"Impressions of Light" Solo Art Exhibition by Corrine Rapley
Lost Eden Creative, Dwellingup WA
21st April to 21st May 2023
Here is a sneak peak time-lapse video of me working in my studio, on the beginning layers of
“Sunrays” - Oil over Gold Leaf on Wood Panel. 60cm diameter
You can see the completed painting at my upcoming Solo Exhibition.
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See more about my art processes and personal journey below this video
In the lead up to my next solo exhibition, I would also like to share with you a little condensed storyline about my art journey, some of my favourite artists, and some of my art process.
I was born at Donnybrook and had a very carefree upbringing on a farm.
I loved making art from an early age. In grade 1, at the age of 6, I won the first prize certificate and a silver biro at the annual school fair & art exhibition with my little oil pastel painting of a happy Easter Bunny carrying a basket full of eggs with sun and clouds in the sky (and I have still got that painting tucked away in a drawer somewhere!) I think that was when I first started to believe in myself, that I was actually good at something, good at art, and that I was the class artist.
So, I continued to get A’s for Art. That was up until year 11 where at Senior High school, I was very discouraged by my marks and results in Art which went right down to around 60-70%. Which prompted my naive mind to think I should leave school, and so I stopped drawing, and at the end of that year I started to work in a clothing store.
But in my 20’s I started getting the urge to create again and started going to TAFE to practise drawing again and then joined a separate 6 week acrylic painting class. This acrylic class was the start of everything art wise for me when the lecturer invited me to join the Bunbury Society of Artists where I would meet up to paint with the group weekly and began to exhibit and sell work with the group and enter outside art exhibitions including the Brunswick Show, Telecom Award and was accepted into the SW Survey.
I moved to Tom Price in the 90’s with my husband and daughters, and completed Cert 3 in Art Fundamentals at the Pilbara TAFE and then Cert 4 Workplace Training & Assessment. I then started teaching casual art classes at the TAFE and at the Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation. We lived in the Pilbara for 15 years and I continued to paint and enter art exhibitions at Tom Price, Port Hedland, Newman, Exmouth and at the Cossack Art Awards. In 2003, I established and opened Pebble Mouse Studio Art Gallery where I painted and exhibited my work and showed other artists work for sale, sold artists supplies, gift lines, and provided a framing service for my last 5 years in the town, before leaving for a bus trip around Australia with my husband for a couple of years.
I returned to Perth in 2010 and started working for Jackson’s Drawing Supplies at Subiaco before relocating to Mandurah in 2011 and as a casual in the Jackson’s Mandurah store.
In 2014, my application for Studio Artist in residency at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM) was successful for the year of 2015. The following year, 2016 was my first Solo exhibition and very successful “ Whispers on the Wind and Water” held at the CASM Gallery. I have since held 2 more solo exhibitions, "Waterviews" at Gallows Gallery, Mosman Park and another "Corrine Rapley" at the Alcoa Mandurah Gallery, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre both in 2020. And, my latest Solo Exhibition is fast approaching April 21st to May 21st at Lost Eden Creative, Dwellingup WA.
Mandurah has been a great town for me artistically. Meeting new artists and learning about art materials and new products working at Jackson’s Drawing Supplies. I was a founding member of Vivid Art Collective Inc and exhibiting artist at Vivid Gallery, and have learned how to paint outdoors En Plein Air and have included a weekly Portraiture practice since 2015.
Trees have always been one of my most favourite painting subjects, from jarrah trees and the giant tingle trees of Walpole, the Snappy gums amongst the spinifex and the white barked river red gums of the Pilbara and now it’s the trees and vegetation of the Peel region, including the eucalypts, paperbarks, pepper and casuarinas found along the estuary shoreline. Along the Peel Harvey Estuary, the remnants of trees, tree skeletons have been of the greatest interest to me in my artwork. In the old trees I see lifelike creatures and humanoid shapes, the textures, the colours and how the branches have snaking movement and seem to reach out ghostlike to the sky.
Water scenery and big skies are also subjects to which I am really attracted.
However, in this next body of work I have been more interested in the effects of the light in the landscape. The colours, the light, and the shadows. And I have been experimenting with gold leaf in my artwork for the first time to achieve more glowing effects.
The very first artist that really inspired and continues to influence my use of colour is Stephen Quiller. An amazing colourist artist, using mainly water-media (Acrylic, Watercolour, etc) from Creede, Colorado. His landscape paintings are harmonious, visually pleasing combinations of colour including mountain tops, snowscapes, tree silhouettes and sheep . He is known for his colour theory, the Quiller colour wheel (You can see his colour wheel pinned up on my board in the background in this video), and many books and videos.
I absolutely love the colours and captured light effects in the landscapes of impressionists such as Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Van Gogh and of our Australians Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, and I really admire the silhouetted trees and light in the paintings of Elioth Gruner. I was incredibly lucky to be a participant in a Warwick Fuller workshop during Plein Air Down Under 2019. His outstanding impressionist landscapes capture the Australian light and colours so beautifully, and I have been blessed to become friends and learn from our local Plein Air painting master, Leon Holmes.
My process has developed and continues to change over time from both my exploration and experience. I have taken in the parts of learnings and techniques that appeal to me from the numerous workshops, classes and from talking to other artists. Although I am firstly a studio painter, En Plein air painting and portraiture has definitely helped in my awareness of colour and tone and to paint with more speed. I like to use my own photographs and sketches for reference material in my artworks. I love to edit and manipulate the colours and tones in the images, using my imagination and knowledge on compositional techniques and proportions to alter elements that will better lead the viewer to the focal point in the painting. I sometimes do feel like I am the conduit for the painting gods and will let the painting lead me in the different directions that it wants to go.
I am a stickler for using quality materials and for well-prepared painting surfaces using layers of sealers and extra gesso. Sometimes I add moulding pastes to gesso for extra texture. The wood panels with gold leaf that you will see in my upcoming exhibition were prepared with layers of sealer, then acrylic paint, then the gold leaf, sealed again before painting with oils. They will be finished with a layer of protective varnish. I like to varnish my paintings to complete the process. The varnish not only protects the painting from dust and knocks but bring out the colours and even out the sheen or any sunken areas.
I usually start out by lightly sketching out the scene or transferring the image to canvas by gridding up. I like to lay down washes of the darkest colours and masses in my first layers with a mixture of gum turps & damar varnish, when dry enough or tacky I will start the painting from either the darkest areas of from the background or top of the painting and work forward. Although this depends on the subject matter and how textured the painting will be. Often I will paint in textural tree shapes, branches some leaves etc first and then go back and paint the background in around and through the tree shapes and then add more foliage and twigs here and there if needed. I feel this helps make the sky holes and tree look more realistic. I use brushes and palette knives and paint with artist quality oil colours and linseed oil or impasto medium to build up layers in the work.
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thanks for your interest,