Day Trip and Guided Tour Part Two
Welcome to part two of my visit to the Ballarat Art Gallery. In this blog I will go through several of the artworks that I was drawn to in the gallery. I will list them chronologically just as they are seen in the building’s rooms. If possible I will talk about a few of the artists that I discovered as well as some that are very familiar to many artists and art lovers. There were many that I had not seen before and their work was especially beautiful to look at, so I feel, worthy of a mention.
The Artists and Art
Crough Gallery through to the Oliver Room
Jan Hendrik Scheltema
Landscape painter. Sentimental in subject matter, cattle, horses and the idealised rural life, but his use of colour to create atmosphere was just amazing. What we still use today to create depth and perspective by the use of warm and cool colours is clear in his work.
John Skinner Prout
Waterfall near Lake St. Clair, Tasmania
Mostly known for his water colours, his use of colour to create light and atmosphere is just stunning. He reminded me of the best and most notable of our Australian Impressionists.
One of the falls on the Wannon
This painting shows where the colour of Australia started to be really understood and reflected in painting. Compared to the Nicholas Chevalier hanging near it, which on its own is a lovely painting, it really did show the viewer how artists learnt to change their palettes and application of the paint from one generation to the next.
David Davies Under the burden and heat of the day
A Ballarat Artist, it was this painting, purchased by James Oddie (Founder of the Ballarat Art Gallery), that allowed David to go overseas to study and further his art career. Soft muted colours reflecting the heat of the Australian landscape a new way of painting for a new country at the time.
Misty evening, Beaumaris
Lovely soft tones, so very atmospheric and peaceful. I love her work.
I don’t usually get attracted by paintings of groups of people but the lighting in this work was so interesting. As if caught mid conversation, literally, as the name suggests, plus the folds in the clothing and the lighting on the faces was beautiful.
An early taste for literature
Not only beautifully painted but the title doesn’t give anything away from the humour in this painting as the calf in the central part of the painting chews up a newspaper, with the people in the background totally unaware of it.
The last of summer
Some of my favourite tones and colours are in this painting which has a very small figure in it, dwarfed by the threes and the dark looming sky in the background.
E Philips Fox
A love story
I had only seen this in books, and it is typical of his treatment of ladies of leisure, sitting or reclining in total peace and tranquility. The usual beautiful treatment of light and shadow on her face and clothing.
The three gums
I had only seen this in books as well, and it is typical of his treatment of the landscape and his very well know gum trees. The usual beautiful treatment of light and shadow on the sides of the trunks and streaming across the ground.
A summer morning’s tiff
I had only seen this in books, and had recently read about it, so to see it in real life was a treat! It is especially good when you know a little about the paintings having read about it. As always the lighting and colour are beautiful and nothing overdone, even though nostalgic in theme, to attract sales at the time, I love his work.
Another artist whose work I love to look at and learn from. his use of colour and light make the Australian landscape real to the viewer, although not truly reflecting on the hardships of settlers lives, they at least give a hint of the isolation.
Obstruction, Box Hill
Beautiful use of colour, the whole thing looks so balanced. Very atmospheric.
Great contrast in this view of a man lying on yellow tinted grass in the foreground looking back to a menacing dark sky with a red radar dish on the hill top. Simple in its clarity with little clutter, but still with texture and tone and great use of strong composition.
Landscape with red fox
Although I don’t always relate to his paintings, I do love how the paint is applied so actively and is so luscious. Though reflecting the starkness of the Australian landscape, the colours are warm and the paint nearly moves on the canvas creating a life of its own which I like very much.
My New Books for Research, Education and Enjoyment
Ballarat Fine Art Gallery: Highlights from the Collection
To help remember what I have seen in the gallery.
Art Models 4, Maureen and Douglas Johnson
Photos of life models for reference material as i will be doing workshops with David Chen this semester learning how to paint nudes.
Painting Portraits, Anthony Connolly
As my worst subject to paint and draw is humans, this book will be a great help to learn how to draw and pant the human face.
Drawing the figure from life, Masterclass, Gary Lee-Gaston OAM FRSASA
Very good tips in here for building up the human figure, anatomy of men vs women, children vs adults etc.
For Auld Lang Syne: Images of Scottish Australia from First Fleet to Federation
Book of the current exhibition, as many of our early painters were from Scotland and having read about some of the recently, I grabbed the book to learn more about the skills and heritage they brought to Australian art.