Bernard Greaves is a young artist from Sydney whose luscious oil paintings are reminiscent of Ben Quilty and Nicholas Harding with their thickly applied swathes of paints.
Having trained as an architect, Bernard is once more exploring the realm of painting, something that he first dabbled in when in high school. Inspired by the concept of what it means to be Australian, he likes to paint his surrounding landscape. As he says, 'I like to paint things that I see everyday. Portraits of family and friends, local Sydney landmarks and everyday items.'
His process typically begins with a quick, rough charcoal sketch before he applies the oil paint, usually with a palette knife. He prefers working spontaneously, often completing works in one session. 'I try not to overwork the paint,' he says. 'I will fiddle around with colour and shades on the board but once I apply it to the canvas I try to leave the marks as it sticks.'
His use of palette knives developed from his admiration of the art, and social justice, practice of Ben Quilty. Bernard typically uses two - one to paint with, and one to mix the paint with. As he says, 'the knife allows me to pick up large amounts of paint in one go and apply onto the surface in interesting movements.'
Working from his dining room table, he finds being surrounded by his housemates inspires and motivates him. Being surrounded by others gives his practice a sense of energy that he believes is transferred into his art. Travel is also a key motivator - he hitchhiked throughout South East Asia when he was eighteen and worked in Vietnam for a year - and helps him to look at Australia with fresh eyes.