From the Bar to the Easel.....
Drawing is something I have always enjoyed, but it was only when I retired from the London Bar after 25 years, and moved to Perth that I started painting seriously. Prior to that I had worked in Darwin for 12 months and left shortly before the Cyclone.
I think any artist will agree that when you are hooked by the muse it is necessary to produce something every day, whether you seek to make a living from your efforts or not. My preferred mediums are oil and pastel. My favourite subjects are portraiture and people and buildings, usually in an urban setting. My style is figurative, but as with all painting there is a degree of abstraction and of course there is the choice of palette, editing and rearrangement of actuality in the interests of composition and effect. Photorealism is best left to the photographer. I have become an enthuisiast for outdoor (plein air) painting and I always travel with a small sketch book and a limited number of watercolours and w/c pencils.
It is customary in such notes as these to set out the Artist’s philosophy, often in terms reminiscent of old ‘LP’ record sleeves. My objectives are to paint what inspires me and to hope that my style and treatment of the subject matter appeals to others, that it triggers an emotional response, be it joy, nostalgia, melancholy or amusement. I hope I can intrigue an audience with the plots and subplots between the figures in the paintings. There is no big political message, nor an attempt to change the world; there is more than enough fun and drama in painting humanity in everyday situations. It is a great thrill when someone wants to hang my paintings and I would rather ten paintings went to good homes at a moderate price than one at ten times the amount!
I was Secretary of the West Australian Society of Arts until recently having served for ten years. I have been elected a life member. After a term as President and Vice-President I have now retired from the Committee. The Society's beginnings go back to 1896 and it is the oldest art society in the State. I am a member of 'Perth Plein Air Painters'. In recent years, I have exhibited at many group exhibitions and I had a very successful solo exhibition in 2012. Others took place in 2018/19 and in 2019/20 and have gone very well. At the WASA Annual Exhibition 2021 a painting of mine was raffled and raised a record amount. I have undertaken many commissions and I am always pleased to discuss new ones.
'R & R Cape Helles' commemorating 100th anniversary of the Anglo-French landings at Gallipoli
Pastel 30 x 40 $425
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Here are four self-portraits. The top two are in pastel from about 2003 and 2005. The other two are in oil from 2011 and 2020.
A self-portrait may seem self indulgent. In fact it is often the opposite because with no other person to flatter it can be more brutally honest. It also avoids the problem of finding a willing sitter!