From her backyard in Glenmorgan to the sunburnt plains of the Kimberley, Carol McCormack travels far and wide to gain artistic inspiration. Her creative affair with Queensland’s landscape began when her parents decided to move from the United Kingdom to a property in Hughenden when she was just three years old. “That outback child loved art, drew at every opportunity and filled sketch books with fantasy figures and horses. School advisers however steered me away from art as a career and I earned my living for a while as a radio copywriter,” she said.

Years passed, and it was not until moving to Glenmorgan with her husband that Carol reunited with her love of art. Her membership in a local art group inspired her to once again pick up the brush, eventually leading to a flourishing career as an artist. “I first exhibited my work with other members of our art group in Brisbane in the 70s, and had my first solo exhibition in Toowoomba in 1986. Since then, there have been many other group and solo exhibitions in metropolitan and regional galleries,” she said.

Over time, Carol has learnt to master her craft from the front passenger seat of their car. As her husband navigates the expansive outback terrain, Carol relies on a supply of carefully placed art supplies which she uses to construct works inspired by the passing scenes. “Rather than wait til we reach a particular destination, I quite often paint as we travel, setting up a mini studio in the passenger seat. Painting in this way means that the subject is directly inspired by an area rather than a particular section,” said Carol.

These lengthy and frequent adventures across the countryside have resulted in a wonderfully vibrant collection of work characterised by winding lines and organic pattern, a reflection of the demands of the surrounding landscape.

“It’s a little bit impressionist, a little bit modernist, a little bit abstract, and features a lot of colour.

My approach to colour derives directly from many workshops with artist and tutor Mervyn Moriarty,” she said.

Carol’s approach to her artwork is to treat it as fluidly as the environments which inspire it. Each piece reflects her connection to place, varying from simple scenes to more spiritual representations of an area. “I find that visual inspiration generates a response to place and then comes an investigation into ways of communicating my personal feelings about the place,” said Carol.

While the beauty of the Australian outback has captured Carol’s heart for many years now, she says she is not opposed to a change in subject matter down the track. “Long term, I would like to have more time at home to paint interiors and still life, maybe something to keep in mind if we ever stop travelling!” she said.

For now, Carol’s sights are firmly set on her travels, with an upcoming trip to Arnhem Land in August and a major solo exhibition at the Miles Dogwood Crossing in November.

 

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