Joseph Zbukvic – Hidden Treasures 2016 – Part 4

28 By the Billabong


A quintessential Australian scene which I painted with some reservation because I feared I was too obvious and a bit kitschy. However, once I got into it, I really enjoyed it all while accompanied with a song by a pair of magpies to boot! I ended up really liking it and decided to keep it for a while for something special. So here it is. I hope you like it as much. It’s a small work but I think it conveys the majestic gumtree well. I am particularly fond of the water reflection in the dam. Joseph Zbukvic

 29 Late Afternoon, Paris


Everybody loves the beautiful city of Paris. I think it has taken over as the No. 1 subject for artists wanting to paint streetscapes. It used to be Venice but Paris offers more variety and is more relevant in the modern world. The architecture is just stunning as this painting shows. Even though it’s a small work it still manages to portray the majesty of that city. I believe it is the uniform height and colour of the buildings that gives it its individuality. This gives it a unique look of uniformity. The Parisian style is individual and unmistakeable. I hope to keep painting it forever. Joseph Zbukvic

 30 Winter Evening, Melbourne


I love painting the crisp winter light. Even though I sometimes freeze to death painting out there! In winter the angle of the sun always remains relatively low, which provides lovely long shadows. The other benefit of painting in the cooler part of the year is that the paint doesn’t dry too fast which gives me the luxury of extra time to work on the painting. It’s worth freezing to eventually get this result. Joseph Zbukvic

 31 Mending the Nets Venice


Despite centuries of tourism Venice is still a living city and locals carry on with everyday chores even when surrounded by clicking cameras. If one stays away from Saint Marco Square and other popular tourist spots, it’s easy to find things such as this. I have a particular fondness portraying people at work. Today’s modern world has almost forgotten the beauty of manual labour and handmade things. I watched this old fisherman with envy while he was completely absorbed in his task and totally relaxed. We had a chat and a laugh. I treasure that memory. Joseph Zbukvic

 32 Back from Fishing


An artist should tell a story with each painting he does. Painting mere objects creates pictures rather than works of art. It’s obvious the boats and their reflections are the main subject in this piece, but without the figures it would lack a theme. It was good to be able to silhouette them against the sky so they are very visible; however I had to make sure they looked casual and not too obvious as well. A bit of a balancing act. It’s important to me not to overstate anything in my work. All elements in the picture should relate to everything else equally. Joseph Zbukvic

 33 Winter Mooring


I have obtained permission to enter many private properties and clubs in order to paint. This is why we call art a passport through society. This mooring is at a private yacht club and I find that during the week there is hardly anybody there which is a blessing for me, so I don’t have to answer passers-by who usually ask such things as; are you an artist? Yachts and boats are one of my favourite subjects. I particularly like the play of the reflections on the water surface. They are painted last and it’s very satisfying to see the painting finally come together. Joseph Zbukvic

 34 The Homestead at Daylesford


Come to think of it I should have called this a cottage rather than the Homestead. It is quite a humble building. Just like everything else, the original farmhouses are slowly being replaced by modern buildings. I think these old-fashioned houses have a particular charm. They are a home rather than just a house and show traces of generations that have lived there. I was particularly taken by the colour of the roof on this house. It’s the classic Australian corrugated red roof you see everywhere. It takes on a lovely glow in the sunlight which is a joy to paint and a great colour contrast to the green grass and foliage next to it. Joseph Zbukvic

 35 The Last Dash


I discovered horse racing as a painting subject many years ago but I never tire of painting these magnificent creatures. Of course it is impossible to be fast enough to paint them in full flight like this so I rely on photos and memory. This particular piece was done at the races by retaining the memory of that final moment in the race when every effort is made to get across the finish line first. Passersby are bewildered to see me working long after the race is done, with nothing in front of me. I place the final details in, back in my studio. Joseph Zbukvic

 36 Sunny Corner, Carlton


This is one of the few original corners in Melbourne. Progress has taken away many good subjects over the last few years. It’s hard to find buildings with character which have not been touched up and over restored so they look brand new. However my interest in this subject was the afternoon light. The shadows slowly creep onto that wall and I have to paint fast before the entire building is in the shade. Orange detailing around the windows accentuates the warmth of the sun and adds a bit of excitement. Joseph Zbukvic

 37 The Old Steamer


This scene could be from last century but it’s actually a small boat shed in Melbourne where some enthusiasts keep a couple of old steamboats which are lovingly restored. They ferry tourists on them, but I don’t think they care for them, that much. I have spent time talking to them and they have a love for their boats transcending their commercial value. Sadly they tell me the port authority wants them to go and the council complains about safety and such. They are also in the latter stage of their lives and worry about who will take care of the “girls” when they are gone. I hope they do find someone who will. A lot of old stuff like this is disappearing and we will all be poorer for it. Joseph Zbukvic

Zbukvic Signature

Exhibiting July 2016 at Red Hill Gallery

©  Red Hill Gallery


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