Angus Wishart's plein air painting in New Zealand
I am a mostly self-taught artist working in the Bass Coast Shire/Bunurong Country.
As far back as I can remember, painting has always been there. My first form of artistic training began when I was still in primary school, attending after school classes with artist Janice Orchard. It was here where I learnt the basics of composition and colour, the fundamental principles which I came to understand innately and which formed the bedrock of all my progress to follow. I was naturally drawn to watercolour, and this was my medium of choice during those early years.
When finishing school I chose to pursue art independently, opting out of formal institutional learning. I travelled through Europe the year after high school and exposed myself to as much work of the great masters as I could.
Upon returning home, I set up a studio and devoted myself to learning the traditional techniques I had seen. Having begun with watercolour, I now taught myself to paint in oils. Although I did some reading of art magazines and books on the old masters, most of my learning was simply by doing. It was during this period where I truly understood the power of tone, and found my calling in tonal impressionism and the painting of light. This has continued to grow throughout my artistic journey; with every painting I am aiming to capture the light above all else.
In recent years I have been very fortunate to receive mentoring from Twenty Melbourne Painters Society artist Fiona Bilbrough, whose understanding of the direct painting and tonal observation methods has been invaluable to me. I have also been lucky to receive guidance from other living masters such as John Mutsaers and Robert Hannaford. Having only joined the Victorian Artists Society recently, I feel very humbled to exhibit in the same rooms as many of my forebears in the tonal impressionist discipline; the likes of Arthur Streeton, John Longstaff, William Dargie, W B McInnes, James R Jackson, E Phillips Fox, Percy Leason, Penleigh Boyd, and many other members of the Heidelberg School. It seems especially fitting, then, to hold an exhibition purely of plein air paintings here.
Angus Wishart with his portrait of Hugh Sheridan titled Darkness and Light in oil
Angus Wishart and his still life titled Sanctuary in oil
Self portrait at 28, in oil
Study of Odysseus in exile, in oil
Taking my practice from the controlled studio environment to the outside world changed my painting method dramatically; learning to paint en plein air brought my work to new heights. Outdoors I am forced to paint quickly with a controlled urgency before the conditions change, to reduce any scene down to its bare essentials. This has informed all my other work as well, including the portrait and still life.
I feel I am still at the beginning of my artistic journey, and so the story ends here for now; I have so much more to learn and improve on. If you make it to see the show I hope very much that you enjoy it, and perhaps even feel inspired to take the easel outside yourself.
We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.