Summer 2016/17 - Click to read

SUMMER 2016 / 17

Thank you to those who have enquired about when our news would be updated and apologies to those who waited.  We promise to do better in future!

2016 was  another full year of travel, painting, exhibition, research and teaching. Tony was also appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for service to watercolour, painting and Aikido.

PAINTING: 2016 was an exciting year, with larger figurative and non-figurative works in acrylic, informed by research into JMW Turner’s oils.  For Tony, process is an integral of creativity that leads to images independent of any tradition, yet drawing upon many. At the same time he continues to create the classic watercolours, including smaller private studies, now sought after by collectors alongside the minimal works which first established his international reputation. All of this is illustrated with representative examples in our website – as well as in the recently added Available for Purchase in our Paintings menu.   

RESEARCH: 2016 was also a productive year of formal research, with enquiry into Turner’s late oils continuing at Tate gallery during two trips to London, and with Tony painting in a studio there towards illustrations for Dr Joyce Townsend’s next publication on the great British master’s technique. 

TRAVEL: Other travel included to Europe for teaching and Japan for the International Aikido Federation Congress and Seminar.  A highlight was  St Petersburg and the inspirational Russian masterpieces in the Hermitage and Russian National Museum.  We also travelled to Hong Kong to meet with Tony Scott of China Art Projects (CAP) regarding upcoming exhibitions both there and Beijing and now look forward to another busy year in 2017 with travel to Europe, the UK, South East Asia and China all scheduled.

EXHIBITIONS: A further highlight of 2016 proved to be Two Voices, a joint exhibition for Tony (with Beijing artist Gao Ping) at Sydney’s Vermillion Contemporary Chinese Art Gallery in Walsh Bay.  As described by Curator Tony Scott, it, "brought together (two) artists from cultures that might appear to be radically different, but who nonetheless work in related ways – as agents of a greater force, rather than protagonists who create self-consciously...”.  Finishing the year of 2016, our folio exhibition in Gallery One at Melbourne’s Blackman Hotel also proved a highpoint.

PUBLICATIONS:  Planning is now underway with a leading British art publisher for Tony's next  book (working title “Turner’s Apprentice”).  Profiling the impact of Turner on John Ruskin, Thomas Moran and others, Tony will also outline not only his own research but also explain a process of ‘apprenticeship’ that can be undertaken by any artist with access to the painting locations and original works of an earlier master. This project will take about two and a half years, with publication in time for a museum exhibition of Turner's influence on Tony's own work scheduled for early 2019.  

WRITING:  Tony continues to provide occasional articles for Australian Artist magazine, most recently on sketching at Dolbadarn Castle in Wales, at Lake Huntsman and Cradle Lake in Tasmania.

SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS: Tony taught many seminars in 2016: Aikido around Australia, and at the Flemish Aikido Summer School,Global Aikido Inner School (both in Belgium), Yamato Aikido Organisation (Russia) and at the International Aikido Federation Congress (Japan).  Much closer to home his Mountford Granary Art School watercolour seminars here in northern Tasmania passed 25 year milestone and are yet again virtually booked out for 2017.  Tony’s seminar in Bridgetown, Western Australia last August may be the last for a while, so that we want to thank our friend and agent Lyn and all of the wonderful friends who have made it possible for so many years.  Most especially, we thank and acknowledge Sue Allcock, a friend of the highest order.  

2017:  Exhibitions, projects and further travel already crowd the calendar.  In Tasmania we will open our studio gallery to the public on a drop-in basis on many days throughout the beautiful Autumn months (if possible, please ring first to arrange a time) and plan our first northern Tasmanian exhibition for many years for later in the year, marking over 30 years of continuous operation as a working studio and gallery – one of the first of its kind anywhere in Australia.  It seems likely we will travel to China in the last part of the year for a painting residency within an artist precinct of Beijing followed exhibition in both China and Australia. 

Despite all of the above, our greatest joy is to be here, at home, in Tasmania.  Please enjoy our website and consider a visit to our studio.


 Enquiries about possible purchase are welcome, and we will always endeavour to return your contact as soon as possible. (Among the many developments of 2016 was a happy realisation that even a short phone call or conversation on skype enables us to quickly talk through painting details and we can now also send higher resolution images via Dropbox, Hightail and other systems making it much easier.)

So, if you want to call us our number is +61 3 6362 2474.  And to be on our mailing list please register within the website.

Carmel Burns, Director