"We live in a time when there is a renewed interest in landscape painting. Many Australian artists are going back to re-examine their land with their portable easels, hats and insect repellent. I go on painting trips around the country with a group of other professional artists and when we all return to our base at the end of the day we bring very different interpretations of what we saw and what we prioritised. There are no rules any more, and no prevailing style or “ism” from overseas, as was the case in the past. For some artists, the painting that they are making is the thing in itself. For some, it’s capturing the emotional response that a place can produce. For others it’s about making an accurate record of what the artist saw. For me, I would say it’s a combination of those three things plus the absolute pleasure and privilege of being there and engaging in this very human experience. I try to suggest the constant change or “Fluidity” of a landscape as water, heat and time act on living and inanimate things, and light, and how it falls on things is also very important to me.
My work has a noticeable range of stylistic variations that I’ve worked with over the years. There are elements of Abstract Expressionism, Realism, Expressionism and sometimes Pop Art. These are the interchangeable tools that I use to try to express what I am thinking and feeling about my subject.
Sometimes my works are made on-site, sometimes they are made in my studio from photographs, watercolours and drawings. I’ve noticed that my plein-air work has a gestural immediacy about it that comes from the need to “get it down” as quickly as is possible before the light changes or disappears. The studio works are interiorised in more ways than one. They tend to become more like meditations on the memory of a place." Rhett Brewer