Julian is a watercolourist who draws on a variety of themes, with an attention to landscapes, alpine snow gums, city scenes, maritime themes, figure and portraiture. It is difficult for an artist to operate with any real confidence in today’s art market, but hasn’t it always been so? Artists must continue their exploration of the ‘right way’ to paint for themselves with a regard for acceptance in the wider art landscape.
As a teacher, educates artists in the importance of drawing and structure in painting. The basic genres are explored in a low-key manner allowing artists to find their confidence with the watercolour medium as well as their style and understanding of subjects. Paintings are made up of Tone, Forms, Colour, Edges and Texture—his teaching concentrates on these aspects.
After many years in advertising, publishing and animation, he now works with the Victorian Artists Society and other art societies painting, teaching, giving demonstrations and judging.
He is a regular exhibitor in exhibitions around Melbourne, and for the past 8 years has been involved with FIVE, an annual group exhibition of select VAS artists. He has twice been awarded VAS Artist of the Year, in 2010 and 2013, The Kenneth Jack Memorial Award 2010 and 2014 and the AGRA Medallion Winner for 2013, with multiple awards for watercolour in various Suburban and Rotary Exhibitions including Mt Waverley, Camberwell, Yea, Parade, Warrandyte, Alexandra Bacchus Marsh and Box Hill.
He is the Victorian Vice President of the Australian Society of Maritime Artists and a past Treasurer of VAS. He is a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute and a former member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society.
'For me, a love of the marine subject began as a kid reading Treasure Island, which was followed by Moonfleet, the Hornblower series, Bolitho and any number of historical reference books featuring sailing ships and sea battles. Marine books from England were found and purchased from an early age, hence after 50 years I have a bookshelf of Archibald, Pope, Lavery, and O’Brien, there are pirate books, sea adventures, but my favourite was always anything with sea battles and men of war from the Spanish Armada to Trafalgar.
My interest in drawing and painting naturally followed, with some pretty ordinary and bloody adolescent works to begin with but gradually developing into more historically based painting. I was quite frustrated early on with my paint abilities sitting well behind my vision, workshops and courses in watercolour were needed to bridge the gap. It never happens of course, we always want to paint better hey, never quite capturing the vision.
Julian Bruere's Maritime books
I had a career as a freelance artist in advertising, publishing, and animation for a time before eventually becoming a watercolour teacher, which is what I have done a lot of in the last 15 years. I have found satisfaction in painting the scenes and subjects that appeal to me, and from time-to-time Marine Sea Battles for the historical narration and interest.
When I set up a Marine painting it often starts with a read and research of the event, lots of books and ship draughts occupy my studio space, gradually falling away as the drawing starts to give way to the painting. I have developed skills and techniques specifically for painting better Sea Battles, sprayed mists for gunfire, and brush ruling for rigging, breadcrumbs and scoring for textural interest.
Painting the sea around the ships being the greater challenge but giving rewards when effectively washing around the wooden walls. There is something quite emotive when the wooden hull of a ship, meets the curling wave, all drifting in a cloud of smoke from the gunfire.
For the Maritime Exhibition at the Victorian Artists Society in April, I have painted a Sea Battle featuring a French 74-gun Le Vengeur sinking after a major cannonade with the British 74-gun Brunswick at the Glorious 1st of June 1794.'
Julian Bruere April 2021
'The Battle of Cape Trafalgar 1805' by Julian Bruere, Watercolour
Trafalgar 1805, every marine artist wants to paint this sea battle.
'A trawler out of Portsmouth, P176' by Julian Bruere, Watercolour
'Le Vengeur sinks, 1794' by Julian Bruere, Watercolour
This painting is displayed in the Maritime Exhibition at the Victorian Artists Society.
'Droits de l'Homme 1797' by Julian Bruere, Watercolour
Another noble loss at sea for the French
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.