97 episodes

Maria Stoljar talks with Australian painters about how they became an artist, their painting techniques, influences and current work.

Talking with Painters Maria Stoljar

    • Visual Arts
    • 4.9 • 236 Ratings

Maria Stoljar talks with Australian painters about how they became an artist, their painting techniques, influences and current work.

    Ep 97: Jude Rae and ‘424-428’

    Ep 97: Jude Rae and ‘424-428’

    After months of disruption and pessimism wreaked by the global pandemic, seeing Jude Rae's exhibition '424-428' at The Commercial in Sydney was as uplifting as the paintings themselves.

    The towering concrete walls of the gallery would ordinarily overpower an exhibition of five paintings but the exquisite works easily took command of the space. Viewing the exhibition will be an experience I'll never forget.

    The genre of still life has a rich tradition in the history of painting; from those Cézannian apples and Margaret Preston's flowers to the skulls of the Dutch painters reminding us that one day we’re all going to die. They say so much more than mere objects on a table.

    The subjects of Jude Rae's still life paintings, however, aren’t flowers or fruit. They range from gas cylinders and milk crates to plastic buckets, bottles and spaghetti jars. She's attracted to these objects not necessarily because of any intrinsic beauty but because of the potential they present to her as a painter. 'They give me work to do', she says.

    Jude's work is not limited to still life. She's an acclaimed portraitist and has won the Portia Geach Memorial Award for portraiture twice. Last year her portrait of Sarah Peirse was highly commended in the Archibald prize. She also paints mood-filled architectural interiors and both the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia recently acquired excellent examples of those works.

    Jude is a previous podcast guest and you can hear more about her  life and how she became an artist in episode 28.

    We met at the gallery for this interview where I also filmed Jude talking about her work. That video will be online soon.

    You can also see my 2017 video of Jude in her studio here.

    To hear Jude Rae speak with me about her recent work press 'play' beneath the above photo.

    Show Notes

    * Jude Rae* Jude Rae on Instagram

    'SL425', 2020, oil on linen, 112 x 137.5cmPhoto: Felicity Jenkins

    'SL426', 2020, oil on linen, 122 x 137.5cmPhoto: Felicity Jenkins

    'SL427', 2020, oil on linen, 122 x 137.5cmPhoto: Felicity Jenkins

    'SL424', 2020, oil on linen, 112 x 137.5cmPhoto: Felicity Jenkins

    'SL428', 2020, oil on linen, 112 x 137.5cmPhoto: Felicity Jenkins

    Detail of 'SL428' in progress (unfinished)

    'Interior 370 (foyer I)', 2017, oil on linen, 260 x 198cmCollection: Art Gallery of NSW

    'SL189', 2006, oil on linen, 1050 x 1350mm

    Installation view Jude Rae: 424 - 428, at The Commercial, Sydney, 2020 (photo: The Commercial)

    • 39 min
    Ep 96: Scott Bevan on William Dobell

    Ep 96: Scott Bevan on William Dobell

    Reading Scott Bevan’s biography of 20th century artist William Dobell is like viewing one of Dobell’s portraits; Scott takes us behind the exterior of the subject and into their inner life. He just uses words instead of paint.

    Scott is a journalist, TV and radio presenter, musician and biographer. In this podcast interview, I talk with him about the life of Dobell in the context of the changing art world of the 20th century. 

    In particular, we go back seventy seven years to when William Dobell famously won the Archibald Prize with a portrait of his friend Joshua Smith. With less than flattering facial features and elongated arms and neck , the painting was a clear and challenging departure from the more traditional portraits of the previous years.

    Almost every Australian held a view on that painting. Some were excited, some were shocked - others were even angry. In an unprecedented turn of events, two entrants who missed out on the prize started a court action to try to stop Dobell from receiving the prize money. Those events in 1943 would not only change the course of art in Australia but would traumatise Dobell and Smith for years to come.

    In ‘Bill: The Life of William Dobell’, Scott takes us into Dobell’s life through the people who knew him, both in Sydney and in the town of Wangi Wangi where he ultimately found peace from the scrutiny surrounding the events of 1943. Most of all he brings to life the complex artist that was William Dobell with enthusiasm and empathy.

    To hear the podcast episode, click play beneath the feature photo above.

    To purchase a copy of the book click on the book's title in the show notes below.

