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Our Favourite Spot ·

Our Favourite Spot
Medium: Pastel
Base: Paper
Year: 2012
Pastel on pastel paper taken from photography by Janice Mills during the 2011-2012 Australian summer from series of photographs in Janice's collection based around her home on the Mornington Peninsula. Many of the details have been simplified and some photos have been merged together to create a more interesting image. The trees in this artwork are from a photograph taken near Janice's studio, the birds in all three artworks in this series were later additions. These lorikeets do live in the area but were not in the original photos.
This pastel artwork is the third in a set of three pastels of our native lorikeets in the Pearcedale area. The artworks were a good project to complete when everything was quiet during the holidays. This pastel is based on a part of the road Janice lives on with a few simplifications. The colours in the shadows have been altered to make them more appealing and the background was simplified. Altering the colours in the tree trunks to bluer colours allowed for a contrast of “warm” and “cool” with the warm yellows and oranges in the grass in the background and light areas at the base of the picture. The two little lorikeets give life and movement to an otherwise fairly static image and add a splash of bright colour.
The pastel painting is around A4 (21cm × 30cm) in size so there is not a lot of detail. Trying to get fine details from artists pastels at this size is not practical and the aim was not for every little feather or leaf to be visible, rather the light and shadow in the scene and texture of the pastels with the fun and character of the birds. The authentic Australian “flavour” even with the pine trees, was the underlying goal via these means. The use of conifers as wind breaks on the Mornington Peninsula over the years by farmers is a well known practice so many looking at this scene will identify with these trees. The strong sunlight coming through the branches of these trees created an interesting pattern on the ground which was one of the first things about this scene that appealed.
A closer look will reveal that the birds are just dabs of pastel, done very lightly and quickly to give an impression and not a detailed view. They have lovely bright colours, so it was worth it to include them, even though not in the original photos to help give spark and entice the viewer. They also give a common theme to the three artworks in the series in addition to the combined locations.
Dimensions: 21 cm (width) × 30 cm (height)
Ownership: Private collector
Credit: Original photography by Janice Mills

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