Monthly Display - September 2023

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Monthly Display - September 2023:

Artwork Produced While Living at West Beach,
Before My First Solo Exhibition (1982 - 1983)

In July 1982, I moved to Adelaide from Sydney, where I grew up. I had come to Adelaide to explore producing my own artwork. I was going to live off my savings, after working in Sydney. Adelaide offered cheaper living expenses, and more consistent weather conditions than Sydney. I firstly stayed with my older brother, Ross, who had moved to Adelaide about 12 months before, for his work. After a few weeks, I found my own accommodation, in a granny flat behind a house at West Beach, on the coast.

The area around my accommodation proved to be very rich for landscape ideas, but this was also probably because of my attitude as well.




I undertook some life-drawing sessions in North Adelaide and found these good for honing my drawing skills and meeting some other artists. After about 12 months of going along to life-drawing sessions, I began to dislike a number of its aspects. The main one was that the model was always having to turn herself/himself into a statue, which really isn’t a natural or comfortable thing to do. I was finding many tree trunks that were just as interesting from a form point of view, and they naturally didn’t move much for years on end. I also found that the life-drawing sessions were limited by the poses imposed by the older members of the group who were responsible for organising the models.

While producing artwork at West Beach, I was often looking for an approach to painting and drawing that really suited me, suited my approach to doing things, and suited my personality. With just about every new 'major piece' I started, I felt that I was now just starting to find that special approach.

I enjoyed painting and drawing all around the area, and found the landscape coming through as a major subject for my artwork. I was taking a greater interest in the artwork of Claude Monet, and the other Impressionist painters. My artwork often fluctuated between the understanding I had of the artwork of both Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet. In reality, I worked in a largely "Impressionist" manner, painting and drawing directly from outdoors subject matter under consistent lighting conditions. The main focus for most of my paintings at this time was recording accurately observed colours and light. This often meant working on the same piece at the same time of the day, and only when the weather was similar. I usually worked on about 6 to 10 pieces at the same time, having different pieces for the different times of the day. While out painting like this, I would enjoy just being outside, observing, recording and analysing. In an effort to improve the expression of what I was trying to record, I carried out a lot of experimenting. I experimented with materials, with the size and shape of images, with the range of paint colours that I used for mixing, etc. I did find that working outside imposed a range of restrictions to aspects such as size of the artwork that could be conveniently transported and completed within a reasonable time.

‘Presence within a landscape’ slowly became an important quality that I wanted to try to capture.

I produced a lot of artwork and spent considerable time thinking about many things about the world I saw and lived in. It was a highly influential and positive time in my life.

I worked well for about 15 months before wanting to exhibit my artwork. I held my first solo exhibition during November 1983. I hired a hall in North Glenelg and organised the presentation of about 50 paintings and 30 drawings, including all of the pieces shown in this month's display.

The pieces in this month's display are presented in chronological order, to the best of my memory. When I recently looked at the selection of appropriate artwork I made for this display, I realised that I no longer have the majority of the pieces selected and instead only have reproductions derived from photographs that I took relatively soon after finishing the actual pieces.

Following are small images of twenty four artworks.

Click on an image, or its title, to go to a page with proper reproductions and more details about that artwork.

Once you are looking at artworks in more detail, you can use the ‘prev’ and ‘next’ links (at the top and bottom of each details page) to go to the previous or next artworks in the monthly display respectively, or return to this monthly display overview page.


Beach Bush
Slow Downward Lines and Circles, During a Bus Trip

1. Beach Bush

2. Slow Downward Lines and Circles, During a Bus Trip



The Shoulder
Portrait of an Irish-Looking Woman

3. The Shoulder

4. Portrait of an Irish-Looking Woman



Pink Sunset With Flares

5. Pink Sunset With Flares

6. Butterfly



Poplar in the Wind
The Wild Sea

7. Poplar in the Wind

8. The Wild Sea



Sunset At Torrens Outlet
The Beach, in Blocks of Colour

9. Sunset At Torrens Outlet

10. The Beach, in Blocks of Colour



Olive Tree in Cottesloe Avenue
Torrens At Night

11. Olive Tree in Cottesloe Avenue

12. Torrens At Night



Foliage Texture
Flickering Poplar Leaves

13. Foliage Texture

14. Flickering Poplar Leaves



Cloud Shapes At Sunset
My Right Hand

15. Cloud Shapes At Sunset

16. My Right Hand



After Washing Up
View of My Lounge Room

17. After Washing Up

18. View of My Lounge Room



Time Pieces

19. Time

20. Time Pieces



Little Tree Near the Swamp
Wild Grasses

21. Little Tree Near the Swamp

22. Wild Grasses



My Studio, West Beach
The Artist

23. My Studio, West Beach

24. The Artist




List of past monthly displays

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Monthly Display - September 2023