Artists

Richard Bacon
Martin Campbell
Werner Filipich
John E. Gibb
Peter Glover
Kate Gorman
Harris Smith
David Hopkins
Steve Howie
Joan Humble
Lucy McEachern
Liz McKay
Janet Matthews
Bill Mearns
Roger Murphy
Dominique Oberhauser
Vida Pearson
Michael Weitnauer
Scott Swinson


Artists

Richard Bacon

Among the leading watercolourists in the State, Richard Bacon has always drawn a large audience.
As one of the few artists making a living solely from his art, he has carved out a niche in the island’s art history and, after several decades, still delights clients old and new with every offering.
His is a form of art that may be termed traditional but has a lovely contemporary edge making it acceptable to a broad section of the community.
Bacon’s forte is the light at dusk and many of his Tasmanian scenes reflect the environment away from the bright, cheerful, sun-drenched hours commonly portrayed by most watercolourists.
That isn’t to say Bacon doesn’t revel in daylight all the time: he certainly produces his share of spectacular vistas.  However, his best work depicts some of the twilight hours, when light glimmers across  the water from a distant shore and a fishing vessel is on its way back into port for the night.

Leonard Benson

Leonard Benson was born in 1947 in Hobart, Tasmania and spent his early years as a draftsman for the Public Service. His meticulous attention to design that is a feature of his work stems from this period. He began to seriously paint and exhibit in 1990.
Leonard consciously avoided the academic approach offered by the art school and instead studied with the Danish artist Kurt Olsson.   Initially influenced by the Italian Artist Modigliani, Leonard concentrates on the female form minimalising his images while still retaining their strong emotional content.
Almost all images somehow contain an iota of an enigma, be they charming, pensive or just dreamily gazing into the distance.
It would be speculation, of course, as to how the artist would fare given free rein within the realm of actual theatre productions.   Benson’s sense of drama does pervade most works and his palette is absolutely in tune, echoing the atmosphere so often created for the stage.

Martin Campbell

Martin Campbell is a Sydney based emerging artist. He also spends time each year painting and sketching in Tasmania while visiting family. Many of his marine works are inspired by aspects iof the Hobart waterfront.
Martin has attended the National Art School, Royal Art Society of N.S.W. and the Julian Ashton art School.In 2008, he was inaugural artist in residence at the Sydney Heritage Fleet shipyard and in 2010 a finalist in the Mosman art Prize. His current works capture aspects of the working harbour with impressions of wharves, bollards, ship textures and rust.
ARTIST STATEMENT
My inspiration is the effect of light, texture and weathering within a marine industrial environment. I enjoy working with oil on canvas to create layers of textured colour. Composition is also important to my work. I like to isolate objects from their surroundings and focus on aspects of colour, tone or texture to create a more intimate painting. My aim is to capture the beauty in these “seemingly ordinary” subjects.

Werner Filipich

Werner was born in Austria in 1943 and migrated to Australia in 1950. His love for this country is imbued in his superb style of crisp and refreshing paintings. He is mainly self taught, previously working full time in his father's hairdressing salon, he found the demand for his paintings increased to the extent that he chose to turn professional. A dedicated traditionalist artist, painting mainly in oils.
After initially specialising in rural and coastal scenes, Werner has broadened his choice of subject to include figures. His figure paintings were developed after completing a course with the Julian Ashton Art School and attending the Royal Art Society sketch live model classes.His distinct unique style is always popular with art collectors and many overseas visitors and as a result paintings adorn the walls of homes in many countries.
The demand for traditional art has not diminished and is evident in the great success of Werner's many exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide - each of which has sold out. He appeared as the artist in residence on the Norwegian Star Cruise ship, giving demonstrations and tour guides of the ships art collection.
Werner has been the recipient of many awards during his painting career.
Werner is one of Australia's last traditional artists who, in the true tradition of the Heildberg School of impressionist artists, packs up "goes bush", sets up his easel and places the scene before him straight to canvas. Werner says "these regular painting trips are good for my soul, they refresh my eye to the natural colours of nature and rekindle my enthusiasm and ability to capture the true colours of each season in their pure and unadulterated realistic form.

