Alma Hotchkin welcomes two privileged 30x30x30 bloggers to visit her painting studio in her charming home of 50 years.
The life cycle of the pomegranate, from bud to fruit, is expertly composed and meticulously recorded in a beautiful framed painting in the sitting room. We admire the piece and Alma casually explains that the branch was hanging over the back fence so she recorded each stage of its growth. This keen observation, skilful recording and love of the natural world is evident in all of Alma’s numerous works that grace the walls of her home and sit propped along the shelves of her studio space.
Dappled light from a neighbouring Jacaranda dances across artworks in the studio as well as the sketches and images on Alma’s inspiration board. The movement of the tree’s shadow reinforces the strong connection of the works to the outdoors. Having vast experience in plein air painting, Alma explains the challenges of working in a studio. Using her signature oils indoors has proven unworkable hence Alma has embraced the challenge to experiment and is painting with acrylics for the first time!
Further to her change in medium, Alma is also challenging herself to extend beyond her highly refined and developed painting style. Previously Alma’s works were carefully planned and drawn with immense detail from plants, flowers and natural objects. In her challenge works, Alma will retain her favoured subject matter but will introduce spontaneity; aiming to produce paintings in a more stylized, flowing and incomplete manner.
Standing in her studio we are surrounded by the layers of Alma’s creative process and passion. Admired images by fellow artists sit alongside sketches, drawings and paintings from her vast portfolio. As well as visual references for her challenge, written notes and prompts are jotted on scraps of paper and backs of envelopes. The immense amount of information that Alma has compiled, coupled with her technical skills, mastery of composition, sense of adventure and passion to experiment will result in a beautiful body of works that capture the wonder of the natural world.