Friday, 24 May 2013

Artist Profile: Warwick Fuller

One of the best known contemporary landscape painters of the Capertee Valley is the Little Hartley-based artist Warwick Fuller. Warwick has been painting for over 35 years and has had over 60 solo exhibitions. Like the pioneer Capertee Valley painter Robert Johnson (1890-1964) before him, Warwick is a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales (FRAS). Below, Warwick writes of his long standing affinity with the landscape of the area and touches on the technical difficulties of being a plein air painter.

Warwick Fuller in his studio with Afternoon sun, Glen Davies

The Capertee Valley was one of the first truly awe inspiring locations in which I painted. That was back in 1976, two years before I started painting full time. I was vaguely mindful of the history of great artists who had made their way into the ramparted protection of this magnificent triassic basin. Robert Johnson, Reg Campbell, Doug Sealy to name a few.

Though I try to not wear out my enthusiasm for this iconic geological marvel, I am drawn back at least once most years. Early on Allan Fizzell and I would camp on the Dunville loop or down near Glen Davis, painting for three or four days at a time. On one trip, when it was raining, I went to Mr Wilson's property 'Tambo' to introduce myself and ask if I may see his Robert Johnson painting. As I pulled up at his gate a flash of late afternoon sunlight broke through. I was out of the van and painting in a flash. A day or two after, I did get to meet Mr Wilson and see that 'Johnson'.

Another early highlight for me was when painting with Robert Simpson in the Valley. Bob painted a little study of morning light that absolutely knocked me out. Along with other early influences, I think that painting unconsciously started my career long struggle to capture the light. I've painted standing in the river during heat waves, I've perched precariously on sandstone cliffs and on car roofs, on steep slopes, in front of mobs of herded cows. I've painted in frosts where the brushes fell out of my hands because of frozen fingers. Rocks have been required to hold my easel down in wind. Flies have tried to carry me away or rearrange my paintings. But it is the enduring joy of being witness to the marvellous light it the valley. The blazing direct summer light on the bluffs, the gentle filtered winter light on pastures and cattle, the long strafing shadows across the valley floor, the reflected glow as the sun dips below the rim.

Change in the Valley (2010), oil by Warwick Fuller

Many artists travel to 'Capertee' these days and their efforts and interpretations are introducing the wider public to this amazing jewel of the Australian landscape. I've seen many changes over the last thirty seven years but the grand valley remains largely unchanged and undiminished. If nurtured by those who care, and we all remain vigilant, our grandchildren will enjoy its beauty as did our grandparents. Other as yet unborn great artists will surely find inspiration here and masterpieces will be created.

For more information about the artist please refer to Warwick Fuller's website:

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