    Photo: Scott Bevan stands in front of a painting by Susan O'Doherty

    Show Notes

    * Scott Bevan* 'Bill: The Life of William Dobell'* Sir William Dobell* Julian Ashton* George Lambert* Henry Tonks* William Orpen* Joshua Smith* Margaret Olley

    'Bill: The Life of William Dobell' by Scott Bevan

    'Portrait of an Artist (Joshua Smith)' before it was destroyed by fireWinner of Archibald Prize 1943

    'The Duchess Disrobes', 1936, oil on plywood, 35.5 x 27cmCollection: Art Gallery of NSW

    Mrs South Kensington, 1937, oil on wood panel, 38.2 x 33.2cm Collection: Art Gallery of NSW

    'Margaret Olley', 1948, oil on hardboard, 114.3 x 85.7 cm boardCollection: Art Gallery of NSWWinner Archibald Prize 1948

    'Storm Approaching, Wangi', 1948, oil on cardboard on composition board, 32.9 x 56cmWinner Wynne Prize 1948

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Ep 95: Louisa Chircop

    Ep 95: Louisa Chircop

    Creating her work through intuition, Louisa Chircop takes us into another world - the world of her subconscious.

    Dreamlike landscapes containing disembodied limbs, headless figures and mysterious forms - some representational others more abstract - create a surrealist atmosphere which draws the viewer closer to see what the artist has unearthed and portraits take on an extra layer of meaning.

    Her work crosses painting, mixed media, photomontage and sculpture and she has exhibited in nine solos shows. She has won several prizes including the James Gleeson Prize for Surrealism twice and her work was acquired for the Kedumba Collection, one of Australia’s most highly regarded public collections of contemporary drawing. Louisa has also been a finalist in many other prizes including the Portia Geach Memorial Award and the Dobell prize for Drawing.

    Figures and characters from art history also come through in her work and her deep knowledge of the history of art is something she passes on to her university students who she lectures in painting and drawing.

    Recording this interview in Louisa's studio in Sydney was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Her enthusiasm is infectious as you will hear in this interview. To listen to the podcast episode click play beneath the photo above.

    A short video of Louisa in her studio will be uploaded to the Talking with Painters YouTube channel and to this website soon.

    Above photo of Louisa in her studio by Simone Silverman

    Show Notes

    * Louisa Chircop* Louisa Chircop on Instagram* Roy Jackson* Juz Kitson* Hans Bellmer* Kiata Mason* Idris Murphy* Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthy Delights* Philip Guston * Movers and Shapers on Instagram* Hazelhurst Arts Centre

    'Juz Kitson Imitating Venus', 2018, oil on canvas, 220 x 167cm

    'Shower and Demons' (Study for self portrait - A Shower with St Anthony) 2020, mixed media and photomontage on Arches, 76 x 56cm

    'Bacon whispers sweet nothings' (Bacon murmure des mots doux) 2019, mixed media and photomontage on Arches 56 x 76cm

    'Morther Dreaming - right/wrong' 2016, mixed media on Arches, 56 x 76

    'A Garden of Earthly Delights - Happiness is like glass, it soon breaks (Panel 1)', 2017, mixed media and photomontage on Arches, 130 x 102cm

    'Juz Kitson - Love and Interrogation', 2018, oil on canvas, 167 x 130cm

    • 51 min
    Ep 94: William Mackinnon and ‘Learning to love the wind’

    Ep 94: William Mackinnon and ‘Learning to love the wind’

    William Mackinnon is a previous podcast guest. In this episode we talk about his show with Hugo Michell Gallery, 'Learning to love the wind' coming up in a few weeks.

    We also talk about his life in Ibiza, Spain, where he lives with his wife and young son, and how this body of work has developed in these times of change, both global and personal. You can hear more about William's interesting life and work in episode 38 of the podcast.

    I'll be uploading a short video centring around this exhibition to the website, social media and the Talking with Painters YouTube channel soon.

    Upcoming show

    * 'Learning to love the wind', Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide, Australia, 3 September - 3 October 2020


    'The New Family', acrylic oil and enamel on linen, 260 x 200cm

    'Post-traumatic growth', acrylic, oil and enamel on linen, 260 x 200cm

    'Burke and Wills (ii)', acrylic oil and enamel on linen, 200 x 450cm

    'Foggy brain / teething', acrylic oil and enamel on linen, 200 x 300cm

    • 39 min
    Ep 93: Belinda Fox

    Ep 93: Belinda Fox

    Belinda Fox's work is extraordinary. Whether it’s an intricate bird in mid-flight or abstract geometric forms, she combines paint, printmaking, drawing, wax and collage to produce works of great detail and beauty.

    When she was only in her twenties Belinda became a master printer at Port Jackson Press, collaborating with leading Australian artists. It wasn't long before she decided to become a full time artist and since that time she’s won multiple art prizes, been awarded many grants and residencies and has exhibited in over 25 solo shows across the world.

    Primarily working in watercolour, her experience in printmaking has led her to experiment beyond traditional works on paper to produce unique works with an ethereal quality.

    Her upcoming show 'Fragment(ed)' with Gallery Smith in Melbourne opens in July 2020 and her next show will take place in Berlin with Michael Reid in October. Earlier this year she exhibited with Maybaum gallery in San Francisco and she has been with Sydney's Arthouse Gallery since 2003.

