Water­colourist Bruce Grif­fiths talks art

HIGH­FIELDS WATER­COLOUR ARTIST BRUCE GRIF­FITHS CHATS ABOUT IN­SPI­RA­TION, THE RE­GION AND THE BEAUTY OF MAR­RY­ING IT ALL TO­GETHER

Highfields' Own - - Contents - BY CLARE STAND­FAST

“For most of us mere mor­tals, if my brush goes its own way, it is be­cause it was al­ways meant to be,” water­colour artist Bruce Grif­fiths says. “There are no mis­takes in water­colour. “If you think like that, you will loosen up when you paint. “Re­mem­ber, this is fun. “If you stuff it up, and I have plenty of times, it is only pa­per — it is not a sheep sta­tion.”

It could eas­ily be mis­taken as a metaphor for life, but for High­fields artist Bruce Grif­fiths, his pas­sion for water­colour paint­ing is all too real.

With 15 years ex­pe­ri­ence tucked un­der his belt, Bruce has been largely self-taught.

“I said to my wife I would like to paint and she said, ‘why don’t you!’”

“I com­menced my jour­ney as some­one who wanted to paint, but with no real idea how to achieve.

“Since then I have at­tended work­shops that took me to a new level each time — my in­flu­ences have been Robert Wade OAM, Greg Allen, Dave Tay­lor and the bril­liant Joseph Zbukvic, all im­mensely tal­ented and chal­leng­ing artists.”

Bruce at­tends a new work­shop each year, chal­leng­ing him­self and de­vel­op­ing his self-taught skills.

He is semi-in­volved in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, which is of­ten dis­played in his works, com­bined with the sea and coun­try.

Bruce fre­quented the High­fields re­gion for many years vis­it­ing fam­ily be­fore set­tling here a year ago.

“I love the re­laxed life­style — half ur­ban, half coun­try,” Bruce says.

“With its sea­sons, you en­joy the chang­ing colour of our re­gion.

“It’s a per­fect base for travel to all points of the com­pass and a home hub for my art stu­dio.”

With at­mo­spheric tones and con­trolled colours through­out many of his paint­ings, Bruce val­ues sim­plic­ity in art.

“Our task as an artist is sim­ply to di­rect the flow to where we want it [to go],” Bruce says.

“Let it do its thing and then get the heck out of there — it’s as sim­ple as that.

“When it is all said and done my aim is to cre­ate what I see and largely what I feel — the job of the artist is to deepen the mys­tery.”

Bruce has pre­dom­i­nantly ex­hib­ited solo across the Gold Coast, Yamba, Toowoomba and Crows Nest, as well as art demon­stra­tions and art work­shops.

He also does art tu­ition from his stu­dio, and now fre­quents art com­pe­ti­tions and fes­ti­vals in and out of the re­gion.

Bruce be­lieves that you should learn from the best but still de­velop your own style, and his men­tors in­clude Robert Wade OAM and Joseph Zbukvic.

“Both have for­got­ten more than I will ever know!” Bruce says. “Art talks to those who lis­ten.” While there are a great many things

‘‘ Art talks to those who lis­ten.

Bruce can dis­play through his work, he be­lieves that it’s the con­quests of mar­ry­ing all the el­e­ments of a great water­colour — tone, mood, at­mos­phere, light, bal­ance, colour and shapes — that make great art.

“I am try­ing to paint what my heart feels and usu­ally it will con­tain a story,” Bruce says.

“You do not need a thou­sand made up colours — prime colours for mix­ing will pro­duce many shades and hues suit­able for your paint­ings.

“The truth is, you will never com­pletely master ev­ery­thing and that is a great chal­lenge that brings you back to the easel each time, but in art, val­our is best.”

Bruce finds that his favourite paint­ings are the com­plex paint­ings he has com­pleted where he has chal­lenged him­self.

“If they are still with me, I pass them by and shake my head that I ac­tu­ally did them,” Bruce says.

“But, I love the sto­ries that do not need an ex­pla­na­tion sheet — they re­flect most of­ten mankind in some for­mat against the sky or the sea, against the el­e­ments.

“I am try­ing to paint what my heart feels and usu­ally it will con­tain a story.”

For Bruce, the im­por­tance and rea­son­ing be­hind the cre­ation of art varies with each piece.

“There is an adage, ‘don’t sing cheap songs’, and so it is with art,” Bruce says.

“If you’re paint­ing com­mis­sions, it is value for money for your client that is im­por­tant — to cre­ate some­thing that you are proud of and is wor­thy of sale.

“If you are hobby artist, then just have fun, loosen the bounds and en­joy — af­ter all, it is just pa­per and water­colour.”

Bruce cur­rently has works dis­played at the High­fields MET Gallery, Tweed Ul­tima at Tweed Heads, some lo­cal Gold Coast eater­ies and Watling Art Ser­vices, Burleigh Heads.

Visit Bruce’s web­site, www.bruce­grif­fith­swa­ter­colours.com.au to view some of his works. Con­tact Bruce on bru­cen­grif­fiths@ya­hoo.com.au or 0403 346 229. Con­tact the High­fields MET Gallery on 4698 7285.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

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