Nobody in the history of Australian art had a more original perspective of the Australian landscape as Fred Williams .

At a very early age the young Williams wanted to paint. He started with no money, but was determined to make a living from selling his paintings saying,

“I have never had any doubts about what I wanted to be in this life…I wanted to be a painter”.

At 19 years of age he joined the National Gallery of Victoria ’s art school attending classes at night. His teachers quickly realised a talent for figure drawing and spatial appreciation.

Williams believes his initial inspiration came from ‘looking at the post-impressionists, and Cezanne in particular’.

Fred’s determination to succeed paid off.

Amongst the many high profile art collectors of Fred Williams paintings are Rupert Murdoch from News Limited, who owns several major works in his corporate collection.

‘Strath Creek Falls VII’ 1979 by Fred Williams Oil on canvas 152.8 x 182.6 cm Private collection © Estate of Fred Williams

What I love about the painting above are the rich colours, textures and earthy tones expressed in the artwork. Williams was a master at visual suggestion, turning mysterious abstractions into beautiful mythological landscapes , which in visual terms connect people to the land.

One theme was constant in Fred Williams artistic career, the Australian outback. Referring to the endlessly dry Australian landscape he said…

“It became obsessive with me…it is monotonous. There is no focal point, and if there’s no focal point in a landscape it has to be built into the paint. I’m basically an artist who sees things in terms of paint.”

Similarly, many of the paintings created by Simon Brushfield stem from the Australian landscape, as illustrated in the painting below.

Eucalypt painting by Simon Brushfield Fred Williams Investment Art: Collecting Australian Art

‘Eucalypt’ (2001) by Simon Brushfield Oil & Acrylic on Canvas 1.8m x 1.4m (Sold: Private Acquisition)

Even though Fred Williams came from a strong influence of western art, many of his aerial perspectives produce a map like quality, with deliberate painterly marks, similar to aboriginal art.

Fred William’s original paintings are housed in art collections throughout Australia. The largest collections available for public view are housed in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and The National Gallery of Australia , Canberra.

The artist also has important works in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Tate Gallery , London.

Fred William’s paintings show a unique ability to indicate space in the landscape through effective planes of textured colour.

His greatest original paintings are taken from famous Australian landmarks such as You Yangs, Upwey , Lysterfield, Kew Billabong, Werribee Gorge, Weipa and the Pilbara.

Below Fred Williams reproduces a signature hillside motif, which was to appear frequently in his paintings.

‘Hillock’ 1965-1966 oil on canvas 122 x 122cm (Private collection)

The curved line of the hill can be understood as a simple iconographic contour of an Australian mountain or as the curved hemisphere of planet earth.

I would love to hear your thoughts about Fred Williams and the Australian landscape, so please leave a message in the comments box below.

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© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Fred Williams: Collecting Australian Art

How to build self-confidence and avoid mistakes that destroy creativity

Most artists want to sell their work.

Many famous artists, fail miserably in sales.

Vincent Van Gogh only sold 1 painting in his life.

Vincent VanGogh self portrait

Top quality local artists also struggle to get the attention they deserve.

Ending up in jobs making them terribly unhappy.

Common Problem: Creative individuals often ignore the development of an important part of themselves…. Self Confidence.

The creative personality is remarkably shy.

Often very introverted.

Some artists struggle to gather the confidence to show artwork to family. Let alone exhibit in public.

Like Vincent Van Gogh, artists are often highly sensitive people, more comfortable being alone, rather than telling the world how great they are.

It’s vitally important artists build self-confidence and interact with society. Because the public need fresh ideas. They need creative vision.

Point 1. An artist’s visionary ability is extremely valuable to non-creative people.

Proud Pelican drawing by Simon Brushfield How to build self confidence and avoid mistakes that destroy creativity

‘Proud Pelican’ by Simon Brushfield Charcoal, acrylic & linseed oil on paper 70cm x 60cm (Private Acquisition)

Yesterday, I got my haircut.

Through the mirror, I could tell my hairdresser was brilliant. Very creative. She had a vision for my hair. I observed an artist at work.

So I gave her a compliment.

Lacking confidence, she blushed and found it very difficult to accept the comment. Artists lack confidence in different areas of life.

Especially when selling their creative work.

Point 2. One of the biggest fears for artists is talking about money to prospective customers.

Ok, if you’ve ever thought any of these self-limiting beliefs below, realize you are not alone. We all experience silly thinking sometimes. I have heard many creative people say things that defeat themselves without realizing it.

Here’s 10 Confidence Killers that could really ruin any creative ability you may have…

1. “I’m afraid to talk about money and put a price on my art.”
2. “I mustn’t show people the ‘real me’ it will be embarrassing.”
3. “I’m not worthy or I don’t deserve my dreams coming true.”
4. “I must do things perfectly before I show anyone else.”
5. “I’m always competing with other artists. Life is a competition”
6. “I always compare myself to others. They’re better than me”
7. “I must beat that other person.”
8. “I don’t want to draw attention to myself or stand out too much”
9. “I expect the people I love to support everything I do.”
10. “I will do whatever the person wants because he/she has the money.”

