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I have been painting in oils and pastels for about twenty-five years in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. Landscapes and streetscapes tend to be my principal subject matter, although more recently I have explored figure work as well. My way of working is as a tonalist and colourist - I do believe that tone is the central building block to building a meaningful work, and then colour can be used to give a painting excitement and vitality. However, as Marcel Proust stated: "...style for the writer, no less than colour for the painter, is a question not of technique but of vision".
Thus my approach strives to combine tonal accuracy and colour vibrancy in pursuit of a vision: to interpret distinctive, memorable moments in the landscape and urban surrounds which excite emotions and stimulate memories in the viewer - forming a responsive connection.
More specifically, I really enjoy portraying those special moments that seize our attention and stimulate the senses, yet experiences that can be fleeting such as an evocative street scene, a grouping of people in an interesting urban environment, or a striking combination of shapes and colours in a city view. To this end, quite a few of my paintings are narrative and sensory in nature, presenting what is happening or could happen in a situation or scene. The words of John Berger resonnate with me: "Art is an oganised response to what nature allows us to glimpse occasionally". The point is to execute the organised response using emotions and sensations as much as intellect.
I have been influenced to varying degrees by the Australian tonalists (such as Meldrum), the Scottish colourists and the Barbizon school. The works of Rupert Bunny and Charles Conder have great appeal for me. In terms of workshops and advice, I have received guidance from a number of tutors such as Peter Smales, Ross Patterson, Yvonne Audette; John Wilson (Sydney); Joseph Attard; and Regina Hona. However, my painting style, my artistic "signature", and what I want to express to the viewer, are entirely my own and I am pleased to say that I am still on that exciting journey of challenge and discovery.
I sign my pictures as Max Walker, using the long-standing nick name of Max. Sobriquets are endearing as they form a special link between the person and the group of contacts or friends who use them.