Fresh Jindabyne portrait could win $20k

Hill and Heat, Jindabyne.PROVING plein is anything but plain is Sydney artist Greg Warburton, whose work Hill and Heat, Jindabyne has been announced as a finalist in the 2013 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize. Warburton’s work will be competing against 39 others for the $20,000 Prize, which will be announced in May at the Parliament.

One of the more niche of the landscape prizes, the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize showcases the grand tradition of ‘en plein air’ painting – a style requiring the artist to paint entirely out of doors, where they are continually challenged by all the shifting lights, compositions and conditions that nature can conjure.

From portraits of Kings Cross to Currawong, Hornsby to Jindabyne and Hill End to Rozelle, this year’s finalists have delivered a stunning showcase of the many rural, urban and natural scenes of New South Wales. And thanks to Warburton’s work, Jindabyne is certainly a stand out.

“This painting was done in January this year when, according to the locals, the Snowy Mountains experienced their hottest summer in memory,” says Mr Warburton. “I certainly recall the bitumen on roads and car parks melting in the heat, and a local pub purchasing a mobile air conditioner which had no noticeable impact thankfully the beer was unaffected.

“Hill and Heat, Jindabyne was made in this atmosphere. The location is in the hills not far from the lake and Jindabyne village. Painting outdoors can throw up particular challenges which forces one to adapt. In this case, with water based paint and gouache my chosen media, the hot conditions meant I had to work fast, but also constantly, because the paint was drying so quickly.”

A well-known plein air painter of some renown, Warburton has staged four solo shows, and has exhibited in numerous groups shows since 1979 including the Archibald, Wynne, Sulman, Dobell, Blake, Adelaide Perry and Mosman Art Prizes.

“Artworks such as this prove that NSW is home to some truly beautiful landscapes. The fact that there are so many artists dedicated to recording these scenes is just wonderful, and is the main reason we have hosted this Prize for six years in a row,” says the Hon Don Harwin MLC, President of the Legislative Council.”

“It’s a stunning exhibition and one that everyone should see,” says Shelley Hancock MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. “One minute you’re looking at a street corner in Darlinghurst and the next you’re transported out to Apple Tree Bay, or to Forty Baskets Beach all whilst standing in Parliament House!”

The 2013 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize exhibition opens at Sydney’s Parliament House on Wednesday May 1 and runs through until Friday May 31. Entry is free, and doors are open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4pm. For the first time this year, there will also be a special Salon des Refuses exhibition, showcasing the remaining semi-finalists and their beautiful works.

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