Artchat recently caught up with landscape artist Adrienne Williams before her upcoming exhibition at Red Hill Gallery, Brisbane to ask her a few questions about herself and her amazing artwork.
AC: Can you explain the process from start to finish with your artwork for our readers?
AW: It’s quite simple, I stumble across a plant or tree or place I love being in and sit with my sketchbook and work through some small scribbly, scratchy drawings. The next step is to return with my little kit of gear I use to plein air sketch, my easel, and a large carry case of papers and begin drawing. Often if I start large I never quite finish the drawing, it’s too ambitious outdoors, so I usually stay small and get to take home little samples of the site that go up on the studio wall along with photos.
From that point I usually move to canvas, then back to drawing, then back to canvas, and even back to the site for more sitting if I’m feeling lost in a piece. For me there’s always a story there in the landscape, and after finding a new site it can take me a few months of working to stumble across how I’d like to tell it’s story.
AC: What will it mean to you to apart of the artist in residence in Las Cruces, New Mexico?
AW: Well it’s such a thrill. I actually cried on the phone when I got the call. Doh! But it really was a measure of how great the opportunity feels. I have been to Las Cruces before and already know some of the places I will sketch and paint over my 7 weeks there. And it’s a rich cultural area, so the absorbing of place, the meeting of other artists, and working over there for a period with a fellow Bundaberg artist will be a great experience.
AC: Do you have a favourite artist/s or art movement/s?
AW: I’m loving everything I see of Del Katherine Barton’s work. And this year I went to Sydney’s MCA to see the Chuck Close survey show ‘Prints and Process’. When you put yourself on a plane to go see an exhibition, of course you have high hopes and I can honestly say it exceeded them. I have not come out of a show so in awe of someone in a long time. His tenacity, experimentation, and his understanding of colour are just extraordinary.
I am also enamoured with John Wolseley’s process and his works. How I wish his NGV show with it’s 6m long watercolours would tour up to Brisbane. I attended a 5 day workshop he ran many years ago and I learned so much.
AC: Your work is always vibrant and rich. How important is colour to you?
AW: I guess colour is everything, it’s probably at the core of why I paint, and it definitely drives the composition in most of the current work. In this show there are so many blues and strong colours – a nod to the rains we had all through Spring and Summer 2014. For the last few years my colours have been very toned back, dry grass and soft spotted gum colours, so this is a big change.
AC: Do you have a favourite colour on the palette?
AW: Every single one of them!