John E. Gibb

John E Gibb spent the first few years of his life in the small mining town of Rossarden on the slopes of Ben Lomond in Tasmania and from an early age his interest in art, particularly painting, was greatly encouraged by his parents and teachers.
Following his graduation from the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education and the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart in 1975 with a Degree in Visual Arts, majoring in ceramics and painting, he taught Art at secondary schools in Launceston and Scottsdale for 20 years before retiring from classroom teaching at the end of 1995, due to profound deafness.
It was during his time teaching at Scottsdale High School that John rekindled his love for watercolour painting and since then, he has developed his own unique and detailed style which reflects his deep love for the natural beauty of Tasmania.
He believes that the clear, fresh, ‘rain-washed and wind-swept’ Tasmanian landscape lends itself to the subtle variations of colour, light and clarity that only watercolours can offer.   With an eye for detail and through the use of both ‘dry’ brush and ‘wet’ brush techniques to produce several overlapping layers of translucent watercolours, he is able to recreate the delicate textures and bold light plays of his selected subjects.
It is this individual approach to realism that gives his work a depth and vitality and ranks him among the most sought after watercolour artists in Tasmania.

Peter Glover

Born in Hobart in 1952, Peter is one of the state’s better landscape painters, working in a traditional impressionist style.
His classic portrayals have won him many friends and among his contemporaries he has probably the most realistic palette of any painter working in the state.
When Tom Roberts chose to live in Tasmania, he, too, found the classic blue/gold balance that southern Australia is renowned for.
Glover chose the almost academic approach of the Heidelberg School when he began his painting career more than a decade ago.   Over the ensuing years, he has moved into a freer expression and today his excellent work is underpinned by a seemingly rigorous discipline – with wonderful results.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Represented in “Artists and Galleries of Australia”
Author: Max Germaine
“Tasmanian Artists of the Twentieth Century”
Author: Sue Backhouse

Kate Gorman

Travel is a major influence on my art. Through photographic reference, personal experience and memories, I attempt to capture the essence of a place-its vibrancy, culture, architecture, food and people.
My art reflects my interpretation of the landscape around me. I invite the viewer into a 'happier space' by my use of uplifting colour. By giving a hint of a subject matter, I urge the viewer to complete the story
My hope, is that my work will trigger a personal experience, memory or connection to a special place.
The 'Ocean' exhibition is a body of work that explores the aspects of the ocean - both above and beneath.
'Ocean' takes me to a childhood memory of long hot summer days spent exploring the beach: finding shells; fishing from the piers; the reef breaking the surface of the water on the horizon; soldier crabs in rockpools; driftwood, seaweed and debri that had washed up onto the beach overnight; the shimmer of boats on the water; and the vibrant colour of those swimming or sun bathing on the beach.

Harris Smith

Trained extensively in traditional techniques and methods, Harris Smith has been a successful professional artist for over 30 years.
Having studied Australian painting throughout life and using nature as an important source, the artist has evolved a personal approach to the subject matter rather than just a photographic response.
Having travelled extensively throughout Tasmania and being aware of the haunting beauty with a lingering presence of the past, the artist has discovered a rich minefield of imagery.
Being aware of the appeal of the ‘gentler’ part of Tasmania – valleys, pastoral, coastal, towns and cities and human interaction with the environment, the artist enhances the light, atmosphere and colour.
Referring to some aspects of early impressionism, the artist adds emphasis through selective vision – enhancing and dramatising to make a lyrical comment.
For students of oil painting techniques, here is a fine lesson to be learnt. Smith keeps her pictorial structure simple, underpins it with good drawing ability and finally exercises a well composed palette.

David Hopkins

David has been a graphic artist and illustrator in Tasmania since 1961. As a long serving artist in the Printing industry for over 45 years his achievements in the graphics and art field have been notable and numerous and he is represented in many parliamentary, civic and private collections.
David’s work shows great clarity and precision, and his eye for good composition is unerring whilst remaining a master of colour balance.
For technical accomplishment, Hopkins is excellent and his background as a teacher in the commercial art field has underpinned his post-commercial life as a painter ever since.

