My grandfather was a landscape painter. He tried figurative and abstraction but landscape was his language. Unlike him, but like my mother, I started with figure and portrait. They remain a primary interest, but my approaches to them and the reasons why I work with them have changed.
Over the years I've made a few anaemic efforts to work in landscape, particularly when I've been camping or travelling in a beautiful place. There is a kind of guilt associated with my drinking in a spectacular view but only feeling tired at the thought of trying to sketch or paint it. But it's never felt right to force myself, it has always been better to photograph it or just sit and enjoy the view.
Very recently however, landscape, for reasons that are inexplicable to me, has emerged in my work. Not enough yet to call it a trend or anything, but it is always important to notice what emerges in the studio, particularly if it is so new that it feels strange.
The first image “Tree” (above right) is a small, photo-based mixed media piece that began with a purely abstract base. Then a skin transfer I had made (of a tree) just seemed to belong there, so on it went... possibly in a class demo. Interesting things often emerge for me either in demos or during my preparations for a class.
The second image (below) is a view of sky and water and almost a residue of land that emerged entirely from my subconscious. I had no idea this was coming as I actually drew it in vertical orientation. The landscape just announced itself as I rotated the drawing to check it.
Maybe it was seeing Rod Prouse's work online recently (click his name for a link to his work) that got landscapes rolling around in my subconscious or the fact that my wandering feet have been still for too long and I am missing wide open spaces and fresh vistas.
Whatever the reason, what matters to me is the reminder that we never know where our creative work (play) may take us... and that's a good thing!
“...it is always important to notice what emerges in the studio, particularly
if it is so new
it feels strange.”
As a visual artist I like nothing more than getting up to my elbows in paint or little plastic toys, or wading in at the deep end in pursuit of an idea. When I am not teaching others in a similar vein, you can find me researching, writing and noodling around in my studio, seeing where my latest lines of inquiry lead me.
All images and content on this website © Kim-Lee Kho 2005–2018 except as indicated. All rights reserved. No reproduction without express, written permission.