I have long had a fascination with the idea of landscape reflecting a state of mind, an idea which I explored in the previous print of this series and returned to once more using Caspar David Friedrich's 1808 -10 painting of a tiny solitary figure standing on a stormy shore as a point of departure. Friedrich's composition, Monk by the Sea, is still a startling image two centuries after it was painted by a man who made a speciality of bestowing landscapes with moods that range from sublime to eerie.
This reimagining doesn't aim for an extreme emotion simply because I wanted to use the landscape I live in, one best described as intimate but exposed to the elements, particularly in winter. The long maroon dress worn by the woman gazing across the water was intended to alert the viewer that she's there for a reason other than enjoying the view, an activity most locals do from inside their cars. The pine tree is a nod to a species commonly used as windbreaks and feature plantings that characterise many Australian foreshores.
Monk by the Sea, Caspar David Friedrich : Google Arts and Culture
Harmony in Blue and Silver, James McNeill Whistler : Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Beach at Palavas, Gustave Courbet : National Gallery Australia