It's telling that Mitch "Revs" Resevsky's latest exhibition 'All in a Year' is shown in two neighbouring, but separate galleries on Hunter Street in Newcastle.
The show features a collection of works completed in the past 12 months. It includes the artist's now-iconic digitally-illustrated scenes of Newcastle alongside a collection of new brush-and-acrylic paintings, sculpture, and surf and skate designs which he has called an experiment of combining styles and mediums.
The first space, at 451 Hunter Street, is the Mitch Revs we know. The walls drip with his vibrant, super-saturated, and frantic illustrations of his home city. They're big, and bright, and busy and intrinsically Novocastrian.
More from the artist: Newcastle artist Mitch Revs has artwork chosen for Vegemite 95 year keepsake collection
Each piece is accented with original sketches, photographs from his process and handwritten annotations, giving the impression that even as they hang on the gallery wall, he's not finished with them.
"It's one thing to look at a painting," he says at one point, standing in the gallery in paint-smattered jeans and a new pair of sneakers gifted to him on Thursday morning to celebrate the exhibition opening, "but when you get to see the halfway points..."
The second space, a door or two down the street, however, feels like a Revs we have not seen before. His saturated style is traded for a softer colour palette, and his canvases, which are no less vast, are populated instead by solitary, still characters and serene scenes of Australian wildlife.
"The paintings have the space that the illustrations don't," Resevsky says. "It's easy to get overwhelmed in the illustrations; from the minute you look at it, your brain is firing a million miles an hour, reading captions, watching someone skating down the street getting chased by a dog. It's like you've had a couple of coffees.
"Looking at the paintings is like having a peppermint tea."
Resevsky developed his digital illustrations as a way of keeping up his practice while travelling. It was easier at the time, he explains, to illustrate rather than carry or regularly buy full paint sets, brushes and equipment.
But the imposition of the pandemic, and the lockdowns that followed, offered him a chance to reflect and, more importantly, to stay in one place.
"We've all gone back to our roots," he says. "The year we have all had was the perfect time for someone like me, or any artist, to take advantage of the space, spread the paint out and go for it."
More from Mitch Revs: Mitch "Revs" Resevsky opens his "Reflections" exhibition on Darby Street
The second gallery is a return to Resevsky's artistic origins, infused with new experiments.
There are the familiar fragments of his cartoon style - clean, uninterrupted lines and quirky characters - but they appear alone, surfing through the artist's first attempts at soft aerosol skylines and abstract-expressionist surf breaks; interacting with semi-realist native animals, and the occasional magic-real dreamscape.
"I had a full goosebumps moment when I started," Resevsky said. "It was the first time that I had figured out how to merge multiple styles into one."
There is the impression, between the two spaces, that Resevsky is showing us two sides of his artistic identity.
The illustrations are outward - bright and observational; non-judgemental and inoffensive. They're immediately accessible and quickly mapped onto saleable puzzles and coffee cups, stubby coolers and key rings.
The paintings, by contrast, are inward - reflective and meditative; obscure and dreamy; by turns real and imaginative; automatic and thoughtfully deliberate.
If his illustrations are what he sees, the paintings seem to be offering a sense of what he has thought and felt for the past year.
"It came in waves," he says. "Aside from all the artwork, we have other things going on - we've got two galleries that we're operating, and businesses inside of that. It's a lot to think about. To come home and try to snap into that creative zone, and to forget about the world and try to isolate and paint - there were days when it was easy and there were days when I had to really dig deep.
"But if I'm creating these works from a place of negativity, or the feeling of 'I've just got to get it done', it doesn't look right. I can walk around the room and tell you when I was not feeling it, and the times when it felt right.
"I didn't want people to just see prints and paintings. I wanted them to feel something."
The exhibition opened at his gallery space on Hunter Street on Saturday.