Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Joseph Zbukvic

From time to time it is possible to 'discover' an artist whose work you have never seen before.
I discovered Joseph Zbukvic on Pinterest and was completely bowled over by the quality of his beautiful water-colour paintings

Joseph Zbukvic was born in Croatia but now lives in Melbourne, Australia. The winner of over 200 awards, his work is much in demand worldwide 

He travels widely in search of subjects and is highly regarded as a tutor. He is probably the world's greatest living water-colourist

Like many great water-colourists, he is drawn to water but he is equally adept at urban streets, cafes, sidewalks and the hustle and bustle of a busy city like Melbourne, Vienna or Paris

His attention to detail is phenomenal - just look at the horse and carriage above and below:

I have enlarged the above image so that you can see the brushwork - ranging from precise detail of the driver and horses to the almost abstract, monochrome 'impressionistic' rendition of the carriage itself

His indebtedness to the French Impressionists becomes clear the closer you examine his work - as in this lovely  painting of a bridge. The muddy, brown water is astonishing, as are the soft blues and greys of the distant riverbank

This is painting of the highest order and quite beautiful to look at

Zbukvic is also fond of these high angle, 'narrow' cityscapes - giving his image a steep, vertiginous feel that is again reminiscent of early Impressionist  views of Paris boulevards

There is also a modernity to his work - something  traditional water-colourists often shy away from

Look, for example, at the clutter of cables and telephone wires in the above painting. Not of itself an obvious choice  of subject but Zbukvic makes it visually exciting

In short, I know few artists working with aquarelle that have the deft touch, astonishing technique and attention to detail that Josef Zbukvic has

Thanks, Pinterest! You have enriched my personal gallery of great art!

Mike Healey

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