VAS Artist Clive Sinclair VAS FVAS painting in his studio
I have always been interested in art since I was able to hold a pencil. I won my first art contest when I was seven years old. The Anglican Church around the corner from where I lived in Bentleigh put on an exhibition for both Adult and Junior Painters, my painting was of an old sailing ship that I was fascinated with at the time. I was always creative in my life from painting to music which I have written several songs for the band I play in.
I started painting seriously in 1973 with artist John Lennox who was a George Bell student in his studio in Brighton where he held life drawing classes as well as painting. Then began four years painting with Max Casey who was a Max Meldrum student where I achieved my tonal values and a deep love for that school of painting and in particular Clarice Beckett. It was those lovely ethereal landscapes that captured my imagination and still do to this day. I also attended Prahran College in a drawing class. I have exhibited widely around the world and I am currently in a watercolour book of Asian Painters which is coming out next month.
I love the works of many painters too numerous to name starting with Rembrandt through to our own beautiful Tasmanian artist Phillip Wolfhagen, depicting those wonderful serene landscapes of northern Tasmania mostly around the Tamar River capturing the late passing light.
I painted entirely in oils until one day I wandered into the Castlemaine Art Gallery where there was a beautifully romantic exhibition of R.W. Sturgess in watercolour. That was the moment I fell in love with painting in watercolour, especially small delicate works of the evening and soft landscapes. I still love the Romantic Australian School of Watercolour of the 19th century.
'Woman descending the stairs (after Duchamp)'
by Clive Sinclair VAS FVAS,
Cypress Pine painted in yellow polymer
I am an exhibiting member of the historic Twenty Melbourne Painters Society, a Fellow of the Victorian Artists Society and a member of the Watercolour Society of Victoria. I am also a member of the Savage Club which is tucked away in Bank Place, one of the oldest clubs in Melbourne founded in 1894. It was formed as an artists /musicians /poets club which over the years has had some very famous members including Streeton, Roberts, Harold Herbert, and Penleigh Boyd. I am chuffed that my work hangs next to theirs in the collection. The club runs an artist lunch once a month with different painters, sculptors, print makers and gallery owners talking about and showing videos of their individual practise and industry. I talked about the formation of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society along with Paul McDonald Smith. At least 10 of the artists have paintings in the collection, William Dargie being one of them.
For years now I have been taking students out in the landscape to experience plein air painting. These include tours to France, Italy, Spain, outback Northern Territory and to my favourite place, Low Head Tasmania where we paint up and down the beautiful Tamar River with that wonderful Tasmanian light.
I have started using and perhaps prefer to use bees wax with my oil paintings at the moment as it gives me a lovely semi sheen when it dries. For years I have been painting in Stand oil for its luscious quality on the canvas.
When I paint in the landscape, I use a lot of small panels especially 9 x 5 to paint. I usually tint the background in warm colours i.e., a warm red made up of yellow ochre/cadmium red or a raw umber, where I can then use warmer or cooler colours whichever the landscape dictates to the eye. In figure painting my palette is the tonal flesh colours of vermillion red, light red, black, yellow ochre and ultramarine blue which I use in watercolour with the exception of burnt sienna.
In recent years I have started doing some sculpture in timber, mostly cubist in nature. I mainly use beautiful Western Red Cedar as I love the wonderful softness of the wood to shape and sand as it reminds me of clay in colour which I find has a delicate sense of light through the shapes.
I always try to find the simple essence of a painting, capturing the fleeting light before it disappears. It is the simplicity that I strive to paint every time I step up to the canvas or run a fluent wash across the paper, it still fills me with wonder and joy.
'Queensland Forest' acrylic on canvas by Clive Sinclair VAS FVAS
'Early Morning on the Seine, France' Watercolour on 180 medium Arches paper by Clive Sinclair VAS FVAS
'Moonrise' Watercolour on 180 medium Arches paper by Clive Sinclair VAS FVAS
'Evening towards Buninyong' Oil on canvas with bees wax by Clive Sinclair VAS FVAS
'Last light Ricketts Point' Oil on plywood by Clive Sinclair VAS FVAS
'Early Morning Honfluer, France' Oil on plywood by Clive Sinclair VAS FVAS
'Early Morning Mornington' Watercolour on Arches 180 medium paper by Clive Sinclair VAS FVAS
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.