Spring 2017 - Click to Read

News update 2017



Spring again and another great year has dashed past, with travel, projects, research and the odd exhibition crowding our calendar. Once again, apologies go out to those who have waited patiently for us to update our website and news.

Our private Studio Exhibition and Folio Sale will once again be held at the Blackman Art Hotel on St Kilda Rd in Melbourne, opening on Friday 27th October at 6:30 pm and continuing Saturday and Sunday only.  Please download your invitation, (the PDF below).


Travels this year linked to painting, exhibiting, research and teaching included:

  • The beautiful Kentish coast in the UK, with a week staying in Margate, inspiration for many of Turner’s later seascapes.  (Turner described the skies there as,‘the best in Europe’ and they didn’t let us down).

  • Side trips included the White Cliffs at Dover, the wonderful Seven Sisters cliffs, Churchill’s House at Chartwell, the fabulous gardens of Sissinghurst and a short stay in the Romney Marshes.

Along the way we visited many iconic locations where Turner worked – and Tony filled three of his own sketchbooks within the week.

  • Tony to London twice this year to work at Tate Gallery – continuing his research into Turner’s oils and watercolours and working towards a new book,  Turner’s Apprentice: Learning from the World’s Greatest Watercolourist to be published in time for a Smibert and Turner exhibition at Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in February 2020.
  • Malaysia and Belgium for Aikido seminars  (the Flemish Aikido Summer School, Malaysian Aikido Association Seminar and Global Inner Aikido School at a wonderful old monastery at Maredsous in the Ardennes) 


Tony’s research continues to lead him to a variety of artistic journeys back home.  He’s now applying Turner technique to acrylic here in the studio (acrylic can be worked with methods from both watercolour and oils) but in ways that bear little resemblance to Turner.  The resulting black canvasses appear to have more in common with Jackson Pollock than the ‘Golden Age of British Watercolour’ but actually represent a new way of working. 


Those who missed Two Voices: Tony Smibert and Gao Ping at Sydney’s Vermillion Gallery will have a chance to see some of this new work in an upcoming group exhibition of Chinese and Australian artists called Journey, curated by Tony Scott at Melbourne’s Sagra Gallery, 256 Glenferrie Rd. Malvern.  Journey opens on Thursday 2nd November 6 - 8pm and runs until 25th November.    Meanwhile if you Google ‘Tony Smibert Artworks Vermillion’ you can still see a selection from that Sydney exhibition and a video of Tony creating one of the paintings.

Tony’s interest in early 19th century British watercolour continues unabated, so there will be plenty of his latest works in that ‘voice’ at our upcoming Blackman exhibition along with his unique ‘minimal’ watercolours influenced by Aikido, Zen and Japan.  As usual, it’s a folio sale too, with unframed watercolours, acrylics and oils at studio prices.  We’ve sent out invitations to our existing mailing list so, if you didn’t receive yours or would like to come for the first time please download the invitation, right here on the website.


 This year was such a great season of seminars at Mountford Granary here in Tasmania that we’ve decided to extend to yet another year – we’ve held more farewells at Mountford than John Farnham - with classes in April and May of 2017 (details on the Art School section of this website.  Though we’ve been offering these for over 25 years, the interest never seems to wane, with professionals and aspiring painters attracted by Tony’s international renown as a master of classic watercolour, contemporary painter and willingness to share his knowledge with other painters.  (He’s also acknowledged as one of the world’s best tutors.)  Anne and Hugh Mackinnon’s hospitality completes the picture, with the inspiration of Autumn colours on their historic property providing a perfect complement to Tony’s instruction. 



With such a busy calendar we never seem to make the most of the most of the opportunity our studio gallery offers for people to drop in and view the latest work in the environment that inspires it.  So please consider this update as a warm welcome to do so. As past visitors will know, we prefer if you can let us know when you’d like to come, but that said, if you pass our door and find us open, please call in. We’d love to meet you and show you work ranging from the largest acrylics on canvas right through to tiny studies in watercolour.  Less well known are our solander-boxed collections of Tony’s finest watercolours.  They’re never on display, but if you’d like to see them, then please ask when you visit.


Carmel Burns,


Smibert Studio



Download Invitation here!