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?