I first started pen drawing when our family went to England to live for a few months. The old hard covered books I found were illustrated with all these beautiful etchings that inspired me to learn the technique of using a nibbed ink pen and India Ink.
When our family moved to Australia my parents bought me an artist set for oil painting. My only tutor was Uncle Fred Notting) who I am ever grateful to. He was a sign painter by trade and did most of the work around Manly including the FUN PIER at Manly Wharf. You can see his work in the Manly Art Gallery.
Later I used the same style of drawing/scratching in my oils and water colour paintings. Using a pen or other sharp utensil I broke the surface of paper causing the colour to be absorbed somewhat like a tattoo or decorating pottery.
I had my first Art Show 1971 in the town of Bowen, Far North Queensland. It is so beautiful there on the coast, I wished that I could be a better artist. I had student quality paint and paper and the works were unframed.
Later we move to Bundaberg (following the field work) and I made many works of the river there. The dark mangroves lining the river and muddied waters facinated me.
I did little work during the next few years due to health and only started back after moving to Brisbane where I enjoyed copying the stark Black and White Photos of WWII war criminals using oridinary pencils. One of the things I enjoyed most was creating fantasy creatures painted in bright colours and outlined like cartoon figures. These were popular with kids.
When I was 16 my job included spray painting which taught me how to mix my own colours and I had a chance to create what is now called ''CANDY APPLE 'used in the automobile industy even now.
Up until then there were no clear or translucent paints. The people who made our paint were actually manufacturers of auto paint as we used resin instead of cast plaster to form wall ornaments. We called it 'Toffee Apple', the Australian wording for an apple on a stick and coated in melted sugar. How the name came about is that I did not know the words 'viscosity' and 'translucent' so used the reference to the toffee apples and a clear pink nail polish made for children back in those days.
Now we have aerosol cans, metalis and pearl - all of which were hand made in my youth.
Today I use anything that comes my way! For a time (mid '90's) I invested all my pocket money in developing fine finishes for ornate plaster. I used architectural/automative tints and then started painting artworks in this process as well.
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