Marianne Cara and Noella Lopez on Heading South Series,

Marianne Cara and Noella Lopez on Heading South Series,




After tackling the ever-changing landscapes in the green winding valleys of Umbria and the dry lands of Calabria in southern Italy, this series of landscape paintings is inspired by the beautiful southern highlands of NSW.

My new series “Heading South - where the sea makes a noise” is a contemplation of the beauty and cycles of nature.  Immersing myself in Morton National Park (near Bundanoon) and the valley surrounding Saddleback Mountain (near Kiama), I am surrounded by luscious landscapes and striking blue seascapes.  Travelling along the road from Saddleback Mountain is both breathtaking and incredulous with sweeping coastal vistas and expansive views over the entire valley of pastures and forests.  Even though the road leads to the noisy ocean, this place exudes tranquillity and blue calm amidst open spaces. There are remnants of rainforest as Kiama was once the site of two strong volcanic flows.  It is such a rich lush green landscape with sweeping coastal vistas. I often drive up to Saddleback Mountain which is about 600 metres above sea level, and gaze over the whole valley – the views are incredible with the bluest of skies and water and the greenest of grass and trees.  On my way down the mountain the vista of Kiama and the ocean are again spectacular, and this is my inspiration for the paintings titled “Where the sea makes a noise”.

Venturing away from the ocean I find myself in bush land with wildlife and spectacular landscapes of rainforest and sub-tropical flora. I stop to take photographs and sit in different parts of the landscape observing, listening and drawing.  The walk along the track through Morton National Park, large shadows cast by trees – dense eucalyptus, Sydney gums and ghost gums – engulfs me.  An archway of trees overhead, grabs my attention and gives an insight into the beauty of the original landscape that was. This tranquil setting is all I need to contemplate a new painting.

“Burnt” was painted in response to a series of back burning exercises that took place before I arrived on my painting field trip.  Previous trips, revealed a green bright landscape, yet this time I was surprised to see the extensive burnt land and trees, as I walked through cindered woodland black and rustic browns, oranges and ochres colours revealing themselves, somewhat eerie yet quite beautiful.

I also explored the preparation of the raw canvases with rabbit skin glue.  A traditional oil painting method practiced by Renaissance painters consisting of sizing the canvases with rabbit skin glue to coat the canvas so as to protect the canvas fibres overtime.  The process of creating the ‘structures’, as I individually hand built each canvas’ support, became a journey and creative experience in itself.  The time invested in this series was a beautiful meditation of sorts, a pause - an expression of the respect I have for the landscape and a tribute to the technique of oil painting.

Marianne Cara 2015

Inspired by the beautiful southern highlands of NSW, Marianne Cara’s new series “Heading south – where the sea makes a noise” is a contemplation of the beauty and cycles of nature. Immersing herself in Morton National Park and the area surrounding Saddleback Mountain, Cara allowed the contrasts of luscious landscapes with back burned bush and striking blue seascapes guide her paint brush and explore visual sensations and emotions Marianne’s unleashes her passion for oil painting and its techniques and love for the landscape with this new series. She immerses herself in the Australian landscape of the Southern Highlands, its beauty, its dramatic shoreline, engages with its sheer energy and contrasted sights and gives us a glimpse into her journeys.

Noella Lopez 2015




More about Marianne Cara, Click Here

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