Steve Howie

"Artist for the month at the Strickland Gallery" is painter Steve Howie.
Well known for his colourful depictions of the environs of  Hobart and the River Derwent estuary, Howie in this exhibition has broken new ground.
He hasn’t changed his style or palette but for the first time in memory he has gone beyond A4 format.
He is synonymous with small to average size paintings, the sort you fit comfortably into any apartment. Well, here he has gone for the "elbow approach" – and it looks absolutely terrific. Most painters come to grief when stretching their work to a larger format.   Usually their technique is unsuited to bigger surfaces, because where small works are approached with wrist movements, going bigger means you exercise the elbow.
All that can be said is the work is vintage Howie and if you are contemplating something a little larger than before, give these paintings a good once-over.
Howie has brought pleasure to many people over the years and although his art is neither “traditional” nor “postmodern”, it is so easy to live with.”
Joerg Andersch

Joan Humble

Born in Birmingham, UK, in 1938, Joan migrated to Australia with her parents in 1948. She has been painting since 1972, specialising in portraying the moods and beauty of Tasmania.
Her source of inspiration is nature and her work is the result of close observation and many field trips. She has a particular interest
in water in all its forms, including seascapes.
A thorn in the side of contemporary painting, the art of Joan Humble has survived modernism, be it post or otherwise, with extraordinary gusto.
Her landscapes are still the yardstick of traditional landscape painting in Tasmania and few other artists come up to her standard in Australia.
Joan works in a variety of sizes, ranging from large paintings 180cm x 120cm down to miniatures just 10cm x 5cm.   All have proved very successful and have received many awards, both in Tasmania and internationally.
In recent years she has concentrated mainly on Miniatures but still takes commissions in all sizes.
She’s a member of the Miniature Art Society of Florida and a founder Member of the Australian Society of Miniature  Art Tasmania.
In 2009 she was elected a Member of the Royal Miniature society of Painters Sculptors and Gravers (RMS) in London.

Lucy McEachern - Sculptor

Lucy McEachern has quickly established herself as a leading sculptor of birds. Her chosen medium for this is bronze. The simplified and elegant lines of Her works make them very tactile and a pleasure to behold. When not sculpting, she helps run the family property at Wingeel west of Geelong. She is often inspired when doing stock work as she rides past plantations and grasslands and is able to observe birds in their natural habitat. Annual revegetation projects have helped to increase bird life on the farm quite noticeably. She is also lucky enough to live by a creek where there is an abundance of water birds at her front door to observe. Whether it is a finch that darts from post to post, a brolga that dances with its mate or a wedge tailed eagle that glides in the thermals high above there is a never ending supply of subject matter for her to work with.
Lucy has had many successes and accolades, one of the most recent was the selection in the prestigious “Birds in Art” exhibition at the Woodson Museum in Wisconsin USA the second year in a row. An International Art exhibition of which only 3 Australians were selected.  Her sculpture was also chosen to tour the US for 12 months with other selected entrants.

Liz McKay

There is a south-of-the-border, north of the garter exoticism to Liz McKay’s acrylics on canvas.
Sombre suited men emerge from the shadows to embrace wide-eyed svelte senoritas in revealing attire.
Intensely expressed in colour and form, Liz McKay’s paintings are a quiet emotional universe of love, friendship and solitude.
‘Painting is my eternal search to find something of beauty, an expression, a face, a smile. The figures in my works convey intriguing expressions and the interaction between the painted figures invite the viewer to explore the unwritten thoughts and feelings between them and how they can express wider truths about ourselves.
Inspired by conversations and experiences, I hope to stir something inside the viewer.’
It is the sensually curved figures and intimate surroundings that makes her work so unique. The ever slight hint of 1920’s architecture,
curves and textures are overlaid with compelling explorations of mood and human interaction.
Tasmanian born, Liz is an artist whose art has been exhibited nationally and internationally, her work is included in a number of private and public collections in Australia and overseas.

Janet Matthews

Janet is a professional artist whose brilliant use of coloured pencils and graphite has justifiably placed her in the forefront of artists using her chosen medium.
Her realistic, detailed and gentle drawings of animals and birds are keenly collected in Australia and overseas. Janet manages to capture the personality of her subjects, often showing the ‘conversation’ between them and reflecting Janet’s own personality and
sense of humour.
By capturing her subjects’ quirky behaviour, her drawings often make you smile and her style of combining colour and graphite is distinctive and memorable.
Janet is a multi-award winning artist exhibiting regularly in Australia and overseas, including commissions by Australia Post for stamp images released in 2006 and 2009; artwork selected for “Focus in Nature” 2010 in New York State Museum, USA.
Janet is a respected and sought after teacher with many years of experience, and a flair for making workshops both informative and fun.

