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New Beginnings Diane McDonald

Image: "New Beginnings" by Diane McDonald


From Noosa to Brisbane and down to the border and back what does south-east Queensland mean to you?

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Image: "Breathe" by Rochelle Alahendra


Chiaroscuro: Beauty in Contrast

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Abstract Exhibition

6th Feb - 23rd Feb 2018

The RQAS Abstract Exhibition opened last night with over 40 artists exhibiting over 70 works, we have been overwhelmed by the talent and variations with which the artists responded to this exhibition. Thank you to all those who attended, particularly we would like to thank Beverley Tainton for curating the show and our gallery hanging team and of course our judge Elizabeth Duguid who had the difficult task of selecting our winners.

Elizabeth Duguid has provided the following comments and conclusions. 

Walking into the Gallery I was hit with walls filled with loads of colour and creativity, which was a great start.
 As an artist who loves colour, I was instantly drawn to that work first and noticed that a number were marked as not for judging. So after enjoying those,  my eye was drawn to the variety of media and approach of the other work.

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This December 10th Petrie Terrace Gallery and Aspire Gallery have joined forces to bring you the best artist and artisan markets for Christmas, pop by the two locations to pick up the perfect gift for family or friends. Have a Devonshire tea at Petrie Terrace Gallery and take in the RQAS Christmas Exhibition or watch an artist demonstration!

When: Sunday, December 10th 8am-2pm

Where: Petrie Terrace Gallery and Aspire Gallery

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Judged by Scott Maxwell

Section 1 Works on Canvas and Board

First Prize
ROBIN FINLAY “Bunty” oil on board
What a wonderful use of colour! It gels well. The gold leaf background, the detailed
decorative frame and her dress. Having a red underlay on the gold leaf brings out the
best boost for a bright glow. The subtle use of light and shade and a very painterly
modulation of paint texture gives good composure to the subject matter. And what a
quirky position to sign the painting. I am assuming that the artist is someone who is
strong, confident and quite bold ~ not merely a person who is content with hiding
behind a painting.

2nd prize
GAYLE REICHELT “Storm Surge” resin
Good use of medium achieve a controlled chance effect ~ it really does resemble what
we perceive as a surging storm.

MIKE WHITE “Donkey At Marrakech” acrylic on canvas
Good strong confident brush strokes with a striking, rich colour palette that exudes the
vibrant streets flavours, walls and atmosphere that is Morocco. The placement of the
strong harsh shadows give the painting a dynamic composition and accentuate the
focal points.

Section 2- Works on Paper

First Prize
ROBYN BAUER “Watercolourist at Work” ink on paper
What appears to look like a traditional, representational work of art from a distance
portraying the quintessential Queenslander on a very bright sunny day with harsh,
contrasty shadows, glary tin roof. However, when one gets closer, a more looser,
whimsical style becomes apparent. Just like a gestural drawing - there are no straight
lines, no overdone line work to tighten up the overall feel.
The technique is suggestive ~ highlights are created to achieve the composition ~ not
contrived by being contained within the line work. Look closely at the trunk of the
unmistakable Poinciana tree and with the loose line work, loose wash and sunlight
white are quite abstract and exude character.
The overall composition is like a photograph taken by an ordinary person who has
plonked the focal point (the watercolorist) directly in the centre, neatly framed by
branches ~ this is a big NO NO ~ however, it works and it works well. You can almost
detect the age of the old bloke, in his concentrative stance, from his silhouetted rear
I enjoyed the lack of detail, such as the absence of twigs, leaves, bushes, grass,
weatherboards, garden chair, corrugated tin and un-uniformed palings . Yet it is all there…
in suggestion. All the elements add up to a well mastered, yet understated work of art.

2nd prize
KATH DEMPSEY “You’ll Come to the Cliffs – Searching for Footholds in the Mind” etching
A very nice, uncluttered presentation highlighting a swirling mass of human shapes.
The colour work is well matched with the simple, stained wooden frame. It entices the
viewer to look more closely to wonder at what they are doing AND why they are doing it?

CHRISTINE KIRKEGARD “Creek Embankment, Springbrook in Situ”
Nice understated use of colour. Good use of colour. Good use of white space to
accentuate the form of the embankment and suggestion of trees. The beauty of this
work is that the viewer fills in the picture frothier respective imaginations. The artist
provides the starting point.

Section 3 Photography & Digital Media

First Prize
MARKSMAN  In Arc Pelle Humana (In This Human Skin) “triptych” photo panels
You won it because you are weird… but wonderful. The placement of the panels was
spot on to achieve the effect of the overall composition. The repeated and altered cast
shadow design with scribble patch obviously tells a story… what story the viewer begs
to ask. It connects the images with a contemporary slant and appears to have an
indigenous spirituality (with a Rover Thomas layout).
This triptych could work just as well at postage stamp size or conversely, enlarged to fill
a factory wall space. This artwork begs clarification, theme, purpose and story
and hopefully, the Marksman will interpret the intent.

2nd prize
NICOLA DUNCAN “Cactus Dance”
This work utilises digital technology in an effective way ~ it almost looks like a very fine,
overworked, repetitively detailed work that seems to be too laborious to be hand painted
with a triple 0 sable brush, and yet, it is not… or is it? The joys of photoshop and giclee.

SUE O’SULLIVAN “Storm Brewing”
Very good composition. The low horizon level creates drama and the darkness at this
eye level accentuates the figures in the landscape.

