I managed to make time to see the Australian Impressionists at NGV on its final day. I knew very little of them except from that one Herald Sun poster liftout about the Heidelberg School of Art I had when I was a kid, so names like Streeton were familiar to me. It was fascinating to see the depths of the relationships between leading European “Impressionists” and Australian artists. For instance, John Russell was quite intimate with Vincent van Gogh (take that as you will!).
What intrigued me most is how much more I like the Australian twist on Impressionism, especially E. Phillips Fox’s work. Removing the ever present shade of the White Male Gaze, I love the vibrancy and warmth of his paintings. It’s a technique I am still trying to capture in my own work. There was that one painting I attempted in high school which had some sort of success. But I’d really like to try again. And this time with actual oils (and not the fast but poor substitute that is acrylic)!