X

Blog

Sharing the journey and stories from the present and the past to educate, inform and entertain you.  With the love of nature, the eye for detail, Tony shares his real life ventures into the outback to seek out those rare and hard to find birds and bring them to life in the form of stunning art work.
On Being a Young Artist

Like many artists, my start in the world of art was not an easy one. While my paintings sold well each month at the St Kilda Markets, my marks for art at high school were underwhelming.  My passion and talent for drawing did not translate into anything above the high 60% mark at school. So when I turned up at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) with a lot of fresh-faced hopefuls starting their art career I felt very intimidated….Everyone else seemed to have Distinctions in art – 90% plus was the norm – one girl even had 99%…..That was almost the end of my career before it started.

However I was fortunate enough to be taught by several good teachers in my 5 years at RMIT. When I met Ray Honeysett he encouraged me, giving me both hope and good marks for the first time. Paul Warner, a talented watercolourist, was another who saw my potential and encouraged me to be the best artist I could be.

As a 20 year old I painted a Superb Blue-wren lurking under tree ferns…the reflected light from the foliage onto the breast changed it from white to green. The WASA gate-keepers hated it and gave me a dressing down as the bird should have been blue and white not blue and green! Without the support of these teachers I may not have had the confidence to challenge the WASA (Wildlife Art Society of Australia) establishment with my work.

These set backs were not easy to surmount and gave rise to crises of confidence and self-doubt at times, but I believe they helped forge who I am today. They gave me the resilience I needed to succeed despite what others said. If my stingy art teacher from high school or the WASA naysayers hadn’t been a part of my journey – if all I ever heard was praise – I may never have got as far along the road as I am now. For that I am indeed grateful…..in hindsight at least!

  • On Being a Young Artist
  • On Being a Young Artist
  • On Being a Young Artist

Share this article

The 30 year painting

The 30 year painting

Read More
Cassowary dreaming in the wilds of north Queensland

Cassowary dreaming in the wilds of north Queensland

Read More
The blurry line - bad & contemporary bird art

The blurry line - bad & contemporary bird art

Read More
New Studio

New Studio

Read More
Amazonia

Amazonia

Read More
Colourful birds: Australia vs USA

Colourful birds: Australia vs USA

Read More
Surviving a workshop

Surviving a workshop

Read More
Ray Ching - my mentor and friend

Ray Ching - my mentor and friend

Read More