Section 4- Sculpture
First Prize
BILL GALE “The Dinner Party ll” polymer clay, stainless steel, wood
The composition works so well.
The striking colour is dynamic.
The unique forms are exquisite.
The presentation is well thought out.
The beautiful, polished opal is divine ~ what a wonderful focal point!
What really struck me was the shadow play ~ whether it was intentional or not ~ it was
a lovely overlapping backdrop. The symbolic ambiguity of the beautiful black forms ~
pairs of brolgas standing in unison or upstanding hands prised to pluck the precious
morsel. For something seemingly so simple, yet creating an air of mystery.

2nd prize
VAL WARING “The Red Hat” clay
The choice of the clay firing and well tanned skin was spot on for colour compatibility.
Simple highlights of bleached blonde hair and the crochet bikinis sitting under a wide
brimmed bikini hat in flamboyant red was wonderful ~ everything flowed together in
poise and colour ~ a great pose!

ZYGMUNT LIBUCHA “Chastity” marble
Classical smooth lines complimented with a symbolic and graceful expression ~ she
wants you to touch her to feel how soothing the marble really is.

Young Artist Prize –

Nicely executed in a Naive style, a cross between Grandma Moses and Henri Rousseau,
the meticulously detailed painting is highly decorative AND tells a story. These primitive
rainforest people, probably from a remote Nui Gini highland, are looking up at a drone or a
helicopter for the first time. What happens when ‘civilised’ man descends upon them?

Best Artwork In Show

F. J. ROWLAND WREGG “Walk to the Beach - Currumbin” acrylic on canvas
I know this particular spot at the Alley very well because it is my favourite surf break ~
it was instantly recognisable, despite the absence of the rock infill. The fluid flow of
paint forming the sky and swirling clouds was so well executed that the rocks, sans
infill, would let more that wondrous sky appear before the viewer. What a creative,
bold, determined statement (and black at that). From a distance the reflection of pooled
water on the sand, captures the rock infill ~ how wonderful is that!



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1st Prize - Scott Breton - An Echo of Space# 2

2nd Prize - Mark Feiler - Reclining Girl (Mara) # 11

3rd Prize - Frances McKennariey - Study of a moving figure # 40


Highly commended works:

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Highly Commended for Etching
Kay Watnabe's etching " Thrust"
This etching contains an effortless motion, it reminds me of how music can move through opposing directions in it's own sonic space : a simultaneous rising and falling.

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The Harold Richardson Drawing Award was instigated in 1984 by the Royal Queensland Art Society, shortly after his Passing. Richardson himself wasn’t an artist, but had a passion for the visual arts. Both Harold and his wife Agnes, (they were married in 1953) contributed greatly to the art scene in Queensland, and in particular to the Royal Queensland Art Society.

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A New Initiative from the Royal Queensland Art Society

RQAS Biennial comprises three feature competitions:


RQAS Members Annual Exhibition (from 16th August) is a long-standing event on the RQAS calendar and this year will have $5000 prize money on offer along with a market day with morning tea and live music.


Queensland Figurative 2016 (from 6th September) is an open competition calling for artists to create works that have the human figure as an integral part of the composition. A huge success in 2014, attracting more than 150 entries which were judged by Archibald-winner Wendy Sharpe. Total prize money for this year’s event is $11,500.


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by Sue Gleeson, President RQAS Inc

At the recent RQAS Inc AGM, I was delighted to welcome Marion and Philip Ham as Honorary Members.  Philip has been coming to RQAS for 33 years and Marion for nearly as long.  They have been friends of and keen supporters of RQAS Brisbane, collecting many, many of our members work from our Annual Exhibitions along the way.

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3 Long standing RQAS members of the  Brisbane Branch have donated the Prizes to this months Watercolour show, Ruby Eaves, Glen Gillard and Gallery Director Peter Hubbard.

The Official opening by Peter Hubbard and awards presented by respected tutor and watercolorist Helen Beaver will be held on Saturday the 7th November 1 for 1.30pm.

Come along to see some wonderful examples of a vibrant medium.

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This was a marvellous opportunity for RQAS members as we have deep connections with artists who have their portrait painting exhibited in the Supreme Court. There was a good role up of members to do the tour and we were extremely well looked after by two representatives of the Court.
They greeted us at the door and conducted us first of all to the Banco Court where we were able to see the latest addition to the Court’s portrait collection. This was the portrait by Robert Hannaford of his Excellency Paul de Jersey, previously Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland and now, as Governor of Queensland, the Royal Queensland Art Society’s Patron



This was a marvellous opportunity for RQAS members as we have deep connections with artists who have their portrait painting exhibited in the Supreme Court. There was a good role up of members to do the tour and we were extremely well looked after by two representatives of the Court.


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JUDGE: Dr Rhyl Hinwood AM


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As part of the RQAS Annual members Exhibition, The Petrie Terrace Gallery will be open on Sunday 26 July, from 8:30am to 2:00pm, for our bi-annual Art Market.

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 The history of the Royal Queensland Art Society “Fellows” began in the late 1960s when grading of membership was discussed by council, although it was put on the continual backburner for a couple of decades. The Society did have Honorary Life Members as well as Honorary or Privileged Members, the latter often awarded to folk who supported the RQAS for long periods of time.

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Governor of Queensland opens
The 125th Annual Art Prize RQAS

Exhibition Opening Wednesday 15th July, 7 for 7.30pm.

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Prize Winners


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Our Peoples Choice prize produced 3 winners on Sunday 15th February 2015!

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Hi Life Drawers!

An update on the Life Drawing Sessions times:

Tuesdays 4 to 6pm sessions will be on 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd December, then restarting on the 20th January 2015.

Friday 10.30 to 1.30pm sessions will be 5th, 12th, 19th December, then restarting on the 23rd January 2015.


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