In this artwork, Hanging Rock, Joseph has used the scratch back technique while the paint is still wet to reveal the complementary colours under the foreground. “I wanted to capture the two rock figures as almost melting or fusing together as part of the ground, contrasting the pink sky and distant horizon. Hanging rock is a mysterious place and the rocks are beautifully unreal, and I hope this painting expresses the strangeness of it.”
Joseph Villanueva notes that a key source of inspiration for his work comes from nature: landscapes in bloom, wondrous skies, garden vistas in explosions of flowers and bright colours. You’ll have a hard time finding another artist doing what Joseph does, however – his sgraffito technique involves scratching through a layer of still-wet paint to reveal complementary colours underneath. Joseph’s use of optimistic colour and free-flowing lines may seem like abstract creations at first, but look a little closer and it’s clear that the compositions are grounded in figurations and structural elements describing the landscape.