Featured artist John Turton captures the stunning vistas of the Australian landscape. See more of his work by visiting his website.
I have been painting since the age of eleven, and am blessed in that I have been able to make art my career. Although I dabble with other subject matter, my paintings depict, and have always been inspired by, the Australian landscape.
I love looking at nature – the textures and colours and different patterns formed by the plants and land forms. I particularly enjoy the aspect of where the land meets the sky; the expanse of the cloud formation, and the angles and contours of the land below.
I am never really trying to document the actual landscape itself. My style is primarily expressive; for me it is more about a sense of place than a particular place and also the atmosphere conveyed.
I love to travel, especially road trips, and although I don’t very often do plein air sketches (or even take lots of photos) it is later on, in my studio, that some aspect which has struck a chord or something of significance comes into play and a painting begins to evolve.
I usually incorporate enough realism in my work so that the viewer can identify with the image, but have always had a hankering to become more abstract, so who knows!
I am always trying to simplify my work as I feel that the better paintings are those that are less worked. The thing that excites me most is applying colours – both with a brush and a palette knife. It is amazing the ways in which they react with each other, pushing forward and pushing back. I also love using tones that are traditionally not thought to go together.
I have been doing a lot more work on paper recently. I have been experimenting with an oil paint wash, then working with pastel over the top, and have found it to be a colourful, quick way of drawing. It is a good way to loosen up before painting and has been a fun method to share with students at workshops.
I get excited when my work is going well. It makes me feel like I’ve achieved what I set out to do and gives me confidence for the next piece. When people see my work, I’d like them to be excited too – about either the whole painting or even just a section. The main thing I’m trying to do is to create an atmosphere that evokes a response.