Beauty with Brassicas


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This calm sunny image is about serenity and beauty in the everyday.  I have related the image to iconography (such as Virgin and Child altarpieces) by mixing gold oil paint into the background, this does not make it metallic but gives it a smooth deep mustard-straw colour.  Orange is one of my favourite colours.. it is bright, strong, sunny: this woman is solid, confident, serene and calm, I love her intelligent face.  The brassicas (the family name for cabbages and in this case brussels sprouts) refer to a couple of wonderful paintings which I saw in The National Gallery of Scotland, for different reasons they also express the beauty in the everyday – the unexpected array of colour as the sun sets on a brassica patch (by Arthur Melville, 1877), the resilience of a “Hind’s Daughter” (painted by Sir James Guthrie in 1883): a young girl expertly wields a knife as she collects that day’s dinner in the bleak cold that Britain does so well (I know this because I’ve been a gardener in England for 10 years and worked on farms in Scotland!).  But I digress, this painting is calm and warm, painted a very long way from Scotland, in Australia.

I’ve used thin layers of oil paint, particularly on the figure, so that the light of the white canvas ground still shines through, giving this painting a luminous quality.  Oil on Canvas 76 x 76 cm

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