Keith Burt: Motionless

Keith Burt’s paintings evoke a darkening mood, objects from his every day have a stark presence as still life, and his portraits possess the uncanny sense of friends and family. He is compelled to accurately paint what he sees, sometimes working quickly and loosely, but always looking to get to the heart of a subject.

Keith Burt, Dry gum leaves, 2020, oil on canvas, 101.5 x 101.5cm framed

‘2020 felt motionless. Still life painting fits perfectly with this year. It is staying inside. It is exploring what is around you. The bottles, jars, cups and foliage in these paintings are all taken from my immediate surrounds. Collecting and arranging them is a process of matching shapes, colours and textures to create compositions. It is often complicated to get everything set up in front of the easel, to refine the lighting and establish your point of view, but the aim is to achieve a feel of simplicity.

The palette contains muted greens, earthy browns and ochres, which reflect a garden struggling without much rain. These colours are heightened by the drama of a black background which pushes the subject to the fore, isolating it for examination. I have tried to create a sense of form and depth while maintaining an awareness of the paint. I like to commit to deliberate brush strokes, laying them on until feeling a sense of balance and resolve.’ – Keith Burt, 2021

Jan Murphy Gallery
23 February to 13 March 2021
Queensland