David O'Gradey-Picture Painter

I believe that to paint sincerely

...one must reach deep inside and find the things that affect us most.

I am an Australian artist from Toolangi, located in the magnificent hills above the Yarra Valley north-east of Melbourne, Victoria. Here I paint, sculpt and write in my studio nestled amongst our peaceful garden that is visited daily by a parade of delightful birdlife.

I despair at how the many short-term profiteers, with complete disregard for the future, seem hell-bent on destroying our beautiful home:

Mother Earth

A little about me

I am an Australian artist working mostly in oils.

The surreality of the Australian landscape is the ideal stage on which to build the ideas that I wish to relay. My series currently in production attempts to portray aspects of the cultural and ideological clash between the first Australians, who have inhabited this land for more than 40,000 years, and the later colonisers and settlers.

My earlier works ranged from watercolour landscapes and printmaking to oil paintings in which I explored nostalgia and melancholy through isolated figures in cityscapes, single buildings, empty locations etc.

Fragments of memories.

A natural sense of curiosity and seeking to understand by drawing goes back into my childhood for as far as I can remember.

I remember, as a child of five, the thrill of shopping day, When there would be a fresh supply of butcher's paper to be salvaged and carefully uncreased, before fervently attacking it with pencils.

The western watercolour paint box, a present for my seventh birthday, it contained eighty-four captivating colours. I didn't use it for ages, not wishing to spoil its beauty. On the lid was a western scene that I studied meticulously, captivated by the colours. Fascinated how a cowboy's chin was painted blue to show his whiskers.

The thrill, at the age of nine, of achieving some likeness to images in a "how to draw" book. Constantly copying from the newspaper; photos, line drawings, cartoons, politicians, cricketers, boxers et al.

The seed was planted, but life, as it has a habit of doing, got in the way. It led me through a diverse and circuitous route, constantly gathering, interpreting and storing a wealth of experiences, but always leading me back to those initial desires.

The wrinkled butcher's paper and pencils Have been replaced by canvas and oil paint, but the inquisitive mind of the five year old is still as active and as eager To manifest it's vision through the plastic arts.