– by Chelsea McPherson
Chris’s journey to becoming a professional artist started when he was just a boy, having grown up with his mother as an inspiration. She was also an artist, and the reason Chris had access to the knowledge and the materials that would one day allow his passion to flourish.
It was right here in Hervey Bay that Chris ended up doing his artist apprenticeship, and for a few years he had a gallery in Urangan. Now he has come back to the Bay to show off the wonderful seascapes and contemporary impressionism he has become well-known for.
Much of the inspiration for Chris’ work comes from the around the region, including Hervey Bay, Fraser Island (K’Gari), and Australia’s eastern coast.
“The biggest inspiration behind my paintings is the ocean, water,” Chris said. He took on board the challenge of painting waves, something many artists struggle with. Extensive study behind how it all worked has allowed him to experiment with colours and processes to bring some fantastic pieces to fruition.
In addition to painting for a living, Chris is now also a tutor. He took on a job teaching in Chinchilla and from there it snowballed, culminating in a trip to the Greek Islands in 2019.
“I kept pinching myself and thinking ‘is this really happening?,” he said, looking back on when he was offered the opportunity. “It’s all another part of the world I never thought I’d see.” Although he was the tutor for the budding artists that went on the trip, he was always learning.
He attributes that trip to learning how to paint with just a palette knife, which in turn sparked for him a new, less specific but beautiful way to express himself.
Chris said the peak of his career came three years ago when a private collector asked to fill his 93-metre super yacht with Chris’ coastal contemporary work.
After accepting that job, Chris was commissioned by them once again for the White Rabbit super yacht.
“Seeing my paintings hanging throughout the vessel was a major confidence boost.” Chris said he is always learning, even now after 30 years into his career.
His gallery at the Great Sandy Strait Marina showcases some of the spectacular works he has done over the years, and he intends to stay right through the whale season.
You can catch him down there working on his paintings, where you will be able to watch a master at work, pick his brains, or simply take in some of the beautiful contemporary art Chris is known for.
– by Chelsea McPherson