1988 - 1992 Selected Early Character Works

A selection of various works painted very early in my painting career.  I was self taught and so experimented with various techniques and styles as I found my way. This is how I learnt.  I was in an environment which was not 'arty farty' or 'cool'.  I had no exposure to the best contemporary artists.  I was drawing upon what I saw around me and had been living.   I had a couple of local mentors who helped me understand materials and methods including Jean Elezovich from Nita Down's station in the North West.  I was not coming from an artists background.  I had been working in the outback on cattle stations for many years and so focused on outback themes.  This is what I knew.  After being in Broome for a few years, I enjoyed painting birds, wildlife, and scenery and the market appreciated that subject matter as at that time McAlpine had begun to develop his amazing wildlife park at Cable Beach.  I had also made many field trips to Darwin and the Kimberley and this was reflected in my work. 

Later I would go to the library and look at other artists - and the ones I fell in love with were the men and women of the Antipodean movement.  Strangely they originated in my very own birth town of StKilda in Victoria.  I could understand the expressionistic drama and the strong character of Albert Tuckers work for instance.  Studying this work helped me to break through the approved subjects.  I felt it was more how I thought.  To some degree it felt like going back to how I first painted as a very young teenager.   Conveying the energy of imagery was far more important than the accuracy or photo-realism of a subject.  It was not long after this I created the Pidgeon series where I completely changed my style to favour the 'haptic form' to really put more emotion and drama into my work.  It was at this point I found I loved the story telling aspect of art, the narrative.  Subsequently from that junction I worked in narratives for almost all exhibitions since.

Shown here are a selection of those works which focus on my love of including character in paintings, including portraits, and stylised explorations.
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1990 Helen Hangs Up Her Traps For Art - Len Findlay - West Australian
1989 - 1990 Various Prizes News