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Why I paint - by Graham Longworth

I paint portraits, landscapes and still life in oil on a variety of surfaces. It is easy to describe my output and I have included a few examples further down. It is much harder to understand what drives someone to put all those brushstrokes of oil paint on a canvas. For me, the simple answer is fascination. I am fascinated by what happens when someone looks at a painting. There is sometimes the casual glance when they assume they are looking at a photograph. Then they notice something, perhaps it is the signature, or some feature does not look quite right. Looking closer they look for more clues and see the lumps and specs of paint sticking out from the surface and they finally realise and want to talk about the picture. Very few of my paintings could fool the viewer like this but it was fascinating when it did happen.


Why I paint - by Graham Longworth I am also fascinated by the many different ways that a painting can inspire a viewer. As a young boy I was inspired by a painting of Winston Churchill my grandfather Jim Longworth had on the wall of his house in Greenmount. The painting was signed J. J. Longworth but I never got to talk to him about his oil painting. My first attempt at portraiture was of Churchill and I still keep it on the wall of my study for inspiration. A painting might inspire the viewer to visit the scene depicted or somewhere like it. It might inspire you to behave like the person in the portrait or to remember them with affection. Sometimes the painting is just a puzzle that the viewer will struggle to interpret. I am currently fascinated with depicting the many different effects of light upon the surface of the river. I have many opportunities to observe these effects on the Swan River and the Canning River. I have seen the dead calm surface that reflects the scene above perfectly and also the scattering effect of tiny waves, especially when they extend over only part of the river. A painting has the power to inspire a viewer in ways that might not be imagined when it is first created or hung on the wall. Details of the inspiration behind some of my paintings are on the following pages. I hope you are inspired, or maybe even fascinated.

Graham Longworth http://grahamlongworth.carbonmade.com greenmg AT gmail DOT com


Why I paint - by Graham Longworth

Mountain Man. 16" x 12" Oil on canvas. In a silver frame.

This gentleman from Wales migrated to Australia as a teenager. He sat for me in the bright sun outside my studio. I have added a scene from his homeland.

Pomegranate. 16" x 16" Oil on wood. In a Gold frame. This still life was inspired by the Dutch Golden Age painter, Pieter Claesz. It depicts a simple scene in my studio. Have a close look at how the glass is depicted and at the various shadows.

Julia with Pearls. 20" x 16" Oil on canvas with gallery wrap

This is a fine example of the art of portraiture. The neutral background gives emphasis to the subject. Have a close look at the painting to see careful blending and transition between different elements.


Why I paint - by Graham Longworth

East Perth cove #2 24" x 10" Oil on canvas with gallery wrap

This scene is from the footbridge looking across at Henry Lawson Walk. It is the second in a series of three paintings around Claisebrook Cove. Each painting in the series includes a person going about their business.

Quellington Schoolhouse. 16" x 12" Oil on board. In a gold frame.

The original Quellington School House has been converted into a farmstay. It is 20 km east of York in Western Australia. I did some drawings on site while I was staying there and painted the scene in my studio. I just had to include one of the tame emus that hang around waiting for a feed.

Reed bank. 16" x 12" Oil on board. In a gold and white frame.

As a child I visited family about 1 kilometre from this spot but I never went near this part of the Canning River. This painting was commenced under a tree at the edge of the river and finished at my studio. Four black swans paddled across this scene during my painting session. I decided to leave them out of this picture.

Why I paint  

A summary of what inspires my oil painting along with some examples of my work.

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