TRAVELLING ARTIST – Take yourself out of your comfort zone!
No two subjects are ever the same so why paint them so? For many years I painted the same familiar subjects, it was not until I travelled so widely that I truly discovered a clearer understanding of and the finer attributes of painting, in particular the importance of painting direct from life.
Taking yourself out of your comfort zone forces you to think, and allows you to experiment. For me, it regenerated a thirst for knowledge and a search for answers.
Before travelling so broadly, I lived in Australia painting boats and seascapes until the cows came home. I got pretty good at it, sales were good, but the self satisfaction was wearing thin. It was really just smoke and mirrors, sort of refining a repeated process where portraits, or city scenes full of figures scared me.
Moving to and living in Europe, you can’t avoid the population of people and a painting doesn’t look right without the inclusions of such, so I wanted to learn.
Wherever I go something is always different, the light, the landscape and the cultures. No two paintings now are ever the same. Each painting needs to be approached differently, I like to experiment and I am not afraid to fail or destroy a painting for the sake of discovering something new. I am finding my own voice and as an artist this is so important.
This month I return to Australia and will be looking forward to what effects these life changing experiences will have towards my approach to painting my own homeland.
It takes time to adjust your thinking and approach to painting before you start to find your way again in a new place. When I arrive in a new location I like to take it slow. Get a real feel for the place before I decide what it is I want to express.
– Leon Holmes
Images courtesy of Leon Holmes and Ferdinand Kiemeneij.
See more of Holmes’s work at: www.leonholmesart.com.au
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Visit our website for the Leon Holmes brush set, only available through Rosemary & Co. www.rosemaryandco.com/leon-holmes-set