Joseph Zbukvic - People & Places 2014 - Part I

Joseph Zbukvic‘IN MY GRANDMOTHERS GARDEN’"I revisit this place in my memory many times. I spent my childhood there and every time I think of it memories flood back. I remember seeing a little brown and white mouse in the grass once and all the wild flowers. I had to carry food to the workers in the fields and walked through this meadow on my way. If you look at the figures in the painting, I am on the left carrying my little can with food. I am also the centre figure 50 years later, with my grandfather in a hat next to me. The figure in the background is my grandmother. She's the most influential person in my life and is responsible for me being an artist today. I still love her dearly even though she passed away long ago at the age of 90. She taught me the value of life and of things that matter and made me look at the world with care. This one is for her." Joseph Zbukvic Joseph ZbukvicBARISTAS’ "A scene from my favourite Brunneti Cafe here in Melbourne. I always marvel at the expertise of the baristas. Australians have become world leaders in coffee culture. I love the attention they give to each cup. Their body language makes for wonderful sketching material while I have my usual latte every morning. Another version of this is in the final selection of the worldwide art competition in Paris." Joseph Zbukvic Joseph Zbukvic‘SUNDAY IN PARIS’ "Paris is my favourite city by far. I love painting there and feel totally at home on the Left Bank. This scene is in the Luxembourg Gardens, a large park popular with the Parisians. I was taken by the empty chairs which await someone to sit and read the Sunday paper while catching the spring sunshine. The Eiffel Tower unmistakably identifies it as Paris" Joseph Zbukvic Joseph Zbukvic‘GOLDEN HARVEST’ "This is another childhood memory. I recall the hard work and sweat it took to build these haystacks. I remember my father and his brothers, together with their father cutting the grass with sickles during moonlit nights, it was a magical sight to see these men in a row swish the blades through the wet grass. They worked nights because it was cooler .Today that work is no longer done by hand. They use tractors and machines and the hay bales are round and not very nice to paint." Joseph Zbukvic Joseph Zbukvic ‘MARKET GARDENERS’ "There was a market garden near my grandmother’s house where I used to watch the people working. Their produce was taken to the city and I sometimes accompanied the sellers and watched people giving money for the things they used to take from the garden for free. There are market gardens near Melbourne and I'm a frequent visitor there and still enjoy it as a great subject for my paintings. Field workers are quite bemused by the fact that I want to paint them. I also usually end up with some free tomatoes or lettuce! All in a day’s work..."  Joseph Zbukvic Joseph Zbukvic‘IN THE KITCHEN’ "With all the cooking shows on television, this is a very popular subject nowadays. I enjoy watching people at work no matter what they're doing and they always make wonderful subjects. This scene is helped by the great atmosphere created by the flames and steam coming from the cooking pots. You can also tell that this chef truly enjoys his product! My father always said; never trust a skinny chef..." Joseph Zbukvic Joseph Zbukvic‘SPRING SHOWER’ "Landscapes as a subject were out of favour for awhile. People preferred streets, but now I see a return to the beauty of landscape. As we become more urban as a society, we are starting to appreciate the beauty of nature again. This is one of my favourite painting spots and I venture there quite often and always find beauty in the subject, no matter what time of the year it is. This time I had to finish the painting under an umbrella, but it was worth the effort I think. The property owner has got to know me and now simply waves to me from the yard. This day he came out with a hot cuppa as he felt sorry for me freezing out there. As I say; art is a passport through society..." Joseph Zbukvic Joseph ZbukvicMILKING TIME’ "A quintessential Australian country scene. I was on a painting trip with my friends and while they painted something else, I was taken by this idyllic scene. I don't shy away from what is often termed as, ‘romantic subjects’. There is enough aggression in the world I think and it's nice to return to the peace and quiet sometimes. I particularly like the quality of the evening light coming through the trees. The cows of course, remind me of my childhood days and I love painting them." Joseph Zbukvic

Exhibiting July 2014 at Red Hill Gallery

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