Warren Nichols

A long held interest in, and active participation within the landscape has been central to my art practice.
My works are concerned, in most instances, with the immediacy, the feeling of being within a landscape. That landscape may be the natural wilderness for which Tasmania is much celebrated, the four seasons as exemplified by a vineyard, snow and ice as experienced in the alpine regions, and more recently the changing mood and rhythm of the sea as observed in Western Port, Victoria.

In having a civil engineering and quality management background, it is not surprising that the approach taken to my painting has primarily been one of process – a process of exploring and applying transparent glazes over a pure white, textured base. This considered and systematic approach allows one to observe and arrive at tones and depth of colour not necessarily experienced by a single, direct application of paint.
Although earlier works were of a more expressionist composition, the Snow and Ice series and recent Western Port works reflect a more minimalist approach whereby the primary interest is in the effect of changing light conditions within a snow or sea environment.

As we know, snow is not white, but rather reflects the ever changing sky and surrounds. In the distance we may see varying shades of cool colours – grey, blue/ grey, and turquoise – that are interspersed with patches of ochre and umber coloured rock formations. At our feet we stand in snow that reflects an array of blue, violet, and grey colour, which is capped with light catching, glistening ice. Similarly, the sea reflects the changing sky, but unlike snow within a more static landscape, the sea’s form is never constant. The sea constantly changes colour, varying from turquoise to a myriad of blue combinations and variations of grey. Waves, small or turbulent, provide a white relief, a flash of movement.

It is this translucency and transition in colour, as dictated by the changing sky and weather patterns over the white surface of snow, or transparency of water, that holds my interest and which I continue to explore in my work.

Represented at Mingara Gallery, Cowes; Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne

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