Come along to the 47th Annual Art Show Impressions for an evening of fine art, wine, food and BGS musicians. There are also fantastic raffle prizes to be won. This year’s guest speaker is Lachlan Henderson, Manager Philip Bacon Galleries, and feature artist is Colley Whisson – read about Colley in the story below.
The ticketed Gala Opening event will be held on Friday 5 August at 7.00pm, followed by free admission at the BGS Open Day on Saturday 6 August between 10.00am to 3.00pm.
FEATURED ARTIST COLLEY WHISSON
Colley Whisson is a Modern Impressionist and a very generous man. He not only shares his artistic vision of the world on canvas, he also shares his passion and knowledge of the process through various teaching mediums. The author of two books, Whisson also leads painting workshops worldwide and – in a most modern way – has his own instructional YouTube channel.
Whisson spent his childhood north of Brisbane where he developed a deep appreciation for the bush, spending his time “observing nature, colour, light and movement”. Still living in the region, he continues to be inspired by the natural and built environment.
Fifty-year-old Whisson, a third generation artist, has been painting since 1986. His father, Eric, was a successful full-time artist who also dedicated his time to teaching private art lessons. “My father gave me my early technical training, but I was determined to find my own individual approach,” he said.
“I was fortunate to find my artistic voice very early on in my journey, so each time I return to my easel I’m continuing the fight to master my chosen medium. I try to allow the subject to choose me. The main attraction usually makes itself evident quite early,” he said.
Working on hardboard that he carefully prepares himself, Whisson likes to have a direct response to the subject, “whether in my studio or outdoors, taking in the most important aspects that I feel that the painting requires.” With many years of formulating his method, Whisson now uses plein air painting more as a research and development process, and has recently begun using Photoshop to improve his raw reference material.
Whisson cites Australian Impressionist Sir Arthur Streeton, Swedish Portraitist Anders Zorn, Australian Watercolorist Harold Herbert and American Realist Richard Schmid among his artistic influences, while his exclusive use of archival oils and recent use of Photoshop reveals a thoroughly modern approach.
Using a textural rendering technique that employs a bright colour palette, he applies bold, visible brush strokes with both vigour and delicateness, while observing the built and natural environments with equal sensitivity.
There’s a nostalgic, gentle quality to Whisson’s work that belies the fierce physicality of his act of painting that can be seen in his instructional YouTube videos. “I’m aiming to tell a visual story with clarity and sophistication but I’m also driven to distort and abstract the image as much as possible while still maintaining a realistic image.”
Whisson’s art has been featured in magazines including International Artist and Australian Artist and works are held in private and public collections in Australia and worldwide. Closest to home, his works are held at the Pine Rivers Art Gallery and the Redland Bay Art Gallery.
This story appeared in the winter 2016 edition of grammar news magazine.