Joseph Zbukvic – Hidden Treasures 2016 – Part 2

10 Milking Time


I use cattle and animals as actors in my work quite often. If you look at their positions and posture you can see how they direct your eye through the picture plane. By making some look directly out front it engages the viewer. I don’t overdo the detailing either or it can look a bit kitschy. If you can imagine this scene without the cows, it’s easy to see how important they are. All elements in painting are like notes in music. The way they relate to each other creates the tune. Alone they are a single note with no rhythm or melody. Brushstrokes are useless marks when on their own, but they can convey a plethora of moods depending on their arrangement on paper. Joseph Zbukvic

 11 Casting Off


The direction of boats can signify if they are coming into port or casting off for a sail. I used the smoke from the engine and the man in the boat to convey this message. In reality there was nobody there and the scene lacked actors. I often do this and many times what I imagine actually occurs. Moments after I finished this that boat did go out! I had to smile when it happened. Once I imagined a lady hanging out sheets on a washing line of a cottage I was painting, sure enough she came out with a basket the moment the thought came into my mind! Amazing! Joseph Zbukvic

 12 Sailing Albert Park Lake


For most people this lake in Melbourne has become synonymous with car racing and it is a hub of activity and noisy racing machines once a year. However after that’s all cleared away it returns to a delightful quiet place where locals picnic and enjoy watching small sailing boats gently navigate its waters. I have loved it as a subject for many years and never fail to return with a painting after a visit. The city in the background gives it a modern feel as a contrast to the idyllic scene that could be from last century. The reflection of that sail was quite a task to execute in a single go. I think it came off really well, but you be the judge. Joseph Zbukvic

 13 Springtime


I tried to achieve that fresh feel of spring in this piece. I painted this on a perfect day while accompanied by a song of magpies from that tree. I take my 1956 classic Triumph sport car on my outings and truly enjoy my time painting. It’s a solitary profession and can be very lonely and sometimes frustrating, but I wouldn’t last a day working in an office. When the painting is done I sit back and enjoy the scene and sponge in the feeling of the place, so I can see if the painting reflects the same feeling. I am pleased with the way this one speaks of spring sunshine on your back. Joseph Zbukvic

 14 Paris Skyline


Another view from my hotel room in Paris. It’s an irresistible subject and quite often I simply stay in my room all day and paint. I love the chimneys of Paris and often wonder what it was like when they all had smoke coming out? I’m fairly sure you are not allowed to burn open fires there any more due to pollution worry. Pity! It would make a great painting subject! In this case I was actually more interested in the street below with its shadows but I feel the roofs are an innocent focus of this work. Joseph Zbukvic

 15 Summer Pasture, Bathurst


I painted this on Australia Day and it’s an entirely appropriate piece to celebrate this great country of ours. It’s a quintessential “Streetonesque” Australian scene of golden plains and blue horizons. It was a difficult painting to do due to extreme heat. Watercolour is not easy to use in hot weather as it dries rather quickly. However this also makes you paint briskly so you produce fresh spontaneous work. I was particularly pleased with the sky. When I began it was threatening to rain so I had an extra reason to hurry. The farmer came down to see what I was up to. He thought I was a buyer as the property was for sale. I just prayed that he wouldn’t notice the for sale sign I had “borrowed” to paint on. Joseph Zbukvic

 16 Going Fishing


I was a fisherman in my childhood. I still cast in a line every now and then. There is something very relaxing about fishing, but it can also be exciting when you catch a good one. Fishermen also make great subjects because they stay still for a long time. This is a jetty at Apollo Bay and very popular with locals. I was taken by the sky and the boatyard in the background so this time the fishermen served to provide a good foreground lead into the picture. Joseph Zbukvic

 17 Correct Change


I have been travelling to Dordogne for some years now and have become a familiar figure at this market place. I got to know some of the locals and shared their everyday moments. This lady was one of those difficult customers and I had to laugh at Jean-Luc watching her dole out the precise amount of coins for just the one tomato she did buy! After she left he turned to me and said she made his life a misery every time, but he liked her and looked forward to seeing her, without her it would be just another boring day at the market. Smart man.

 18 The Green Awning


This building is across the road from my hotel and it’s where I have my regular breakfast sitting under that awning. Naturally it also makes a great subject. Paris has many corners like this. They remind me of a ship’s bow sailing into the mist. There is one thing I don’t like about painting in Paris and that is the endless windows! They have to be painted and there’s just so many! If you look closer you can see that I only indicate the detail on them, otherwise I’d be there for hours doing each one. Joseph Zbukvic

Zbukvic Signature

Exhibiting July 2016 at Red Hill Gallery

©  Red Hill Gallery

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