Been looking at the work of Australian artist Robert Hannaford a bunch lately. If you aren’t familiar, he grew up on a farm and worked as a political cartoonist before pursuing painting. Mr Hannaford has had a long career and produced a lot of great paintings that are thankfully available to view on this thing called the world wide web.
It always kind of trips me out how a particular artist’s work will sometimes jump out at you. It can be anything too. Maybe its what they paint, other times its how they paint it. It can literally be a single passage of color or just the right gesture or the smallest unquantifiable thing that’ll get stuck in your head. But when it speaks to you like that, I cant help but listen and try to learn something from it.
I love his precision in his paintings, while at the same time they’re very expressive. He’s great at still letting the paint show. its refreshing and alive. They feel modern, and always very well designed. The more traditional commissioned portraits are a great demonstration of technical skill, but it’s his self portraits that really jump out to me. He’s done them consistently over the course of his career, which I think is always interesting to not only see the age progression, but also how the decision making evolves over the years. He takes chances and tries more unconventional things with the self portraits.
In 2006 while recovering from throat cancer he painted one with his feeding tube exposed. He’s sometimes shirtless or naked, making faces, looking down, obscured by something. You see more personality in them. You see him breaking rules and peeking out from behind the canvas. They’re so good.
Man, I wish I could do it like that. It’s inspiring.
here are some favorites