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Freestone’s work is primarily about the process. It is about drawing, observation, colour, brush strokes and the use of form. With observation, he recalls the emotional moment of viewing the landscape emulating that into his painting. It is also about colour with the use of complementary colours to intensify areas and using these juxtapositions to enhance the value of the composition. This is partly influenced by the colour theories of John Constable, Eugene Delacroix and Vincent Van Gogh. Brushwork is also an important part of Steve’s work. He creates a feeling of music with a variety of energetic strokes juxtaposed to laboured detailed areas. This is order against disorder, which relates to the human condition.
Finally, the most important aspect of Freestone’s work is poetry and concept. He makes sections or quadrants of the work exist primarily separate from the rest of the painting, a type of abstraction. This creates a three-dimensional unity of the picture frame resulting in a strong tension between form and space. Steve’s use of composition and abstraction is influenced in part by abstract expressionist painters Hans Hofmann and Richard Diebenkorn.
All these processes culminate to create the meaning of the work. Using landscape, Freestone enhances our love of nature. Primarily his work is driven by a strong spiritual connection with the landscape. The Northern Territory and Kimberley areas of Australia are some of, if not, the oldest land on earth. Anyone who has visited the gorges, rivers and deserts of our North and West would understand the magnificent vistas, colours and emotional relationship with our land.
Landscape is universal, so it connects us to each other. As John Constable, the English Romantic landscape painter, said, “We see nothing truly until we understand it.