I recently visited The National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra for the Renaissance Exhibition. This collection of paintings from Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Italy, features work from the 15th and 16th centuries. I found this exhibition most interesting, especially the transition of work from the Gothic to the Renaissance periods. The introduction of oil paint and perspective resulted in more life-like work with greater depth. Some of the sensitive detail on display is awesome! The craftsmanship, dedication and intent (by the artists) on display is a wonderful example for those passionate about their art. While at the gallery I viewed the majority of the other work on display and I was impressed with what I saw.

I loved viewing Pollock’s ‘Blue Poles’ once again and seeing the work of such greats as Brancusi, Magritte, Monet, Warhol, Arp, and Picasso among a host of other notable masters. Let us not forget the many wonderful Australian artists on display such as Rees, Roberts, Blackman, Dobell, Drysdale, Williams, Olsen and Smart, for example. But where were examples of coloured pencil painting? There were none to be seen. Why is this so? Isn’t cp good enough or is it that cp artists aren’t ‘standing up and being counted’. I’m not sure what the reason is, but the answer is quite simple.

We (cp artists) need to raise the profile of coloured pencil in Australia. The question is, do we want to?


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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6 Responses to RENAISSANCE?

  1. bellindb says:

    Good article Richard, glad you enjoyed the exhibition i was hoping to get down there but i dont think i will make it.

    Interesting point, not sure why we wouldn’t want to tho?

    I would say the quality of pencils wouldnt have been too great in those days, which is why alot of people still carry the connotation that pencils work is somewhat inferior, many are suprised that the standard these days is equal to that of any other artists pigment.

    • artkleko says:

      You are quite right Belinda, regarding the ‘stigma’ of pencils, but cp artists need to promote their work more by challenging the traditional mediums in art awards. I don’t think that there’s enough ‘intellectual’ cp work out there.

  2. Edna says:

    Hi Richard, At the local level, today I visited the Glover exhibition and there was a coloured pencil on coloured ground canvas included by Wendy Black, – No. 3 if you have a look. I don’t think though that it promoted the use of coloured pencils – rather than presented an unusual use of them.

  3. Hi Richard

    Am with you there re: raising the profile of coloured pencil art! I’ve often thought about the possibility of perhaps an Aussie exhibition just of cp work. The logistics of it though is enormous and at this stage, I just don’t have the time to organise it myself. But if someone else would like to take up the challenge, I could certainly gather together some artists from around my part of the country (i.e. QLD, Northern NSW). What we need is a large grant! Anyone specialize in writing grant applications? An exhibition in Sydney could work, sort of a halfway point for the Eastern states anyway!

    So there’s something to think about for all you pencil artists! Can we make it happen?


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