Artist captures four seasons
Residency in Southern Tablelands retreat beckons
DI McIntyre sees the world in colour; from New York to Las Vegas, the Kimberley to Italy, the self-taught artist travels to far-flung destinations for inspiration, collecting images in her mind to bring home to her cattle property at Burncluith.
McIntyre said she loses days in her studio, a converted shearing shed her husband Andrew built, re-imagining the landscapes on canvas and paper in vivid colour using gouache, pastels watercolours and ink.
“I was always a dormant artist and I was aware I was creative and that colours were easy for me, colours can be really hard for different people but I just knew what colours went together,” she said.
“It’s western colours that really inspire me, those vibrant reds and oranges and browns and purples. They are not my favourite colours to work with but the vibrancy of the colours out west are just mind-blowing,” McIntyre said.
McIntyre, who has exhibited internationally in New York and Las Vegas, said she had taken a step back from exhibiting in the past year and a short hiatus from working in her studio.
“I’ve had so many exhibitions and I’ve been painting in volume so haven’t been doing my best work but I find if I don’t have an exhibition to paint to... I’ve been away from the studio for six months and I’m just dying to get back in there but reality always gets in the way,” she said.
McIntyre need not worry as in the coming months she is set to spend a lot more time in her studio after being chosen to be the artist in residence for Kiloren, a heritage-listed, private cool-climate garden built by prominent landscape designer Edna Walling in the 1950s.
Purchased by former Chinchilla resident Vicki Middleton last year, McIntyre was commissioned to paint the garden’s four seasons and will exhibit the collection at Dogwood Crossing in Miles in 2019.
“Edna Walling did the most amazing five or six-acre garden designs and planted old English trees in there,” McIntyre said.
“She created gardens with these secret rooms that kept pulling your through them.
“Vicki has bought this old garden called Kiloren near Crookwell in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales... It’s absolutely beautiful, amazing. At the beginning of May I went there and reference gathered for five days – I took lots of photos and sketched, and I collected leaf samples for colours, so I can get those colours right when I’m back in the studio.”
McIntyre said she hopes to create 10 pieces for each season and is thinking of using collage in the collections.
“I’m hanging out to get into the studio,” she said.
“I lose days in there, I think ‘God I’m starving’ and I look up and it’s pitch black dark – I just totally zone out and it’s just my happiest place ever,” she said.
“I walk in and just the smell of it... I have chimes up and I open up the windows and it’s just amazing.”
IN COLOUR: Chinchilla artist Di McIntyre is painting Kiloren, a heritage-listed Edna Walling garden and will exhibit her work at Dogwood Crossing Miles in 2019.