b a c k g r o u n d

jeff bryant

My home town is Bendigo in Central Victoria. Bendigo is an old (as in having been established about 1850) gold mining town. It is a strange and unusual town with a great many mysteries and hidden treasures both above and underground. It is set upon the northern dying foothills of the Great Dividing Range, just before they peter out to nothing but the long flat plains that run for a hundred or more kilometres to the Murray River.

My first passion was science, for the very same reasons that it encompasses the mysterious, and I spent many long years learning the diabolical arts of physics. This eventually led me to Perth where I attempted to deal with the problem of developing a device that would use the peculiar properties of quantum measurements in order to detect gravity waves rippling away from collapsing stars in "galaxies far far away". I have also been deeply involved in the environment movement in the West. All that time I was practicing my art on and off. Well I have been doing that since I was 4 or 5 anyway. I am largely self taught though I have spent several years at the Claremont School of Art during the 80s in Perth as well. I have been much more involved in the local art scene over the last few years. In particular I run the very popular "Portrait Sitting" in Bassendean. That happens nearly every week rain or shine and with only a short break over Christmas. You can go to the blog for the Portrait Sitting here.

Owing to an increasingly bad reaction to turpentine in the 90s I turned to more traditional media like egg tempera and casein just so I could carry on with my work.  Egg tempera proved to be a very versatile medium however and can include possible additives that give it many of the properties of oil paint. One such is wax emulsion. I had read of wax emulsion but had always thought that it wasn't very easy to make a would probably be awful to use. What convinced me to try it was seeing its qualities in those Egyptian mummy portraits that had survived from the 2nd Century AD and had used that medium. Not only was it durable, but it could look very like hot wax painting. Although no one is sure what the recipe for wax emulsion was 1800 years ago, there are at least modern recipes which use ammonia to emulsify the beeswax and create a paste that is then mixed with pigments.  In recent years my work has begun to move back to plainer egg tempera  which I enjoy for its high tone and sharpness of colour and detail. I  have added acrylic painting to my repetoire now as well and use whatever medium best suits my purposes.

Jeff Bryant

Perth, Western Australia


2013 Finalist in the Black Swan Portrait Prize.

This years Black Swan Portrait Prize opens on 20th September. Go to their webpage http://www.blackswanprize.com.au/

2011 Darlington Art Prize Winner of Painting Category for

Evening at the Junction

Oil on canvas

2011 Observing the Human Form exhibition Winner of Drawing Category for
Biro on cartridge paper

2010 City of swan Art Awards Winner of Local Artist Category for
Casein and egg tempera on board

2010 Print(Ed) Print Media Art Exhibition. Winner of the Digital Print Award for
Family Portrait: Mickey
Digital Print

2009 Finalist in the Black Swan Portrait Prize.
Planet Jo
Casein and egg tempera on board

2nd Prize 2008 City of Swan, Life Drawing Exhibition, Midland Town Hall.
Woman with Glasses
Conte on coloured paper

2007 City of Melville Art Awards Winner of Mixed Media Category for
The Letter
Casein and egg tempera on board

2007 York Art & Craft Festival Highly Commended in Oil and Acrylic for
Madonna and Chook
Egg tempera on board

2005 York Art & Craft Festival Highly Commended in Watercolour for
Quajabin Peak
Egg tempera on board

2005 City of Melville Art Awards Highly Commended in Works on Paper for
My Head
Charcoal on Lithographic paper

2006 Friends of Ellis House Exhibition - winner of the "Peoples Prize"for
Egg/wax tempera on board

2004 Town of Bassendean Art Exhibition Highly Commended in Flat Category for
Sunset to Night
Egg tempera on board

2004 City of Melville Art Awards Highly Commended in Watercolour for
Frank - He Sees
Egg tempera on board

1991 South Perth Society Art & Craft Show Highly Commended in Oil and Acrylic for Rock Pool at Z-Bend Gorge, Kalbarri
Oil on Canvas

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