17 Feb Michael White
Born 1967 and growing up in the Blue Mountains, Michael White began painting from a very early age. A fascination with his immediate bushland surroundings combined with an inclination to draw and paint started him on the artistic journey along which he continues.
As a self-taught painter, he has over many years developed a unique and sensitive language with colour. The majority of his landscape portrayals are painted from life, outside under natural light. These studies also form the basis for larger and at times abstracted works from the studio. Working this way parallels some of the elements within his work, between light and dark, warm and cool and intrinsically, the harmony between them. He tunes his colour, mixing extensively, not to a predetermined formula of what is known but rather, toward something that is for him to discover….. “to learn from the humility of nature and the sun that shows it to us…”
Michael White has had fourteen solo exhibitions and taken part in several group exhibitions during the past 15 years. His paintings hang in private collections throughout Australia as well as the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Dubai.
I did not simply choose to be a painter. It probably started when my eyes began to focus, as far back as I remember, peering closely at the patterns in a leaf, the little creatures that inhabited my world and the clouds that passed above. The bush was my playground. The ancient layers of delicate colour and texture, the shapes of things organic and not, and the brittle, southern light that showed it, was and still is the basis for my work. Upon reflection, I suppose, rather than choosing to paint, I gave in to it.
I have for many years painted outdoors from life and in the moment. I do not like to think of my paintings as being from me but rather through me. I work alone and with as little as possible, a simple palette and very few utensils. The sun provides me with enough colour, its spectrum scattered and reflected. Even on a cloudy day or at night I try to see it, the whole spectrum, the rainbow in everything, varying infinitely by degrees.
There are many things about the process I do not understand and perhaps it is better this way. Time seems equally perplexing, for each passing day in our lives seems smaller in proportion to the number preceding it. As time goes by we sometimes say that time goes by so fast. Perhaps by painting, I felt it could slow to a moment as like in a dream where the past, the present and the future can take place within the flutter of an eyelid. A day is a day no matter how many came before it or how many are yet to pass. At the centre is the day and it is a good day to paint.