Debbie Mackinnon Artist Statement

Walking and drawing are fundamental to my creative practice outside in the landscape. A wild and rugged coast always attracts me, as does walking in the Australian bush. Turning on my observational eye is a conscious choice – finding unexpected glimpses of colour, the effects of rapidly changing light and weather on land, sky and sea and constantly shifting around to find interesting perspectives. I am a landscape painter, but with an abstracted edge. My works are not ‘views’, but a combination of elements that I have observed, challenging the conventional notion of realism. Nothing remains static for long in the landscape.

Large paintings start on location, with quick energetic drawings – exploring with mark making. A frequent traveller, my sketchbooks are essential for exploring new places around the world – drawings always leave me with powerful memories.
I also love the fleeting beauty of flowers – that heady scent of blossoms, the way they bring that joy of the natural world into my home and life. My love of nature has led me to walk and draw in gardens, where I can be lost in deep shade, peering into a pond and watching light flicker across the leaves. In my mind this is a ‘floral landscape’. I even approach painting cut flowers in a vase as an interior landscape. My paintings contain multiple moments and perspectives, including a lot of time.

My painting on canvas or panels develop more slowly in my Sydney art studio. The process is intuitive and the outcome unknown, so I value the energy triggered by the constant experimentation I need to bring to each painting. Works evolve in multiple layers using high quality, colour saturated, acrylic paints to create contemporary Australian landscapes and floral works
The need for the human spirit to be connected to the natural environment is more relevant than ever; my work aims to bring the ‘outside in’.
Everything just feels better when immersed in nature.

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