We were lucky to be invited by Michael Whitehead to photograph him at work in his Noosa studio. We got a rare insight into Michael’s methods while seeing his works at various stages of development and watching him create his bold, colourful abstract paintings.
|“A painting has to be instinctive and have a sense of urgency but yet remain precise”, says Michael. “If paint runs across a canvas it’s because I’m happy for it to go there or I have encouraged it to do so. Every stroke, every line, is intended to leave a record of its journey. I strive to have my works exhibit no fear of exposing their inner selves — the ‘complexity of construction’ if you like — of how they came to be”.|
Michael works from his studio in Noosa’s beautiful hinterland and it is a real artist’s den, with paint splattered on the floor and walls and hundreds of containers lining his work area. Yet to be finished works and those currently in progress wait in line for his inspiration and creativity to take them to the next stage.
In his contemporary works each brush stroke challenges the previous one and oil is pitted against acrylic to create deliberate tension, resistance, and intensity. He uses large blocks of colour layered to capture or reflect light or a moody palate where the under-painting appears to be attempting to break through to provide a fleeting glimpse of a secret world beneath.
We watched Michael working on a painting at an early stage of development. Using a big brush he painted silver swirls in a fast flowing movement adding energy and movement. After this the work is taken outside to dry in the sun while he moves to add layers to another piece.
Each time he visits a work he adds a new layer, using different colours, materials, shapes and styles to create the look he wants. For him, it is instinctive yet carefully controlled.
Jive Art is mounting an exhibition of Michael’s latest works at the end of December. Serious Moonlight opens Saturday, December 28th with drinks with the artist at 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm will run until Tuesday January 7th.
Remain in Light is featured in the exhibition.
“Let’s dance put on your red shoes
And dance the blues
Let’s dance to the song
They’re playin’ on the radio
Let’s sway you could look into my eyes
Let’s sway under the moonlight,
This serious moonlight …”
…Bowie, Serious Moonlight
Copyright to all photographs owned by Jeff Sinclair Photography. Click to see more photography by Jeff