24 October 2008

Reg Roberts - artist - my father

Here's an oil study of Gippsland, Australia by my father (artist's collection, circa early 1950's, oil on canvas, 40.6cm x 50.8cm).

This painting was an inspiration to me my brother and two sisters. My parents gave most of their paintings from those years to friends while my father was studying for his PhD. He was a CSIRO scientist (grassland insect ecologist), always had an eye for patterns, an intuition for discerning the 'dynamics of interconnectedness'. His research presented an ecological contribution to the concept of 'biodiversity'.

In this painting there's an effective very limited palette of colours used.


Nick said...

Somehow I had forgotten about what your father did, and it all came back to me - especially how you and I were born only a couple of hundred miles apart. I get a charge out of that! I think I would know this is Oz, something of the dry scrubby scape in earthtones and purplish blues. Your mom's work already blew me away, so I was prepared for this.

wayne said...

It's a dry scrubby kind of bush generally down here in Oz (with many exceptions)! Interestingly but maybe not surprisingly many of the first Australian artists painted the Australian landscape more like European landscapes. It took a little while for a new language of the Australian landscape to emerge. William Robinson and the late Fred Williams are two of my favourites, but there are too many other notable landscape artists to mention here or even within a dictionary of Australian art.

Yes regarding origins, ...it's a complex thing ! But when you find yourself dialoging with an artist who shares similar interests and a similar journey (in generic terms) I get 'a charge out of that' too! ... also a charge (slurp) from a strong cup of coffee!! LOL


perugina said...

Hello Wayne,
I’ve have been meaning to pop in to leave a comment here as you did prompt me some time ago (well it seems some time ago) that you posted this gorgeous painting your father Reg painted of the Gippsland.
He has painted it almost as though from an aerial perspective ‘on final approach’ coming in to land – seems appropriate with talk of ‘pilot seats’ and ‘paper jets’ in the previous post. A beautiful painting.

I like you phraseology here “It took a while for a new language of the Australian landscape to emerge”

I recently did a landscape workshop in oils with John Wilson and then followed it up with a demo to reinforce what I had learnt. Those “purplish blues” are not easy to mix! All in all I found the whole workshop very stressful! I can honestly say… not even my espresso which has hardened caffeine drinkers saying ‘packs a wallop’ sufficed. Perhaps the inclusion of ‘grappa’ was called for…now we are slurring… oops I meant talking!

wayne said...

Hi PG,
Yes an interesting almost aerial perspective does give the work a feeling of 'space', and by inference alludes to the expansiveness of the Australian landscape visible only from the perspective of a great height.

Mixing just about any colour can be challenging. I mean, to retain a certain vibrancy, nuance, or vitality (no matter how subtle) is not an easy thing 'me thinks' (or 'me has found' the hard way, LOL!) Especially mixing nuanced greys that are not muddy is a very tricky thing. But dad has achieved subtle colour integrities within an essentially tonal work here IMO.

Speaking of espresssos, I think it's that time of the afternoon! Anyway, cheers PG and thanks again for offering your insights and colour to this thread:)

william wray said...

How interesting both parents were artists... Mine were to. You also remind me of my dilemma of never being sure if it's realism or abstraction I want to do. For Me I figure it lies somewhere in the middle.

wayne said...

Hi William,
Many thanks for looking up my small blog here (I presume possibly via WK's blog or some other...) It's indeed interesting we both have parent-artists -- you pick up a thing or two when both parents are artists --some turps in the air travels a long way...
Anyway, just had a quick squizz at your blog and wow, i am adding you to my blog roll! Great work there!