    Belinda grew up in the country town of Mildura in Victoria and now lives in the Hague in the Netherlands. We recorded this episode by Zoom during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown.

    We talk about her time as a master printer, why she turned to painting, the grounds of her paintings, her interest in humanitarian issues and when she reflects that in her work, studio life, homeschooling in lockdown and a lot more.

    Click 'play' below the above feature photo to hear the podcast interview.

    Scroll down for a short video with highlights of the podcast interview.

    Upcoming shows

    * 'Fragment(ed)', Gallery Smith, Melbourne, Australia, 23 July - 22 August, 2020* 'Add it Up', Michael Reid Galleries, Berlin, Germany, 16 October - 14 November, 2020

    Show Notes

    * Belinda Fox* Belinda Fox on Instagram* Belinda Fox at Gallery Smith* Belinda Fox at Arthouse Gallery* Belinda Fox at Michael Reid* Belinda Fox at Maybaum Gallery* Port Jackson Press * 'Back to the Start' - Monograph of Belinda Fox* Melinda Schawel* Luke Sciberras* John Olsen* Dorothy Napangardi* Joshua Yeldham* David Larwill* Neville French


    Artist Belinda Fox talks with Maria Stoljar

    'Tapestry VI', 2017, watercolour, drawing, ink on board, 110 x 100cmPhoto: Hein van Liempd

    'The News Pounded I (hard and soft), c2020, watercolour, ink, encaustic wax, drawing on board, 110 x 100cmPhoto: Hein van Liempd

    'Fragment 14', 2020, watercolour, ink, drawing on board, 30 x 29.

    • 45 min
    Ep 92: Tim Maguire

    Ep 92: Tim Maguire

    Tim Maguire is one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, acclaimed internationally for his astonishing large scale paintings. 

    From afar, they are familiar subjects; flowers in a tight composition, translucent grapes, an inquiring snail.

    But up close, multiple layers of transparent paint and a fascinating combination of large brushstrokes and expressive splashes transport the viewer to another world.

    Maguire’s work is held in Australia's major public collections, dozens of corporate and private collections and he has exhibited in over 80 solo shows around the world from France, Germany and the UK to New York and China and right across Australia including a knockout survey show at Newcastle Art Gallery in 2017. His practice also crosses printmaking, light box works and film which were included in that exhibition.

    Travel has also been an essential part of his life as an artist and he has spent a large part of his adult years in Europe, especially the UK and France. He and his wife, artist Adrienne Gaha, now live and work between Australia and France.

    In his exhibition 'Small Worlds' at Martin Browne Contemporary in Sydney, he revisits his earlier interest in 17th century Dutch still life subject matter but with a different approach. Created over the period of the recent Australian bushfires and the onset of coronavirus, the work took on an unexpected significance for the artist which he relates in this interview.

    We talk about his time studying in Europe, his early work, printmaking, his colour separation process and lots more.

    To hear the podcast interview press ‘play’ beneath the above photo or listen however you get your podcasts.

    Scroll down to see a YouTube video of Tim Maguire talking with Maria Stoljar about his exhibition 'Small Worlds' which was held in June 2020 at Martin Browne Contemporary in Sydney.

    Current Show

    'Small Worlds' at Martin Browne Contemporary, current until 21 June 2020.

    Show Notes

    * Tim Maguire* Tim Maguire at Martin Browne Contemporary* Tim Maguire at Tolarno Galleries* Tony Cragg* Jörg Immendorff* Gerhard Richter* Jan Dibbets* Adrienne Gaha* Barnett Newman* Josef Albers* Clement Greenberg* Australian Print Workshop


    Tim Maguire talks with Maria Stoljar about his exhibition 'Small Worlds'

    'Untitled 20200403', 2020, oil on canvas, 202 x 192cm

    Untitled 20200203', 2020, oil on canvas, 162 x 182cm

    Detail of above work, 'Untitled 20200203', 2020, oil on canvas

    'Untitled 94U39', 1994, diptych, oil on canvas 200cm x 400cm, Permanent collection, Art Gallery of NSW

    'Untitled 20070401', 2007, oil on canvas, 180 x 285cm

    'Untitled 20180501, 2018, oil on canvas,

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
236 Ratings

236 Ratings

Coolcat103 ,

So inspirational

I came across ‘Talking with Painters’ about two weeks ago and have been binge listening during lockdown in my studio. Wonderful stories. Great advice. Fabulous to here from Australian artists, young and old. Fabulous!

Mozza265 ,


This is such a great podcast. It’s insight into artists, their backgrounds how they work and think. A great listen particularly when I’m in the studio painting. Inspirational!

ArtChiSG ,

Great listening to get into a creative groove!

Love listening to all the different ways that artists overcome their challenges and make work, especially in the last few months. Thanks for all the insights:)

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