Artist Profile: Liz Cuming

SYDNEY BASED ARTIST LIZ CUMING CAPTURES THE DRAMA AND BEAUTY OF THE AUSTRALIAN LANDSCAPE. HELEN MCKENZIE WRITES.

Liz Cuming has made her mark capturing the natural world. It could be the wild coastline, the outback, waterfalls, clouds and then – much like a conductor in front of an orchestra with a paint brush, rather than a baton – she brings out an energy from the canvas that demands your attention. “Truly the works are about one person’s delight in our land,” says Liz, “Our majestic landscape, it is wild, beautiful and big – big seas, big sky, big expanse, big desert – big, big, big!”

Throughout her 45-year career, the Sydney-based artist makes regular escapes from city life to less peopled areas. “Plein air painting, photography and memories of places been and seen are source for studio works.  I love the physicality of working large on stretched linen.”

In her spacious, paint splattered studio, with its full wall easel system, LED directional lighting and fans to accelerate paint drying, the radio plays softly, as the artist conjures what she describes as “the wow moments of Australia that take your breath away”.

“I say I paint landscape but not of the quaint picturesque kind. Early on I came to see that the landscape is in itself overridingly abstract.  I always strive to earnestly respond to place, to communicate innate qualities of the subject, beyond the undisputedly seductive process and medium of painting.” The drama Liz evokes on canvas comes from her appreciation of the timeless grandeur of the natural world and, as she explains, “has evolved over life and time and the realisation that art practice must be from the heart”.

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