Jack Featherstone, Alpine Ash Bark Painting
Untitled, Oil on Alpine Ash bark by Dr Jack Featherstone
Jack Featherstone is largely a self-taught artist, described by curator Nigel Lendon from Glass works as a magic realist. His work is endearingly lyrical and has a narrative nature. His charming landscapes are painted on pieces of bark recording a journey through country that clearly captures the artist’s own enjoyment and imagination. In speaking with the artist, Jack shared his enthusiasm for working with wood as a medium as it provides greater opportunities and freedom for the artist to work within different nooks and crannies rather than being constrained by the frame and rectangular canvas. Other examples of Jack’s bark paintings include Jack is known for exhibiting his works at the Canberra Agricultural Show and ha also exhibited at Glassworks in Forever Young: beginning no end and the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
The Work of Art,
This work of art depicts a community event outside Building 14. According to Jack Featherstone, the entire composition was a case of serendipity- right time, right place’. Jack was drawn by the effect of the light passing through the trees near building 14 and began to sketch the landscape. As Jack was making these preparatory sketches, a musical group showed up in the car-park and set themselves up for a concert. A group of teenagers and some families then appeared and began dancing to the music. Jack remembered that the group’s M C shouted out to the group to ‘take no notice to the man sketching in the distance as he is harmless!’
The work of art was created using a 5ft length of alpine ash. Jack commented on the unusual shape of the piece of bark, the size and thickness of it and knew that it would make a good base for his work of art. It took 6 months to prepare the bark for painting. The wood was sanded smooth and dried before being primed with a background coating to seal the bark. Jack paints using oils rather than acrylic stating that oils are longer lasting and durable.