Camille and I are nearly six months into our year long artist residency at Lanyon Historic Homestead. At two and a half years old the way Camille draws and paints is developing quickly and I am seeing both her mark making and the gardens at Lanyon start to take form in my own paintings. The most fascinating thing about working as an artist with a young child in the landscape is seeing how the visual language I use to describe landscape in paint is something that I have learnt. It is a common form of Western visual communication and I can blend it with Camille’s creative expression to create a different way of communicating with colour and line.
In the three days from April 19 to 21 I invited visitors to Lanyon to come and see me painting outside on the apricot lawn with a marque for shade. The weather was perfectly still and warm and I was surrounded by trees, lawn, ducks and late flowers. Thinking of the experiences and awarenesses so far I made abstract paintings that express the experience of nature with all its colours, textures, movements and sounds.
In my year at Lanyon my goal is to work alongside my daughter Camille and together explore the Lanyon gardens and landscape through the seasons. I’m continually letting go of the more traditional forms of Western landscape painting and instead am exploring with anything from paint to collage to sculpture and textiles to capture the joy and complexity of outdoor experience. Our residency will culminate in an exhibition at Tuggeranong Arts Centre in October this year. The show will be filled with colourful interactive sculptural responses to nature and is made especially for toddlers to interact with.
Anne-Marie Jean is the current Artist in Residence at Lanyon historic Homestead. She will be running a number of art workshops at Lanyon over the coming months including watercolour painting on silk and painting with your toddlers in the landscape. You can see more of her work at www.annemariejean.com