Bill Mearns

Born on the east coast of Scotland into a family with a very long seafaring tradition, Bill Mearns has always been vitally
interested in the sea and ships.
He is self taught as a marine artist, having sketched marine subjects since boyhood.   He also makes models of small traditional
boats.
Bill paints predominantly vintage sail or working craft. However he also does commissions for naval ships, commercial vessels,
and for private owners.
His work is almost exclusively watercolour – a medium which suits the subject of sea and sky very well. It is also very adaptable for
fine detail.

Roger Murphy

Born in Hobart, Tasmania 1939, Roger was educated at Hobart High School and the Tasmanian School of Art.
Apprenticed as a Lithographic Artist with a commercial printer and studied life drawing at the Tasmania Art school.
Murphy is one of the state’s best known and loved watercolourists. Having seen him for more than four decades produce what the French may term Leger paintings, it is fascinating how traditional work remains at the edge of painting.
For fans of his, there is a pleasant increase in colour evident in his latest work. Murphy began his painting career very much in the monochromatic vein, a classic response in the 1970’s when less was more and a “graphic” style of painting was the in thing.
He made his fine reputation in those heady days and examples of his early work are prized possessions.

Dominique Oberhauser

Artist’s Statement
I am a French-Australian artist specialising in illuminated miniature paintings. Illumination is the art of decorating a text, page or initial with gold leaf, borders and miniatures. All my paintings are individually created with fine detail using 23 carat gold leaf and gouache paint.
Each painting takes between 20 to 30 hours of work depending on the size and complexity of the design.
My work is inspired from medieval manuscripts, Book of Hours illustrations, stained glass windows as well as personal designs.

Vida Pearson

Born 1957 at Wonthaggi, Victoria. Vida majored in printmaking and drawing at the North Adelaide School of Art. Moved to
Victoria in 1985 and commenced life as a professional artist.
Vida has a very strong commitment to printmaking, but also loves the delicacy of watercolour and pastel. Her love of flora and Fauna is expressed in her many studies of plants, birds and animals.
Her subject matter is gleaned from extensive field trips both within Australia and overseas. Over the years one has seen a strong
individual style emerging, especially in her hand-coloured linocuts with their bold colours and strong design.
Vida has won over 100 prizes in art competitions – indicting the quality and commitment she gives to her work.

Scott Swinson

Painting, for me, begins as a conscious process and evolves into one in which i am less and less consciously connected. This has taken place over my years as a practicing artist but also occurs during a single 'session' of painting. When i create in this way the subject matter could actually be anything that i feel an emotional connection to. I heard Idris Murphy, a well know Australian landscape artist, say that he feels he is the vehicle that his paintings come through. I feel the same way when i reach a place of unconscious creativity. It is not always easy to enable your conscious brain to take a back seat, but once it does, that is when the magic happens and the marks made on the page in an unconscious way communicate with the viewer on an emotional level.
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Michael Weitnauer

Born in Hobart in 1954, Michael has lived much of his life in this State with periods of time spent living and working in Europe, particularly Berlin a city with which he has a very close connection.
It wasn’t until 1986, after becoming captivated by the work of Australian Painter Fred Williams that Weitnauer started to develop an interest in landscape painting.
Michael has made his mark in the world of painting not so much with identifiable landmarks in his landscape portrayals but by creating a wonderful atmosphere with every work.
Perhaps only nominal in title, his river views and coastal vistas have delighted many collectors but it is the emotional content that seems to be the overriding essence of his work.
A past master at blending superb tones, the artist beguiles an audience, leaving almost indelible impressions with his work.
ARTIST’S STATEMENT
“For me, as for many painters, the landscape provides a wonderful model for expression. I consider my landscape paintings more an exploration into the mood and character of the landscape, rather than a representational depiction of what might be seen on the surface. In many respects I consider that my paintings are often less about landscape and more about human emotion and spirit as reflected through nature.”