Art society's summer colours on show

ARTISTS and onlookers alike will get something beneficial out of the Warrnambool Artists’ Society’s summer show.

For the audience, they get to see a varied display of south-west landscapes, with 35 artists exhibiting 78 works.

For the artists, there is some valuable feedback from exhibition judge and Mortlake artist Alan Wood that will hopefully help them grow and evolve as all artists hope to do, society vice-president Tim Walker said.

The exhibition, which is called Local Scenes, covers a wide range of media, running from oil and watercolour to lino cuts.

The paintings take in many familiar landscapes and seascapes from across the south-west.

Walker said getting good criticism could be more valuable than winning a prize.

“(Wood) had some quite insightful comments,” Walker explained.

“He visited for about an hour to consider his verdict and it was a very close decision.

“He said there were a lot of mid-range artists whose work was pretty good but were let down by minor flaws.

“I remember Robert Ulmann telling me to make my paintings a bit more colourful, saying they were too sombre.

“At first I thought ‘what’s he talking about?’ but when I thought about it for a while I realised he was right.”

Walker said Wood was generally impressed with the quality of work and hoped his constructive criticism would be of value to the artists.

In his comments, Wood touched on his philosophy of painting: “You should be able to go down to the rubbish tip and make a painting of seagulls feeding off the garbage that people would love to hang on the wall — your mastery of technique can transform the subject of a painting,” he wrote.

The Warrnambool Artists’ Society’s summer show has only been running for a few years and this is the first year where it has been judged, Walker said.

“It’s exciting entering a show that’s being judged — everyone knows the judgements are idiosyncratic and intensely personal but there’s still that recognition and thrill,” he said.

Wood’s decision on the $100 prizewinner and $50 second place will be announced on Sunday at 2.30pm.

Until then, the exhibition is open every day at Merri View Gallery at 2 Coramba Court, Warrnambool, from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

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