Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Lost Bear Gallery

Lost Bear Gallery in Katoomba is an absolute little gem. The exhibition spaces feature polished kauri floorboards, leadlight windows, high ceilings, wide architraves, and old fireplaces. And then there's the artwork. When we visited, I encountered some new (to me) artists who brought the surrounding scenery to life.

Warwick Fuller has painted the Australian landscape for over 35 years. He remains unswayed by trends and changing fashions, painting large landscapes in oils on canvas, uncaring that landscape art has fallen out of favour with abstract impressionism being preferred. His images capture light, storms, waves, trees and cattle with striking authenticity. He claims not to want to necessarily paint exactly what is there but to portray his emotional response to the scene. "I want my pictures to sing the songs I sang when I painted them."

Fenceline Track, Tumburumba by Warwick Fuller
Gibralta Grand by Warwick Fuller
Mist on the dam near Yass by Warwick Fuller
Light on Tinkers Hill by Warwick Fuller
Lake light, Angler's Reach by Warwick Fuller
Waterhole by Warwick Fuller
Log Crossing by Warwick Fuller
Mountain Blue by Warwick Fuller
Graham Hallett lives in the Blue Mountains and paints stylistic, hyper-real local vistas with layers of colour and movement. There is something reminiscent of Japanese woodcuts in the execution, but the palette of deep reds, purples, yellows and ochres is pure Australian. Echoes of timeless cultures reverberate through the hills and gullies, hinting at ancient tales told beneath the drooping trees.

Fire Trail by Graham Hallett
Red Track by Graham Hallett
Shelter by Graham Hallett
Little Gully by Graham Hallett
Red Mountain by Graham Hallett
Green Gully by Graham Hallett
Rocky Point by Graham Hallett
Twin Trees by Graham Hallett
The Divide by Graham Hallett
Evening by Graham Hallett
Paul Margocsy, meanwhile, focuses on the foreground, with his stunning portraits of local birdlife. Creating watercolour and gouache masterpieces, the detail is almost photographic with extreme close-ups on eyes or feathers with blurred backgrounds. Although he loved drawing as a child, Margocsy received no formal training and left school to become a window dresser until he was called up in 1966 to serve as a conscript to the army. 

His paintings began as murals for children's nurseries, and when he joined the Wildlife Art Society of Australasia, he instantly won first prize for the best painting. Since then he has published books, held national and international solo exhibitions and been commissioned to create a series of stamps.

Australian Boobook owlets II by Paul Margocsy
Australian Azure Kingfishers II by Paul Margocsy
Australian Splendid Fairy Wrens by Paul Margocsy
Australian White Breasted Sea-Eagle by Paul Margocsy
Australian Gang Gang Cockatoo by Paul Margocsy
Australian Sulphur Crested Cockatoo by Paul Margocsy
Australian Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos by Paul Margocsy
Australian Laughing Kookaburras by Paul Margocsy

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