Bob Marchant, back in 2018 on his 80th birthday launched an exhibition - Living The Dream - a series of paintings that express his deep contentment with life and passion for the natural world.
Marchant came to full-time painting at the age of 40, but the die was cast much earlier as he grew up as part of a farming family in Dimboola, Victoria.
"My mother used to look at me and say, 'You were bloody born with a pencil in your hand!' because every time she wanted me to chop some wood or wash the dishes I'd say 'I'm just doing a drawing.' " 2
After a successful advertising career overseas, Marchant returned to Australia inspired by the paintings of post-impressionist Henri Rousseau and fired by a determination to make truly Australian works. "I thought, this guy's got imagination and he lets it run wild," he says. Over the next 40 years, he constantly returned to Australian themes, from cricket to the red desert and shearing sheds, to Australia Day on the beach.2
Bob Marchant continues to be inspired by local flora and fauna as can be seen in the painting below - A walk on the wild side. I love the touch of fantasy making this dream world even more engaging.
The richness of colour expressed by Bob in these paintings is breathtaking and the detail has been created by a master drawer.
Marchant's work has been heavily influenced by his surrounding environment. From the experiences during his formative years in country Victoria, to his current studio in Bundeena in the Royal National Park, his work depicts the people, the communities and the natural world around him. His works are rich with images and scenes of Australian life and are a narration of experiences and memories. While the nature of the work is often referred to as naive, Marchant's works are created with intricacy and intention, with his characters and themes depicted with delight and humor. Blouin Artinfo May 2018 3
Marchant is an artist working in a form and style unlike any of his contemporaries… (he) is the heir to the great traditions of art, of narrative painting and of illustration. He is a storyteller, creating images which are filled with incident and acutely observed detail. They tell of the world in which we live as well as the worlds of memory and imagination.
Gavin Fry, Director of Newcastle Regional Museum, 1999 3
His painting has captured Australia with a timeless, yet remarkably fresh approach – a blend of colour & vastness of the continent, and the persistent wit of it’s people. Austen Sibley 3
I will let Bob Marchant and his paintings have the last say through vibrance and love of life.
Each of my paintings have a personal story behind them.
Dreams and experiences that I have enjoyed for the last 80 years.
I call Bundeena Paradise by the sea.
© Thank you to Bob Marchant who kindly gave permission for the images of his work to be shared on AnArt4Life.
Note from the Editor
It's a very cool day down here in Melbourne, Victoria but the sun is shining to welcome our latest subscribers - M.B. in Tanzania and D.R in the UK. It is so wonderful to know that around the world we are all thinking and chatting about our shared love of art.
A very warm welcome to M.B. and D.R..
1. Bob Marchant - facebook.com
2. Nick Galvin Bob Marchant's still living the dream The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 May 2018 - smh.com.au