I started painting as a child and won a prize in the ‘Herald Art Awards’ when I was still young.
My interest in art and oil painting grew over the years but never amounted to anything serious until 1978 when I began a two-year art course at the Casuarina Community College in Darwin. My tutor taught me a sense of colour which has stayed with me throughout my painting career. I work in an Impressionist Style and love texture, form and colour and this comes out in my work. During the next ten years I painted many landscapes and flowers and sold all those paintings privately.
My first public exhibits were at the Keep Australia Beautiful Art Exhibition in Darwin in 1989. I held two solo exhibitions at The Performing Arts Centre, Beaufort Hotel, Darwin in 1989 and 1990. These were both very successful and gave me the incentive to continue with my painting.
During 1990, Willem and I ran an Outback Gallery at the historic Adelaide River Railway Station, Northern Territory. There I painted full time and sold many small paintings over a twelve-month period.
I painted in acrylic medium for a period of 5 years when we ran a Craft business. We specialised in producing Australiana two dimensional art pieces for use in homes.
After settling at Peterborough, South Australia, I resumed painting in oils and have recently exhibited at The Living Artists Exhibition at Terowie, The Hawker Art Exhibition, the Clare Rotary Exhibition and Burra Gallery. I was a founding member of ‘ The Painters of the Flinders Ranges ‘ Art Group. In 2002 I exhibited at the Back to Beltana Exhibition, at the inaugural ‘ Painters of the Flinders Ranges ‘ exhibition at the Wilpena Woolshed and at the 21st Hawker Art Exhibition. From 2003 though to 2008 I have exhibited at Wilpena, Hawker, Burra, Clare, Cradock and Peterborough. By the middle of 2004 my sea change came along as I started to experiment with water colours and have thoroughly enjoyed tackling this new dimension in my art.
I have, with the help of a committee, established the annual Peterborough Art Prize Exhibition and the inaugural exhibition was held over the Easter period in 2004. It was a resounding success. Exhibitions have been held since then in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Willem and I have now retired from the Peterborough Art Prize Committee but we are still in the background if needed
Together Willem and I have been instrumental in establishing the Peterborough Regional Art Centre. This facility has been created by leasing the old Peterborough Kindergarten Building and grounds, from the District Council of Peterborough for a five year period. You may access the Art Centre’s website at www.prac.org.au
The Flinders Ranges and the Outback of this country, with its splendid form and colours, inspire me to paint.
I was appointed as a Board Member of Country Arts, South Australia and later also to the Arts Grants Assessment Panel within the same Board, in 2007.
I have been instrumental in organising and seeing through all of these workshops over the pastyears.
OIL WORKSHOP by Roland John Weight. This workshop was held at Lake Hall and 15 artists attended and learned new techniques from Roland’s loose painting style.
PASTEL WORKSHOP with Gerald Moore. This workshop was the first one to be held at the Peterborough Regional Art Centre. A group of 16 artists attended from the district and as far away as Adelaide.
MIXED MEDIA WORKSHOP with Heather Parker. The workshop was attended by 11 artists who enjoyed the challenge of trying different mediums and techniques.
HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS for Kids. A total of 12 workshops for shool children were held during January 2006. The activities included Cardmaking, Macrame, Painting, Poster Making, Kite Making and Kite Flying, Quilling and Folk Art. These workshops were conducted by Heather Parker, Judith Kempen, Helen Davies, Willie Kempen, Des Parker, Todd Jenkins, Julianne Murphy and Bridget Jenkins.
WATERCOLOUR WORKSHOP by Graham W Smith. This two day workshop was attended by 12 local and intrastate artists. They enjoyed a very informative and productive weekend.
MOSAIC WORKSHOP: Uniting Care Wesley hosted a Mosaic Workshop in March 2006 over a period of 3 weeks with the help of a professional tutor. In that time the 10 participants created a permanent mosaic work depicting a waterfall, on a feature wall within the grounds of the Peterborough Regional Art Centre.
PAINTING WORKSHOP: Youth Sector Network, April 2006. Heather Parker conducted this workshop and it was enjoyed by all who attended
COLLAGE WORKSHOP: with Roland John Weight. This workshop was a huge success and the 13 people who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves cutting and pasting.
CREATIVE VOLUNTEERING WORKSHOPS over two days, in conjunction with Regional Arts Australia were held in May 2006. The topics covered were Plan and Program Events and Undertaking Marketing. There were 9 attendees who gained valuable insight into these fields.
CRAFTY KIDS DEMONSTRATION by Tricia Hooper presented in June 2006. There were 8 participants from both the art and craft groups
DRAWING WORKSHOP by Julianne Pulford There 15 participants and we learned more
QUILLING WORKSHOP by Sister Julianne Murphy of St Josephs School. There 7 participants who eceived instruction on quilling
POSTER WORKSHOP by myself. There were 5 participants
ACRYLIC WORKSHOP by Jan Pana for Uniting Care Wesly “Picture This” project on 30 January 2007. There were 11 participants.
LIFE DRAWING: Presented by Joan Faith McDonald of Laura. This workshop was held over the weekend of Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th March 2007. Nine participants attended. The first Day was a Practical Workshop and the second day a Live Model was present. All artists excalimed that the Life Drawing added a new dimension to their art.
