"Windjana Gorge" - Acrylic on Canvas
Wayne McGowan - Artist
It’s terrific to be able to share some samples of my work along with background information on what has influenced and inspired my art journey. Like many others, my artistic journey has taken shape over decades rather than years. Despite my stop-start journey as I juggled competing priorities, I’m happy to be where I am and still on this incredible ride.
My earliest influence was my family. Although not involved in art, my parents were keen to encourage my curiosity. I remember putting model figures together and my parents buying hobby paints so I could decorate them. Overall, I have positive memories of drawing and painting as a kid. Another positive influence I recall was one of my primary school teachers. I really enjoyed his art lessons, especially when he brought his pen and ink drawings to school and told us about his different techniques.
"Winter Warmth" - Watercolour
My more formal art journey started when I undertook my teacher training in the 1970s and chose to major in art education. I was very excited when one of my oil paintings on hardboard was selected to be in the Western Australian Teachers’ Union art exhibition. It was a very experimental piece that involved a combination of oil paint and everyday materials.
A few years later, while teaching full-time, I decided to complete a Bachelor of Education. Again, my focus was on art and art education. During this time, I met Gareth Morse, a wonderful artist and teacher who inspired me to continue my art journey. I did the best I could, but progress was slow as the day to day demands of family life and a full-time teaching career were, at times, all-consuming. I managed to find time to complete the occasional work and recall when working as the principal of a one-teacher school in a wheatbelt town, I managed to sell a drawing of the local hotel at an exhibition of artwork held during the machinery field day. It was my first sale!
"Look at Moi" - Watercolour
While I have never presented my work in a solo exhibition, I have exhibited in many communities organised exhibitions from Rockingham to Wanneroo. During these shows, I have been fortunate enough to sell some of my work, the most exciting time being the WASA Annual Art Exhibition in 2023, where I sold three of the four paintings I had on show.
As the children grew and I transitioned from teaching and lecturing to retirement, I discovered the Tresillian Art Centre in Nedlands. Since first enrolling in Tresillian in 2013 I have been a regular attendee at a variety of classes. As an educator by profession I appreciate the importance of teaching and learning. When I reflect on the growth of my artistic ability over the past decade, some of the marvellous tutors deserve special acknowledgement. The amazingly talented Judy Rogers introduced me to portrait painting. A focus and love that I still have today. The portrait of my granddaughter “Lily” included in this collection was done in acrylics. Then Sue Hibbert has inspired me to think loose and free with watercolours. While quite a different medium to acrylics, Sue has shown me the importance of capturing light in watercolours. Knowledge I now make use of in all my work. And then there is Ian De Souza who has helped me hone my drawing skills. In addition, Ian has enhanced my understanding of composition and colour theory. I owe a lot to these wonderful artists for passing on their knowledge and skills.
Thanks again for this opportunity to share my work and you can follow me on Instagram: @waynemcgowanart.