I was fortunate enough to accompany one Tim Miller to the Glasshouse Mountains just north of Brisbane this past week for a spot of landscaping. Tim is an artist well-versed in the particulars of light and colour, and has a formidable body of pastel landscape work behind him. He drove up from his Rockley Studio just outside Bathurst in New South Wales to guest teach at the Atelier for several weeks.
Unfazed by the intermittent rain, he set up his box easel in the covered lookout and gleefully set about capturing the ever-changing scene before us—clouds sometimes obscuring the volcanic plug mountains, perched like corks in wine bottles in the red earth, rain sometimes washing the whole view into a pale smear except for the bright green of the scraggly trees directly in front of us. I’m none too familiar with landscaping, so I was happy to watch and to draw, thinking about shapes and layers and tones.
I took a class with Tim later in the week and learned a thing or two about neutralising colours as they recede while reducing tonal contrast, as well as watching him demonstrate painting a still life. Tim thinks in a relative way about colour, considering how ‘red’ a blue is and how this will shift a hue in a particular way, allowing him to minimise the number of paints in a mix.
You can still take a class with him, next Tuesday evening or Thursday!