Contemporary Coastal Art by Sydney Artist Debbie Mackinnon
My work begins with walking: along the Sydney coastline, over the coastal rock platforms, up on the cliffs, or sitting on the beach, observing the effect of light on water.
Large seascapes start with quick studies and drawings made en plein air. Then the oil paintings develop in my Sydney art studio. I apply the rich buttery oil paint with a palette knife to create my contemporary Australian landscapes. My travels take me to new places around the world and I create sketchbooks wherever I go – drawings leave me with powerful memories.
My coastal oil paintings explore that mysterious, elusive, tidal boundary between land and sea. The ocean is always in motion, the land changing with its rhythms. Recent artworks have a fragmented, shifting perspective. This challenges me and the viewer to look a little differently at both land and sea. Hovering at times on the edge of abstraction, I aim to simply observe and celebrate the beauty and joy contained in the boundaries of the ocean, that last great wilderness.
Even a glimpse of the coast brings a sense of calm and reflection. The mind can wander, stress lifts. All weathers, all colours, the sea can be slate grey or bright aqua; deepest indigo or white with light and reflection. My empty coastal paintings are mirrors; they reflect back something of yourself – time stops walking, and takes on different hues. Whatever the colour, it lifts my mood.
Life just feels better by the sea.