Exhibition an artistic adventure

Published 6:00am 30 June 2024

Exhibition an artistic adventure
Words by Jodie Powell

The artists behind a new exhibition at Redcliffe’s Old Fire Station Gallery have overcome biting cold, searing heat, gusting winds, encroaching darkness and swarms of insects to create their works.

Beachmere’s Tricia Taylor and Karen King, from Landsborough, have amassed a series of stunning works capturing landmarks from their adventures on the art tours they lead.

Together and individually, they’ve visited locations such as Iceland, Paris, Barcelona, Uluru, India and New Zealand in pursuit of plein air painting.

Connecting with history

They say following in the footsteps of Masters such as Van Gogh and Monet has been an emotional journey and they’re thrilled to share the resulting works with the public.

“For my painting of the cathedral in Rouen I took a photo of Monet’s painting to find the spot where he’d stood more than 100 years before,” Tricia says.

“And I did a walk around Arles in France in the footsteps of Van Gogh to see what he saw, and it was just so emotional.”

Embracing nature

Exhibition an artistic adventure
Beachmere artist Tricia Taylor.

Karen says while many artists capture scenery in photographs to paint later, she loves the challenge of plein air painting.

“Plein air is all about capturing the feeling, the essence of what you can capture in that moment,” she explains.

As well as her paints and brushes, Karen’s tools of trade on her expeditions include a hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, a thermos – and in colder climes, fingerless gloves.

“Sometimes the insects landing in your paint will drive you away – it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be,” she laughs.

Tricia says extreme conditions make for beautiful art – but they can also be hazardous for the uninitiated.

“The first time I painted in the snow, I was so excited and when I finished, I went to pick it up and my hands stuck to the easel.

“And when I was in Uluru, the insects were so starved of water they would sit in your paint and your water.

“We use journals a lot too, because by the time you set up an easel the light has gone, and the scene has changed.

“You have ways of not having to do a full painting, then you come home and you’ve got the colours you chose, rather than what you see in a photo.”

Shared interests

Exhibition an artistic adventure
Landsborough artists Karen King.

Karen and Tricia say leading people on art tours is a wonderful way to explore new places.

“That’s why we take these groups with us. It’s like having your tribe with you because everyone wants to stop in the same place,” Tricia says.

Karen says she once joined an ordinary tour and is not likely to make the same mistake again.

“I was on a 10-day tour of New Zealand which was just a tour group and I just wanted to stop the bus and paint,” she laughs.

“Having like-minded people is a huge help and it’s great to see everyone’s version of the same scene.”

See the exhibition

Journey – an exhibition by Tricia Taylor and Karen King is on at the Old Fire Station Gallery at 395 Oxley Ave, Redcliffe from July 5 until August 4. The gallery is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-3pm and entry is free.

To find out more email artist@taylorart.com.au or karenking.1@bigpond.com

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