George Petit

Comments (0) Interviews

“Art therapy is a powerful healing tool. It is a profoundly rewarding experience to see how art therapy improves health and well being,” says this group of artists. Art medicine perhaps? We find out more …

Hi Georges. Tell us where you are from and how you came to live in the Manning Great Lakes.

I was born in Indonesia of French, Dutch/Indonesian parents and went to live in Holland from the age of three. I grew up in my parents’ hotel, where I did my first black and white painting at the age of five being inspired by all the different characters and scenes that I saw there. At the age of 12 my parents moved to Brazil, where I attended the Faculdade de Bellas Artes and had my first two-man exhibition at the National Library of Santa Maria at age 15. The family moved to Australia, and I have since lived in Canberra, where I worked for the Brazilian Embassy. I later joined the then Australian National Gallery staff of about twenty, and then I left the Gallery 8 years later as a section head in conservation.

At the Gallery I met many people such as Fred Williams, James Gleeson, Cristo and too many more to mention. Adelaide was my time of discovery, and a bad car accident prevented me from doing my studies at the SASchool of Arts.

In Brisbane and on the Gold Coast I had a few exhibitions, and at my first exhibition on the Sunshine Coast, Colleen McCullough opened for me. She now has three of my portraits in her private collection. I spent some time on Norfolk Island doing a portrait of Colleen for the Archibald Prize. After some artistic ventures and exhibitions on the Sunshine Coast, I am now living in the beautiful Manning Great Lakes area at Harrington Waters.

The difference between Queensland and this area is that it’s so much better weatherwise, and because of its exclusivity it is hard for me to be other than just a good boy … giving me more time to work.

How are your paintings received by others?

My art work, which is oil and acrylic paintings as well as charcoal drawings and the combination of acrylic and charcoals have been appreciated by different people for different reasons.

The main common reason is that my work varies and it’s done just by my hands. I do experiment and learn from my trials and errors, living by my motto, ‘anything is possible.

Tell us what inspired you to pick up a paintbrush and what drove you to develop your style?

I suppose I was born with a natural ability, and as my mother had been making nice pencil drawings as long as I can remember, it is obviously in my blood. Because of my varied lifestyles and travels, I am now multicultural. Having acquired a broad picture of things contributes to me being a versatile artist. People inspire me; I love just sitting and watching the different personalities and characters pass me by living their lives: sad, happy or whatever they try to share or hide. I could have done better if … !

You are based in Harrington. Tell us about your lifestyle and how such a beautiful place can impact your art.

Living here at Harrington Waters, next to the old Harrington is like old and new coming together right next to the Pacific Highway. The link between rural and urban lifestyles observed by pelicans and mother nature inspiring artists alike, to be or not to be.

How does painting make you feel? Do you think of it as business, or is it more of a spiritual journey for you?

Painting, when inspired and actually doing it, makes me feel good, as it takes me away from this world we live in. I don’t think of it as a business, although it can be costly being an artist.

In a spiritual way, it collaborates with the intellect, as I always like to put a meaning in my work … as I do in my poetry writings.

You are continuing your exhibition in Harrington until Jan 10. Tell us how the display has been going throughout December?

The function centre and library, being new in Harrington Waters, needed an inaugural exhibition, and when I was persuaded to exhibit my art I was pleased to do so. December, being a good month for locals and visitors, I hope to show that the versatility of an artist can be and should be appreciated.

I hope my work will show my talent as an artist, a versatile artist, and I will be happy to take on commission work if requested.

Why should people attend the show?

The people should attend the exhibition if they are open minded to variations in styles and subjects and want to see something to appreciate. Remember, “Art is in the eye of the beholder.”

When I join my ancestors, the people who invested in my art will be happy with their investments; this is the case generally when good artists pass on!

Can people visit your works online?

Art appreciators, who have an open mind and can appreciate art for its beauty can view my work and get to know me on at:

What is your New Year’s resolution, and what goals would you like to achieve as an artist in 2010?

My New Year’s resolution is to work more and start creating small collections of certain styles and subjects and to be appreciated and recognised for being a versatile artist (‘versatile’, multi-talented artist) not only by people who appreciate art but critics and investors alike.

Thank you Georges.

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