Figures in the Landscapes..

It has come to my attention, in a class full of Honours students and lecturers – that no one is particularly a fan of my little figures in the actual paintings I have been doing – in the photos and drawings they are fine. But in the paintings they are ’ a distraction from viewing the landscape’..

Anyone like to agree or disagree? Personally I am not fussed about what they think but I have to do an Honours thesis on this lot soooooo.. Feedback!

Thanks Harley

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Figures in the Landscapes.. by 


  • L B
    L Bover 4 years ago

    I’ve always liked the figures mate.. they are great in terms of scale (much like Jeffrey Smart uses figures in his work). But they also give the painting its character and meaning. They are what makes your style unique.

  • kathibook
    kathibookover 4 years ago

    Hi! I agree with Lindsay. The figures are part of what makes your work so intriguing. The figures humanize the pieces. For me personally, I can gaze at one of your paintings for eons, wondering what that person is doing there, how he got there…..your work is a treasure trove for writers. The figures are what gives the paintings their emotion, they animate the pieces, bring the paintings to life.
    I say never mind the nay sayers and paint little people!! Your work is brilliant… of the best on the Bubble!

  • harleym
    harleymover 4 years ago

    Cheers Guys! Mm I still have to convince ‘them’ that they are supposed to be there maybe i need to reframe it in the sense of how I talk about them… But I don’t think that’s going to cut it..

  • Jason Moad
    Jason Moadover 4 years ago

    Their opinion seems a little absurd to me, too. Figures seem essential for a sense of scale, if nothing else. They aren’t always needed, of course- sometimes elements in a painting are enough to suggest the human presence. I do think that they must be an integral part of the composition and must also have an internal logic to their presence, a reason to be there.

    My only (constructive I hope) criticism of the figures in your work is that they sometimes seem a little whimsical and undercut the mood you’ve otherwise worked so hard to establish.

    There’s a long tradition of figures in the landscape that you are part of- indeed isn’t it the case that"pure" landscape evolved out of that tradition?

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