A WEEK OF ART INDULGENCE: The week of Art Indulgence was presented by myself and Willie and enjoyed as we went into the Outback of the Flinders Ranges to paint or sketch. The venue was Warraweena Station Conservation Park, which lies 26km east of the historic town of Beltana. This event was be held from 30 April to 6 May 2007. Seven local and regional artists attended and they were assisted by two artist spouses, who took them to vantage points in Four Wheel Drive vehicles. Every evening a Show and Tell was held whereby the days works were presented to all. Around 40 paintings were done over the week long event. The group stayed at the refurbished Warraweena Homestead which is perched on a hill with Sliding Rock Creek below. We experienced absolute perfect weather and most nights were spent sitting around the campfire talking art.
HANGING WORKSHOP: This workshop was presented by Kirstie Jamieson, Director of the Port Pirie Gallery. Kirstie demonstrated how to handle works of art, from unpacking to the final hanging, all to National Gallery standards.
PICTURE THIS: This workshop was presented Unting Care Wesley as a gambling awareness project. Jan Pana ran the workshop on ‘How to Paint a Concept’. All works created were sent to Port Pirie where a selection were purchased and became part of a statewide collection on tour.
PRINT WORKSHOP: Tricie Hall of Peterborough conducted a 2 day print workshop on 28 and 29 July 2007 from 10am to 4pm each day.
MASKAPADES with Annie Luur Fox. Maskmaking at its best. All participants had a wonderful time being creative.
BOTANICAL DRAWING by Erica Stoner. Unfortunately I missed being participant in this one.
MOSAIC WORKSHOP: This workshop and project was sponsored by Country Arts SA. Sixty Four square concrete tiles were filled with mosaic bits to encompass a billabong within the confines of the old Kindy sandpit. It took 6 learner mosaic artists 26 working days to complete the project. Michael Tye, well known South Australian Mosaic Artist, conducted the workshop at the Regional Art Centre from 12 October to 15 October 2007. He passed his expertise on to the willing learners, who took great pride in completing the project
SAND PAINTING WORKSHOP: A concept by Willie Kempen and funded through the Community Art Painting of 2007, this small workshop was held in January 2008. The design was the work of student Ian Oates Jnr, then of St Josephs School. Work on the project was conducted by Barry Newton, Ian Oates Jnr and Christian Oates, under the supervision of Willie Kempen. We used garden Scoria as a medium and a variety of Oxides and paint in powder-form for the first part of the project. It is all experimentation on our behalf and a lot of fun doing it.We hope to add on to the painting at a later stage.
A WEEK AT WARRAWEENA: This workshop was a follow on from the 2007 event and included seven days of art inspiration, situated in the beautiful Flinders Ranges, at Warraweena Station Conservation Park. A huge variety of subjects to paint including trees, hills, gorges, waterholes, historic buildings and mine relics from yesteryear
MAKE A BAG: Margaret Ball showed us how to make a most attractive and practical bag from recycled fabrics. A work sheet was provided to all participants in advance.
ACRYLIC AND OIL PAINTING with Roland Weight. Once again Roland showed us ways to improve our art with very precise and caring tutoring.
‘BEAT YOUR OWN DRUM‘ with Jayne Bishop provided an insight into West African Music. These workshops were suitable for all ages and genders. The workshops were run over a 5 week period. The drums were be made on the final weekend workshop on the 6th & 7th September and a good variety of drums were made by the enthusiastic drummers. We all learned a new craft.
ART AT THE HEART National Art Conference in Alice Springs October 2008. I attended this conference as a Delegate for Country Arts SA
LANDSCAPE DRAWING in pen and ink 4 day workshop at Wirrealpa Station in the Flinders Ranges.
PETERBOROUGH COUNTRY MARKETS: I brought the local Peterborough Country Markets into being in July of 2008 and it has grown from strength to strength in 2009 and 2010. It is an open market where anything may be sold. There are indoor and outdoor stalls. The market is held every 3rd Saturday of the month at the Peterborough Regional Art Centre.
BURRA ART GROUP 4 day painting trip on the banks of the Murray River near Morgan.
CREATIVE STIMULUS 2 day workshop at Murray Bridge
BURRA ART GROUP 4 day painting trip on the banks of the Murray River near Morgan.
ART ON THE MOVE: 10 weeks of painting whilst out camping in the Far North of South Australia, Northern Territory, Western Queensland and Far North Queensland
WATERCOLOUR WORKSHOP with Alan Louis Ramachandran at Burra
OIL WORKSHOP with Roland Weight at Burra
PAPER MACHE WORKSHOP with Ruth Rees and Pam Thorne at Peterborough
TAMBO TEDDY BEARS PICNIC: We got involved at Tambo, Queensland after hearing a program on ABC Radio and went to help with the project
200o to 2014
I have been creating and making cards for the past 14 years now which I then sell to various businesses or at the Markets. It is another dimension oif my Art and a very satisfying hobby
COMMUNITY GARDEN BENCH-TOP MOSAIC: Maitie Hitchock and I got involved with this project with some others to create bench-tops for the tables at the Community Garden
ART IN OUR GARDEN
We both have artistic natures and have come up with a host of ideas to make our personal garden a beautiful place to enjoy. We bought our cottage in 1999 and started our garden from scratch as it was basically devoid of plants except for two Almond trees, a Kurrajong tree, a small Lemon Tree, a Rosebush and weeds of all manner including Marshmallow, Calthrop and Three Corner Jacks. We contracted a bloke to remove 25mm off the top of the yard with a Front-End Loader and then we went looking for good soil to topdress the proposed garden. About 50 trailer loads of soil later and a lot of sweat, saw to the beginning of our endeavour.
ART IN THE GARDEN PROJECTS
ART PRIZE ENTRIES by Willem Kempen