Dromana artist Noel Hill’s landscapes were once described by an enthusiastic viewer as “happy paintings”, something the artist says still delights him enormously.
“For myself, I do enjoy those ‘euphoric highs’ I so often experience when painting out in the brilliant sunlit Queensland countryside and waterways – a landscape, it seems to me, to be so alight with colourful vibrancies and energy. There is also a palpable ‘aura’ of imagined past generations of those families who have all devoted both their time and lives cohabitating in its vastness, with all its mysteries and complexities to contend with.
“My own way is to try and offer an oasis for the viewer, a similar voyage of discovery to that which I also embarked upon during the process of creating the painting. I’m hoping this will also appeal to their imagination, and continue to provide infinite pleasure and enrichment of the spirit.
“Always drawing, and writing childish poems as a child, my first artistic influence was the then editorial cartoonist on the Courier Mail newspaper in Brisbane where I was born. I had contracted diphtheria when eight years old, which meant spending many months away from school, reading and dreaming. I decided I wanted to also become a political cartoonist, studying the daily news then sending cartoons to the editor of the Courier Mail when 11, which I’m sure must have been rather an amusing interlude for him in retrospect. I did join the Courier Mail as an artist many years later.
“I moved to Sydney as a young adult to work and study art at the National Art School and the Ashton Art School at The Rocks. I exhibited locally as time permitted while working as a graphic designer for ABC television, before moving back to Brisbane, gaining experience as an artist on newspapers, the Queensland Education Department, as a staff artist at the university before freelancing and teaching art part-time at TAFE colleges and private art groups, pursuing a full-time fine art career and exhibiting regularly.
“I would like to see paintings on the walls of every home in Australia – so much daily pleasure waiting to be enjoyed.
“I continue to explore new ways of seeing the world around me, and try to translate my discoveries on to the canvas or paper. The old masters’ drawings and paintings offer such a valuable source of technical information, for which I have a continuing passion for researching and trying to inculcate into my own work.
“That my paintings have been called ‘happy’ is a great source of inspiration, as the great French painter Henri Matisse observed of his own work. He felt they were successful if the viewer also received as much pleasure from them as he did when creating them, a credo I have happily adopted for myself.”
Noel has been a professional artist in a variety of media for more than 30 years and a part-time teacher for more than 20 years. He has worked as a graphic designer with ABC television and staff artist with the University of Queensland. The diverse spectrum of his compositions includes figurative work, abstraction and beautiful rural properties captured in vividly coloured pastel. Noel’s work is represented in both Australian and overseas collections, and an exhibition of his work is on at Mornington’s Oak Hill Gallery from November 4-29.
OAK HILL GALLERY
A: 100 Mornington-Tyabb Rd, Mornington
T: 5973 4299