Clouded by the romanticism of remembering, these paintings are imbued with experience captured in vibrant strokes of colour and with swift brushwork. Informed by an interest in literature and the discipline of painting, Kelly’s works cast moments of shared stillness in an atmosphere of light.

Books and Windows
Nicole Kelly’s Books and Windows communicates an aesthetic many Australians aspire to and appreciate: living a relaxed life synchronised with nature. We can surround ourselves with beauty and fulfilment in uncomplicated ways by harnessing creativity – that of others and from within ourselves, thus perpetually enriching our reality.  Kelly conveys these ideas in the compressed composition, the content, patterns (pictorial, and of the world in general), the picturesque technique and hazy washed out palette.
The sum of the aesthetic detail implies lazy afternoons or weekends with imprecise objectives, surrounded by favourite things with a book or magazine and a drink of choice. Although the trappings are simple the room and surrounds are rich with texture both natural and man-made. The artist paints a picture of an elementary life fulfilled by surrounding yourself with beauty: the title, the objects and the exterior indicate that it is easy to do so by personal (private), public (looking beyond your immediate sphere), and natural means, irrespective.
Nicole Kelly is represented by Arthouse Gallery, Sydney


Disclaimer:  The artworks above are two that I love.  The accompanying text is by no means exhaustive, much more could be said. The text represents a few ideas they immediately convey, and may or may not coincide with the artist’s intentions.

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