Biography

In God’s Own Country, I have grown up, lived and painted in THE most wonderful parts of North Queensland as well as in the Northern Territory. These areas encompass the widest diversity of landscape – dry, fertile and tropical aspects for which Australia is renowned – and also its pioneering history.

Due to northern isolation, and limited art opportunities earlier in my artistic development, I am mainly a self-taught watercolourist and oil painter in the traditionalist/realist style. I have also worked in many other mediums such as pastel, acrylics, silkscreen printing, pen and ink etc.

Art opportunities are now abundant in our area but recognition, so far from a capital city, is still hard to come by, and certainly needs active personal promotion. Nonetheless, my artworks are featured in public, private and corporate collections in Queensland, interstate and overseas.

My obvious fascination with old buildings goes much deeper than simply the presentation of something picturesque. As a keen conservationist, in the general sense, I see people as just another part of the ecology, and their buildings as shelters for their kind. These shelters are, to me, the symbol of people’s presence in the landscape – portraying their triumphs, defeats and ongoing struggles against the forces of nature. I maintain they have as much right to be there as have the shelters of birds and animals.

I find I am painting the death of various regions around my beloved country. Old buildings are being torn down because they are considered inappropriate or eyesores, but the real eyesores are the obscene concrete towers and the block boxes people are now forced to live in. To most, this spells ‘progress’ and therefore must be good, but to me it is a tragedy. I want to celebrate the spirit of the last frontiers as they inevitably come tumbling down; to try to preserve in my paintings the spirit of the old buildings and their people – the determined people who lived and worked in these areas through hard times.

Always fascinated by the play of light on virtually everything, I use light and shade to add depth and glowing realism to my work. Artists are a strange lot, or is it that we have learned to be more responsive to beauty? Who else but an artist can get excited about the play of light over a dirty rubbish bin hit by golden sunrays in an otherwise dark alley?

Through the years, I have been fortunate, but also through hard work, to have achieved more than 40 awards in recognised art competitions, all of which are not necessarily listed on my website. As well, since the early 70s, I have had many solo exhibitions in Darwin, Brisbane and Cairns, and have shown in numerous small group exhibitions throughout Australia.

Some years ago, after ten years of operation, I sold my gallery to allow myself greater freedom for travel. Travel is important for my work since I need to experience a place, to develop a feeling, an affinity, for my subject. Besides in Australia, my travel has also taken me to most corners of the world, and I have been pleasantly surprised by how enthusiastically my solo exhibitions, on my return, have been received.

However, I have also worked on commissions where the family home, for instance, no longer exists, and I then need to paint from other people’s photographic references.

I find it wonderful that the public has assigned me the tag of ‘Queen of the Rusty Iron’ and that they refer to old shacks, cottages and houses as ‘Ludij Pedens’. I feel that somehow I have opened their eyes a little with my paintings.

I now work from my home studio, continuing to find inspiration, paint originals, and sell prints, in the idyllic historic village of Yungaburra, on the beautiful tranquil Atherton Tablelands, in Far North Queensland. If you are up our way, and you’d like to visit my studio, call first on (07) 40953735 or mob. 0419 024 218 to arrange a time.