But we need to stop those thoughts quickly, before they become subconscious self-defeating habits.

So, how do we build confidence?

Anyone can be confident.

Point 3. Building confidence is about understanding the value we offer people.

It can be anything really.

Everyone has something unique to give. Every single person on this planet has something valuable to give the world.

Every day, I guarantee there will be someone in your life who wants something from you that is valuable to them.


One way to is to negotiate for that value. Selling the painting below was a negotiation process.

Sydney Harbour Sunrise painting by Simon Brushfield 1024x963 How to build self confidence and avoid mistakes that destroy creativity

“Sydney Harbour Sunrise” by Simon Brushfield (2004) Acrylic & Oil on canvas 1m x 1m (Sold: Private Acquisition)

Then practice your craft often to increase confidence.

What’s important here is the negotiation process.

The process of building self-confidence relates to understanding the value we offer people.

Point 4. Don’t think you have nothing of value to offer. It’s a lie. We all have something valuable to give.

It’s how this world was set up.

When we understand the true value we offer – our confidence grows.

Once a small victory is achieved. This builds confidence for higher level negotiations.

Here’s 7 benefits of being confident in life…

1. Confidence helps you move towards taking important risks.
2. Confidence provides hope to make dreams become real.
3. Confidence helps people grow and establish you as an expert.
4. Confidence helps people experience greater levels of freedom.
5. Confidence acts as armor in the battle against opposition.
6. Confidence brings success and respect to an artist’s creative ability.
7. Ultimately, being confident gives people control over their own life.

When finishing a painting. I need to love it.

This feeling builds my confidence. Then my art becomes more valuable.

I really need that confidence to negotiate and sell the artwork.

Point 4. In a humble way, I wholeheartedly believe my art is valuable. It’s very special to me.

Each artwork, for different reasons, is valuable.

Like my drawing below titled ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

The soft sensitivity of the line work captures a peaceful mood, which brings value to the drawing. I love the gentle quietness.

Nude female sleeping by Simon Brushfield 1024x821 How to build self confidence and avoid mistakes that destroy creativity

‘Sleeping Beauty’ by Simon Brushfield Conte pencil on paper. approx 70cm x 60cm (For Sale: $750)

Below are some practical steps artists need to consider when selling original art in a professional gallery.

These 5 considerations will help build confidence to become a successful professional artist

1. Artwork needs to be aligned to local market prices
2. Gallery should be reasonably well respected and nicely positioned
3. Artwork should be made from quality long lasting products
4. The artist needs to love the artwork and wholeheartedly believe the work is valuable. (Even if nobody else does)
5. Artists sometimes need a mentor to provide genuine support.

Do you have any confidence issues? I would love to hear your responses in the comments box below… If you liked this article and want more, just leave your email address in the sign up form below.

How to Build Self Confidence by Simon Brushfield How to build self confidence and avoid mistakes that destroy creativity

If you’re interested to purchase or know more about Simon Brushfield’s original paintings click here .

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – How to build self-confidence and avoid mistakes that destroy creativity

Arthur Streeton: How to create art that appeals to large audiences

Arthur Streeton offers 8 ways to improve the level of desire for original art by appealing to large audiences.

The post includes time-tested, proven successful, creative ideas for todays artists.

Even after 100′s of years, Arthur Streeton is still one of Australia’s most well known and successful painters. He has a high public appeal to both Australian and international art lovers.

So how did he accomplish this?

Lesson 1. Arthur Streeton held a strong and clear vision regarding the purpose of his life and art.

“Fire’s on” by Arthur Streeton. 1891 oil on canvas 183.8 x 122.5 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Purchased, 1893

Streeton lived from 1867-1943 and focussed primarily on local landscapes which often depict a love affair with all things Australian. His artwork has enormous appeal to the Australian public, consistently selling his original paintings to wealthy individuals and organisations.

He held a deeply romantic vision of nature.

Lesson 2. Arthur Streeton increased the saturation and intensity of colour in his paintings, in line with the native environment.

In this famous Aussie painting titled “Fires On” Streeton at age 24 perfected the flood of hot summer sunlight as masculine labourers excavate a railway tunnel in the heat and dusty outback of Australia. The sky is a rich heavenly blue, the rocks are beautiful sandstone and the Australian gums stand tall as bronze green pillars.

Streeton loved Australia.

Lesson 3. Arthur Streeton held a deep and passionate love affair with the subject matter

Around the same period, the European Impressionists would describe this new style of working outside the studio as ‘plein air’ painting. Whilst creating this masterpiece, Arhtur Streeton was sitting in the Australian bush and he writes, “I felt near the gates of paradise”

Lesson 4. Aware of current trends in Europe, Arthur Streeton followed popular artistic techniques of the time.

Streetons landscapes are deceptively simple.  But subtley brilliant. He kept his creative process simple and uncluttered, using perspective to perfection, leading the viewer’s eye in a premeditated direction.

Lesson 5. Perspective is used effectively to lead people into the painting

His judgment of tonal colour values captivated large audiences in the 1800’s as he captured the brilliant light of Australian summer days. But also the changing characteristics and moods of natural light as the day came to a close.

