Featured Artists for October
This month we present three artists displaying versatility across various subjects and styles and a common view of the importance of painting from life. Joan Denner and Don James share a passion for still life painting and have studied traditional tonal principles of the ‘Old Masters’. Perth based Greg Pastoll, a self-taught artist, also shares an appreciation of art history and traditional painting methods.
We’re proud to present these outstanding artists, please enjoy their gallery of artworks available on OzArt Finder.
Don James was born in Melbourne and started his artistic journey in the seventies by studying tonal realist oil painting under Shirley Bourne and Alan Martin.
In the early eighties he started painting part time and gained a teaching position with the Woodend Art Group. By 1984 Don began full time painting and teaching and had developed a strong interest in realism and the effects of light falling on objects of differing textures, colours and tones. Don paints portraits, figures, landscape, still life and flowers, only from life. He has taught the elements of Tonal Realist Oil Painting for several decades and in 2007 published a handbook, ‘On Painting’.
Don currently holds painting classes at the Montsalvat Painting School in Eltham Victoria, where he has been a resident artist since 1992. Montsalvat is Australia’s oldest artist’s community; its historic buildings house a number of artists and artisans and can be visited daily.
Don is a Fellow of the Victorian Artists’ Society and an Honorary Life Member of the Woodend Art Group. He has received several prizes including the Normal Kaye Medallion from the Victorian Artists Society in 2003 and his work is widely represented in Australian and overseas.
Melbourne based artist Joan Denner started painting seriously in her early thirties. Today, she credits her skills to the study of the methods of the Old Masters and the influence of a number of excellent art teachers, including the late Marjorie Martin, a follower of the Max Meldrum School.
In 1986, Joan moved to the UK where she continued painting and became successful in selling her artworks throughout Europe.
Returning to Melbourne in 1992, Joan broadened her artistic skills with further studies in oils and pastels with tutors Fiona Bilbrough, Brian Armstrong, David Chen and Max Wilks.
Her favoured subject has always been ‘Still Life’ as she enjoys the challenge of capturing the magical light in the subject to produce paintings that glow beautifully and come to life.
Over the years, Joan has won a significant number of prizes for her artwork, including numerous ‘First Prize’ awards. She was also a prize winner in Australian Artist magazine’s Art Prize Challenge in 2016 for her still life oil painting titled “Lemons”.
Being a current member of the Peninsula Arts Society and the Mentone Mordialloc Art Society, Joan exhibits her work with these groups and also at the Crab Apple Gallery in Frankston.
Joan’s next exhibition is coming up this Saturday, 6th October at the St Andrews Anglican Church Hall, located at 2 Eramosa Road West, Somerville. This is a joint 2 day exhibition with her husband, Jeff Gilmour and features a wonderful variety of paintings in oils and watercolour.
Greg Pastoll is self-taught and has always been interested in art. Now retired from his earlier career as a lecturer in basic mechanical engineering, Greg devotes much of his time to painting and writing.
Attending one watercolour class at the young age of nine initiated Greg’s interest and in painting and illustrating. He then practised watercolour techniques from books and visited art galleries as much as possible.
In Greg’s adult life he has always preferred to paint en plein air whenever conditions permit as he finds this both enjoyable and relaxing.
Over the years Greg has experimented with many mediums and styles. He is a versatile artist who paints for his own pure enjoyment and particularly loves to explore various styles. In his painting ‘String Quintet in the Afternoon’ he has skilfully adopted Seurat’s distinctive style of pointillism.
Greg views his art as a means of sharing with others his enthusiasm for life and his sense of beauty in the world around us.