Fred Williams was deeply interested in the construction of his paintings; in going on a journey with the work itself in the studio. While he generally worked quickly with gouache outdoors, his oils in the 1960s were painted over long periods, often several years. After a time he liked to distance himself from the work, turning paintings to the wall or keeping them out of sight; returning to them afresh later on.
Although there may seem to be a logical progression from one series to the next, Williams often worked on several series simultaneously. This was the case in the mid-to-late 1960s when a group of geometric works evolved alongside more layered, atmospheric paintings.
In 1964 Williams travelled to Europe, having won the Helena Rubinstein Travelling Scholarship the previous year. He benefited from the opportunity to see great art and architecture during his travels. He was also keen to keep going with his art – with his new approaches to painting the Australian landscape.
Following his return, between 1965 and 1967 he immersed himself in his art with great intensity, producing some of the most significant works of his artistic life.