Lesson 6. Arthur Streetons simple but effective compositions, allowed for complexity and brilliance of results.

Like many of the 1800’s Australian paintings, popular artists of the time captured the wild and dangerous elements early pioneers faced building the country. Painters like Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and Charles Conder depict a romantic vision of nation building, whereby rugged outback hardships were mostly glorified.

Lesson 7. The artists, their art and indeed the nation, flouorished under hardship creating a visual romance on the canvas

The early Australian painters were a passionate rugged bunch. It’s clear they were strongly patriotic. A new era was beckoning and they captured it on canvas. Life was hard as a pioneer. But the rough Australian outback has a certain appeal and these painters loved their time.

At exhibitions, large audiences flocked to Arthur Streeton shows.

The artists love for Australian bush life and their tough romantic identity resonated with the Australian public during the 1800’s. And still does today.

Lesson 8. Love is infectious. If an audience is touched by a strong feeling, they’ll pay handsomely for it.

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Arthur Streeton: How to create art that appeals to large audiences

Original Art: Advantages original paintings give a business

This post highlights the importance of original art hanging on the walls of businesses.

In fact, beautiful can uplift the environment or culture of any corporate organisation.

Blue Abstract painting by Simon Brushfield Original Art: Advantages original paintings give a business

Acrylic and Oil on board. An abstract painting created by Simon Brushfield featured in Dr Peter Callans surgery

Doctor Peter Callan is a leading plastic surgeon in Australia and an avid art collector. His walls are adorned with attractive original paintings in his offices. Like a renaissance artist, the business of a plastic surgeon is all about beauty. For a cosmetic surgery focussed upon beauty, original art hanging on the walls compliments the character and appeal of the workplace.

Advantage 1: Tasteful original art helps establish the tone and culture of a workplace.

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Dr Peter’s extensive experience in the medical field has led him to feature in many articles in the famous magazine Vogue, a beauty style guide for women. He recently purchased much original art , created by Simon Brushfield , for his new Australian surgery. Like an artist, Dr Peter believes that beauty is about achieving a sense of balance and harmony for people.

Advantage 2: When a business or workplace creates a sense of visual balance and harmony it promotes creativity & optimum productivity.

Much like an artist creating original paintings, people through-out the history of mankind want their own appearance to look beautiful.

Artists and plastic surgeons have similar goals in striving to create beauty for their customers.

For example, a person might be distressed about an aspect of their appearance making them feel ugly. In these situations, Dr Callan’s creativity as a highly skilled plastic surgeon, can seamlessly correct any natural or accidental blemishes. Restoring a sense of harmony, balance and well being to the individual.

He states in Vogue magazine Australia, “Top plastic surgeons are all about restoring the natural beauty of a person”

Advantage 3: Original art placed thoughtfully in the workplace, can emphasise the natural beauty of a building.

Furthermore, the former Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons president, Dr Peter Callan, believes original paintings on the wall are important for his surgery because it creates curiosity and interest in his offices.

Customers in the waiting room can pass the time pleasurably. Dr Callan is a lover of beauty in people, art and architecture.

Advantage 4: Quality original art is very impressive to customers, when entering a business, school or corporate organisation.

In the video below, Xavier College principal Mr Chris Hayes also believes in the important role original art plays for his impressive traditional organisation. A high profile college in Melbourne Australia.

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Dr Callan and Mr Chris Hayes both acknowledge that original paintings displayed in their respective organisations, receives many positive comments, creating interest for both staff and customers alike. In both examples above, the professional workplace is adorned in original Australian art from some of the countries most popular artists.

Advantage 5: Original art plays an important role in promoting the high quality professional appearance of a business or corporate organisation.

Dr Callan has created a truly unique and professional surgery. Whilst Xavier College has a long standing tradition of professional excellence in Australia.

High quality original art can truly improve the character and professionalism of a corporate organisation. If you need advice on purchasing original art for your business, send me a message, or leave a message in the comment box below. I’d love to hear from you.

Convent Gallery Exhibition featuring the popular ‘Red Wine’ series painted by Simon Brushfield. Visit one of Australia’s most beautiful and award winning art galleries in Dalyesford, Vic, Australia.

‘Sydney Tower’ (sold)
Acrylic and Oil on canvas, 2004

80cm x 60cm by Simon Brushfield

‘Eucalypt II’ (sold)
Acrylic and Oil on canvas, 2001
1.8m x 1.4m by Simon Brushfield

‘Eucalypt II’ (sold)
Acrylic and Oil on canvas, 2001
1.8m x 1.4m by Simon Brushfield

Sunrise on Fresh cut grass 768x1024 Sunrise abstract painting on canvas by Simon Brushfield   For sale $1200

“Sunrise on Fresh Cut Grass” by Simon Brushfield (2009) Oil & Acrylic on Canvas 80cm x 60cm For Sale: $1200

As a child on weekends in Australia, I would often hear the distant sounds of people mowing their lawns in their backyard. I appreciate the smell of a freshly cut lawn and a well groomed backyard always looks great. Combine this with a beautiful sunrise coming up over the dew on the grass, is a special childhood memory which I wanted to capture in this painting.