About Fred Marsh - Sydney Artist
Born in Dundee, Scotland moving to Sydney Australia when a teenager.
All children love to draw and paint, then something happens and most stop as they get older. I am just one of the fortunate few who didn’t stop. Instead my childhood imaginative drawings changed to filling school exercise books with drawing of great moments in football matches.
I am currently inspired by the diversity of mood and light effects seen in the landscape and urban areas.
My Art Practice
Plein Air Painting
(outdoors at the
Prints & Cards
The basis of my art practice is based on:
Presently I am exploring the themes of light in the city and the coast. Both are quite different conditions and the city at night is attracting my eye, as does the magic hour when the sparkle energizes the water in a harbour or at the coast.
I am a representational painter but interested in heading towards a less distinct place, where I want to leave more unsaid in the painting for the viewer to discover.
My method is primarily based on getting the tones right then building colour using direct strokes allied with scumbles and glazes. Greys are very important to my work as they provide the platform for both the tonal structure and the emphasis of colour. I find the interplay with cool and warm colour particularly satisfying in capturing form & luminosity in a painting.
Usually I start a painting in front of the subject and have a clear view of what I want. However, sometimes a bit of “magic” happens and it reaches a stage when I can see that the painting is trying to take over and leading me somewhere else. I find it satisfying to let go and let the painting take me there.
What I want out of my paintings constantly evolves; it is a never ending but stimulating & meditative journey which reflects my world. Currently I aim to include a narrative content within a strong foundation of light and atmosphere. I start with a literal reference (drawing or idea), and I am increasingly finding that there comes a very satisfying time when the painting takes over & it dictates the outcome, rather than the original reference.
Plein air painting & sketching outdoors plays a big part in my practice. Every week I visit new places to draw, sketch and paint on the spot. I have discovered so many places that I didn’t know existed and have become a tourist in my own town. Ones eyes need to be refreshed & I also travel overseas frequently taking my sketching equipment, to gather new material & follow the trail of those artists who have come before. Nothing beats painting outdoors where you can feel the sun and wind, and “hear” the landscape, it always turns out to be a nice day at the “office.”
I am not interested in exploring lots of disciplines and concepts. I just want to paint. I did consider art school however I heard and read from many colleagues that they only learnt to paint when they left art university and joined an atelier focused on the practice of painting. Therefore, I have taken a studio based approach and my art education has been focused on the practice of painting. I seek out tuition with artists who will stretch me, such as classes and master classes with Archibald Winner Nicholas Harding, multi Archibald and Wynne Finalist Alex McKenzie, plein air painting in Provence with Julian Merrow- Smith, and watercolourist Joseph Zbukvic.
2016 Kogarah Art Prize (Finalist)
2016 & 2015 Waterbrook Sydney
2015 Art of Sydney, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney (Finalist)
2014 & 2012 St George Art Prize, Art Gallery Hurstville (Finalist)
2014 Parliamentary Plein Air Prize, Macquarie Street Sydney (Semi Finalist)
My work is in private collections in all states of Australia, most states of the US, UK, New Zealand, and Singapore. Work is also held in corporate collections in the US and Australia.
Urban Sketchers Australia
Oatley 101 Art Society
NAVA (National Association for the Visual Arts)
You will also see my work in the following facebook groups Plein air , Australian Plein Air Painters, Cityscape Painters & my own art page.
Please contact Fred for further information and a price list. I am happy to discuss commissions.
Every few months, I issue a newsletter including an internet based preview of new work to existing collectors of my work and to those who have asked to be included. This provides those people who have supported me, with the opportunity to first see and buy new works at a special price. You are welcome to participate in these previews, by clicking here.
Prints and Cards
Prints and Cards are now available online