Norma Bird, the first featured artist at The Gallery in Mogo for 2018 is an accomplished painter of the Australian bush and says, “I’ve always been in love with the Australian landscape, I love the vast areas of dense bush and the peeling bark of the gums.” Norma's favourite medium is oil, she simply enjoys painting and working with brushes,
Working in “oils” enables Norma to precisely define distinguishing features of the gums while creating the soft effects of the surrounding landscape — she has a strong sense of depth in all of her paintings
Norma's painting “Lengthening Shadows” (below), done in the late afternoon, is of a typical Australian scene with four magnificent gum trees amidst scrubby grassland on a low hill, with the distant bush disappearing into the misty blue background.
Migrating in 1965 from Portsmouth as a self described “Ten Pound Pom”, Norma, who had previously visited Australia and fallen in love with the country made this country home. Life in England was still pretty hard at that time — trying to recover from the war and she knew the prospects in Australia were so much better.
Norma settled in Melbourne and focused on family and work and took up painting when she retired, painting only in black and white until she came to understand some of the basics of tonal painting.
Her colours today are the colours of the bush—multiple greens, hazy blues, whitish trunks, pale ochre grasses and dripping, burnt orange bark.
Norma settled in Batemans Bay in 1998 and often joined fellow artists to paint the local bush to create the Australian bush that she does so skillfully.
In her painting, “Pambula Beach” (below) Norma has departed from her “typical bush to show rugged coastal cliffs tumbling down to a semi secluded beach, still using the subtle Australian colours that she has become so adept at and the coastline fading into the distance.
Norma’s work is on show at The Gallery until 15 January and can also be seen at CABBI's 33rd exhibition at the Batemans Bay High School until 14 January.
The Gallery is a co-operative venture of CABBI, a society open to local arts and crafts practitioners. People interested in finding out more about CABBI should drop in to The Gallery or phone 02 4474 2243.