Painting is not equal to mountains and streams
For the wonder and scenery
But mountains and streams are not equal to painting
For the sheer marvels of brush and ink
Don Qichang 1555-1636, (Chinese painter, scholar, calligrapher later period of Ming Dynasty)
The inspiration for my work predominantly comes from colours and designs in nature, place and landscape. I am drawn to making the everyday magical, lyrical, opulent, alive. I hope my work reminds you that the world can be and is a beautiful place and connects you with the heart and soul of life.
My early years in the unusual Australian outback country town of Broken Hill instilled in my soul an appreciation of the land, intense colour, nature and detail in small things. I remember many long walks in creek beds, picnics outback, sleeping under the stars. I practised drawing and painting throughout my childhood /teen years.
My decision to make a commitment back to art occurred some years later, following difficult personal years. It was as if my soul was calling me back to a field where I could find myself again…in which I could anchor my life and rediscover a direction that had been lost through trauma.
Like Don Qichang, my work, whilst not abstract, favours expression over formal likeness. I identify with the work of the Impressionists, particularly Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, the New York Abstract Expressionists, colourists Matisse and the paintings of British artist David Hockney.
My oil paintings take time – utilising the richness of oils to maximise the interplay of colour, impasto, glazing, texture, drawing and palette knife techniques, all of which give a three dimensional quality to the surface of the canvas. Creating a painting involves a balance between letting go to the organic process of working with my imagination and intuition and embracing the more formal elements of colour combinations, composition and mark-making as the painting emerges over time. In contrast I also do quick works on paper, some of which link to my larger works.
Drawing and acrylic collage are now also being integrated into my studio practice.
I find the experiences that come with creating art the most rewarding , (particularly as my studio work requires solitude); -the people you meet from all walks of life whom you may otherwise never come across, places you travel to, the connection people have with your expression as a communication that touches them. All of these experiences make art a living and memorable path in which one continues to grow and share with the world.
Céline Donegan, Expressionist Painter, Adelaide Hills/Australia