Joseph Zbukvic’s current exhibition at Red Hill Gallery showcases his stunning paintings from all over the world. A master in watercolour his atmospheric renderings accurately depict the mood of many romantic cities. Whimsically portraying the sensitivity and emotion of his subject matter Zbukvic will seduce you into another world. Make sure you visit the gallery in Brisbane to check out his latest body of work in his exhibition “Hidden Treasures“.
“Every artist has special paintings hidden somewhere in the studio. Some works have that elusive magic which we constantly try to achieve. As artists, we hate selling those works quickly and usually keep them in the bottom drawer for a special occasion, whether that be an exhibition or art competition. For this exhibition at Red Hill Gallery, I have raided this drawer to find these hidden treasures. It is time for them to be seen. In the end that’s their purpose; to be enjoyed.” Joseph Zbukvic
AC: What is the inspiration behind your exhibition title ‘Hidden Treasures’?
JZ: We all have precious things we like to treasure. They may be just simple material object, such as a shell or a pebble, but they are connected to memories of special moments. My paintings and sketches are mostly done painting Plein air, and therefore when I look at each work I recall the time spent doing it. The reason for keeping some of them is not necessarily that they are unusual works, it’s just that I treasure the time I spent doing them. However, paintings are not meant to sit in a drawer, they come alive by being enjoyed. Hence the title…
AC: Do you find any one subject more compelling to paint than another?
JZ: Not really. I cover a variety of subjects when I paint. My main inspiration in painting any subject is the quality of light. The same subject can look totally different depending on the time of day and the season.
AC: Has water colour always been your chosen medium?
JZ: Actually I started with oil and acrylic as a medium in my youth, but once I discovered watercolour there was no turning back. It’s a magic medium with a life of its own. It still holds surprises and keeps me intrigued after all these years.
AC: Who or what first inspired your love of painting?
JZ: I like to think art chooses you, rather than the other way around. I see too many people who decide to become an artist and never really become one. However, I must say that my love of drawing as a child, with anything on any surface, was first recognised by my grandmother. She was the first person to encourage it and gave me my first set of coloured pencils when I was four. It has been a wonderful journey since.
AC: Your paintings show scenes from all over the globe, where do you enjoy travelling to the most?
JZ: Recently I have discovered China and really like the culture and scenery there. It is an amazing country with ancient customs mixed in with the latest technology. It is also the birth place of watercolour. However having said that, I still love Europe the most. I grew up there and have a fundamental connection to it. I could live in Paris tomorrow.
AC: You capture special moments in each of your paintings, what does painting mean to you?
JZ: Well, that is a question and answer in one. It is who I am. I often say that I just paint and all else comes after that. I have actually tried to take a break from painting a few times, only to find that I lasted no more than three or four days!
AC: If you weren’t a painter, what career would you have pursued?
JZ: I can’t imagine being anything else but I do love making things with my hands. In my spare time I repair things and do handy work. My daughters nicknamed me Mr. Fix it. I would be happy as a carpenter, a builder, or tradesman in any field as long as I made things to look at and use. I’d be no good at paperwork and figures.
AC: If you could stop time, what moment in time would you stop?
JZ: There are many moments in history that seem ideal at a glance, but I’m sure they were not wonderful for everyone at the time. We talk of good old days, but while Michelangelo did his miraculous work, there were peasants living in total squalor and ignorance. Every moment is precious and worth living. The very precariousness of it is the beauty of living a full life.
“Hidden Treasures” an exhibition of outstanding water colour paintings by Internationally Acclaimed Water Colourist Joseph Zbukvic continues at Red Hill Gallery, 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill, Brisbane until Sunday 24 July 2016.