I’m currently working from my studio in central Victoria, with views from the property to Mt Macedon, Mt Alexander and Mt Ida. It’s not far from where my ancestors settled, my great grandfather coming to Australia as a botanist with John Gould’s team. For his work collecting specimens, he was gifted a book of Gould’s paintings, some of which hung on our walls when I was a child.
Night Light, oil on canvas
Years later his descendant, my grandmother Helen studied art by correspondence with the Royal Academy in London. I loved looking at her drawings, mostly en plein air sketches from around my childhood home, and although she had passed away in the 1950’s much of the landscape remains the same and is recognisable through her drawings.
When I was 15, I did work experience at a small ceramic studio in Kyneton. At the end of the week the owners offered me a job. I trained under Rita Daniel, a master painter from Royal Worcester, and spent 12 years there, painting Australiana on ceramics. With my first pay cheque I bought an art book and a poster of John William Waterhouse’s 'Lady of Shallot', still one of my favourite paintings.
Daisy Chain, oil on canvas
Kindling, oil on canvas
As a teenager, before I had my licence, I would often catch the train to Castlemaine to visit the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Museum. The collection of Impressionist and Tonal painters was in part the inspiration I needed to seek out oil painting classes. I studied with Ron Gibbings-Johns and then Gregory R Smith. Painting from life became my focus. I love the way it connects me to my subject and the world around me. For me, painting from life is like communicating through a visual language.
Still Life, Rabbit, oil on canvas
Lamb, oil on canvas
Some of my most notable Awards include the Norma Bull Portraiture Scholarship Award, The Hugh Ramsay Award, Box Hill Rotary Heritage Award, selection into the 'Hidden Faces of the Archibald' and a series of recognitions through VAS Exhibitions.
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.