“It’s always been a fascination for me . . . asking what motivates people.”
If painting can be likened to an artful journey, Sunshine Coast painter Ian Grieve would be considered an intrepid traveller who discovers new horizons and revelations at every stop.
Conceding that one can constantly push back the restraints of each medium, as far as portraiture is concerned, Ian’s goal is to achieve strong likeness of painting to sitter. This, plus seeking out a person’s essence, is his ultimate challenge.
While single subjects dominate his portraiture, Ian has readily immersed himself into painting couples, highlighting at once their individuality and distilling their common bonds.
Ian’ Approach to Portraiture
Painting from a live subject rather than photos or other images, Ian edges closer, sitting by sitting, to what he believes makes an individual tick.
“This way, you learn so much about them . . . by talking to the people and getting an understanding about their background,” Ian intimates.
This approach has been a boon for his art; he is able to go well beyond the surface and pick up the character traits.
Concentrating on oils and watercolours, Ian has completed a Living Treasures series, depicting a pool of thirty people who have made lasting impressions on the area’s cultural and art scene.
During that period, which Ian also termed “exercise”, people painting became his raison d’être.
While most people turn up at his studio, which is organised for the purpose, in some cases Ian elects to paint them in other suitable environments.
A new challenge continues with the completion of a host of outdoor sculptures, a project Ian is working on together with partner Judy. The landscape integrated sculptures exceed life-size proportions.
Seen in the larger picture, this move is yet another station in Ian’s artistic travels – a journey which has been punctuated by the repeated satisfaction of discovering more and, in turn, being able to strive for more.