Elaine Woo MacGregor: Figure and Landscape Paintings

Artists statement, January 2007

An imposing sense of nature exists within the works The Trees at Night, Edge of the Bank, The Waterfall series and The Yellow Tree at Sunset - the techniques being reminiscent of my time sketching outdoors and the dynamics of the natural World.

Sketching outdoors has played an important part in my process as it provided a wealth of visually strong stimuli to incorporate into my work. I interpreted flora from urban parks and wild pine forests, and studied waterfalls and rocky banks in rivers and lakes. I was not concerned with capturing the reality but to look for patterns, texture, light, shade and form for expressive lines and mark making to use as props for creating my imaginary landscapes.

My particular type of mark making and rapid working style is the product of a wide range of influences: the sketchbook series by Delacroix, lithographs by Daumier, works by Walter Sickert and James Pryde to the more contemporary Merlin James, Milton Avery and Alex Katz.

The underlying commonality that defines the influence of these artists is how they dealt with the language and expression of paint; exploring the physical, perceptual experience through appropriation and mediation of their subject matter. Whether painted from life or photograph.

I am also strongly influenced by the language of theatre, which I believe brings to my work a certain distortion of the notions of reality, enhancing feelings of ambiguity and psychological tension.

As well as mark making, I use colour, composition, light and shade to create visual drama. I like my works to be removed from reality, to take on an unconventional, often theatrical, pictorial space with detached feelings of time and place.