The South Australian Artist
He is a landscape painter and illustrator, capturing scenes from remote areas around South Australia, to record the fast disappearing images found in nature on his canvases. As a biologist he belongs to a volunteer organisation called the Scientific Expedition Group that does biological surveys. During these surveys he sketches and photograph rare plants, animals and geology in the remote parts of South Australia. He uses impressionistic aspects to his paintings. He first started painting in the 70’s after coming to Australia from his home country Canada where he had taught biology in high school. His first painting exhibition was in Canberra in 1982 after going down the Franklin River with a group. Since then, he has been a regular exhibitor in Darwin, Adelaide and Sydney.
He works in the field with collected plant specimens.
He sketches the landforms with pastels.
He takes digital photographs and then paints in oils in his studio.
The range and complexity of his plant illustrations bears witness to his scientific eye. While the larger oil paintings have evolved from a realistic to an impressive style that engages his emotions and imagination for art. To make his art fresh, Andrew uses photography as a memory tool, while the computer has changed the world of image both realistic and manipulative. The vast range of programs allows the user to experiment with colour, sense of aesthetics and graphic imagery.
“It is my love of art that drives me to create paintings of this unusual South Australian landscape that I have been fortune to visit with SEG. For years I taught photography at UNISA but with painting I create something new that express my feelings about the place rather than a snapshot. I recognize it is my ongoing need or desire to grow as an artist.
I download landscape photographs to my computer and then use Photoshop complete the composition for the larger oil paintings. I take my iPad into the field and sketch which gives me a different freedom than the usual colored pastel pencils that I use.”