Watercolourist Bruce Griffiths talks art
HIGHFIELDS WATERCOLOUR ARTIST BRUCE GRIFFITHS CHATS ABOUT INSPIRATION, THE REGION AND THE BEAUTY OF MARRYING IT ALL TOGETHER
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 0403 346 229. Contact the Highfields MET Gallery on 4698 7285.