"These works are a continuation of exploration and inspiration of wildflowers. Here it is the textures, colours and movement of beach flora which has captivated my imagination. We are so very lucky in Taranaki to have rich coastlines blooming with a multitude of grasses, flowers, flaxes and shrubs, wild and wonderful colours and shapes. Contrasted against dramatic seas and skies, it is a symphony for the eyes".
Your primary focus are botanicals, and the beauty of nature. What drew you to experiment with your painterly and textured new style?
I have been experimenting, working with a palette knife, being more expressive and gestural with my mark making, and pushing my work in a more abstract direction.
I am inspired by the great masters and contemporary abstract expressionism. I felt I needed to do something new in my studio practice, to keep my work interesting and evolving in style, while learning new ways to express my ideas. To share with the viewer a different way to look at the world.
Bringing in texture added a whole new dimension to these works, allowing me to create a greater sense of movement in the works.
Many artists look to the horizon whilst capturing the ocean environment, you instead focused on the dune grasses and wild flowers, positioned away from the water. You have so beautifully captured the movement of the grasses, what initially lead you to hone in on this area?
I spend a lot of time at the beach, often with my sketchbook. As much as I love watching the ocean, it is the grasses and wildflowers that really fascinate and excite my imagination. A lack of a defined horizon is a re-occurring theme in my work. As with my works in Watercolour of native bush, I want the viewer to feel immersed in the environment, to capture the feeling of sitting in the grasses, wildflowers and weeds. I want to create an intimacy between the painting and the viewer.
The colour palette is beautiful and evocative and very different from your water colour works, how do you go about selecting the tones for a painting?
I start with a palette in mind, this can be inspired by works of masters I admire, the colours I see in nature or simple things around my home and garden that capture me. As the painting evolves, my paint mixes and the colours shift as I search for a balance of harmony and contrast.
To view Joni Murphy's full collection at Kina, click here