Discovering Australian Aboriginal art paintings

When I was a kid I learned a little about Aboriginal art but it didn’t really do anything for my art at that time.  It was beautiful and very interesting to look at but at that time it was just art, just pretty pictures.

Recently as an adult after spending a lot of time creating 3-D images with a lot of energy patterns or rhythms in it I stumbled upon two work by two families of Aborigines.  This work was similar in nature to what I was creating because of the spermatozoon like subjects illustrated in our works.  These families were the Petyarre and Numina families.  These two families are related.  The Petyarre family pioneered the style that i became enamored with and the Numina sisters (nieces of the Petyarre sisters) expanded on the styles taught by their famous aunts.

This is Gloria Petyarre she is one of the most successful of the Aborigine artists and is the one that seemingly started the style that I feel so connected to.  Below her are 2 photos related to one of her works.

Gloria Petyarre putting the final touches on a masterpiece

The movement in this style of work is what grabbed me for my own work.  For the last year and a half I have been studying their work and trying to capture the movement that they have mastered.  While I have learned the style well, I have yet to learn how to apply the paint they way they do.  I am okay with this as my main interest is in illustrating movement, ebb and flow.

I discovered their work after completing the oil painting Water lilies (click on Water lilies to notice the similarities.)

The discovery of these two families works was just one of the little miracles that have shaped my work.  I am in the process of breaking out of the aboriginal style and trying to apply it to my own works.  The process of doing so is very hard.  Due to the difficulty of breaking free of this addictive style of painting I have had to go the opposite extreme and paint more still life type of works.  Here is a link to my most recent work

I want to share briefly a little more about the Numina Sisters whom I mentioned have taken the style and techniques learned from their Aunt Gloria (shown above) and have really gone far with their own styles.  It takes some time to realize exactly how each of the sisters work is uniquely their own due to how similar the work is.

Louise Numina

untitled Louise Numina painting

Caroline Numina

untitled work by Caroline Numina

My favorite of all of them is Jacinta Numina, is by far creating what i consider to be the most amazing work of all the Numina Sisters or the Petyarre family.  The work is so hypnotic.

Jacinta Numina

Work by Jacinta Numina

Lanita Numina

Selina Numina

work by Selina Numina

Sharon Numina


~ by David Heatwole on May 18, 2010.

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