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Maker of forms, images and poems, hopefully with deep meaning

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Just plonk myself down": Fred Williams on painting outdoors


“The source of all my paintings is something that I actually have seen. I don’t sit in the studio and think that I’ll do this or that. The impetus always comes from some notation that I have made outside”

“It starts in the studio and it finishes in the studio. But what I do is, I ...hail, rain or shine, I go to a quiet spot, preferably as close to my doorstep as I possibly can, and just spend the day with no preconceived idea and just let it come to me. Leave early in the morning and return for a good meal and something to drink later.”

“Working outdoors, I don’t have any preconceptions about what it is or how I’m going to go about it. I usually just plonk myself down in a suitable spot, you know, as comfortable as possible, out of the wind, out of the heat and out of the rain and try and let it come to me. And I think in my case, because I actually like painting, it’s easier for me to simply sit there and splash around. Just work like crazy and bring it all home. Stack it away in the studio and don’t look at it for a couple of months. I sort of take the attitude that I’m like an antennae. I let it come to me a little bit, but I certainly don’t try to impose anything. I certainly don’t try to paint pictures out there.”

Documentary video: Patterns of Landscape: Through the Eyes of Fred Williams 1927–1982

Some examples of Fred Williams work can be viewed on Google Art Project and on the National Gallery of Victoria site 

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