David Taylor: Cloak of Morn
David Taylor was educated at the Caulfield Institute of Technology and the Melbourne College of Printing and Graphic Arts, where he studied etching and colour etching. In 1979, he was the first winner of the Camberwell Rotary Overseas Travel Grant, which enabled him to further his studies and expand his experience in London, Europe and North America. Taylor has acknowledged the influence on his work of Winslow Homer, Hercules Brabazon Brabazon, James McNeill Whistler, J.M.W. Turner, the Impressionists (particularly Claude Monet) and John Singer Sargent. He has written of his interest in spontaneity, in ‘capturing the moment,’ and of responding to a subject’s mood and atmosphere.
Since 1975, Taylor has held regular solo exhibitions of his work in Australia and internationally, including England, the Channel Islands and Stockholm, Sweden. He also conducts workshops in Australia, Europe, the United States, Scotland, England, Italy, Spain and Egypt. His most recent exhibition was A Brush with the Masters in 2015.
He has received more than 100 awards In Australia and Internationally, including the Victorian Artists’ Society Artist of the Year (1976, 1980, 1989); the Kenneth Jack Memorial Award (2008, 2011); Herald Sun Gold Medal at the Camberwell Rotary Exhibition (2002) and Silver Medal (1976); the 2015 Gold Medal, Camberwell Rotary; Silver Medal, Bornova, Turkey (2015) and the Victoria Harbour Platinum Award (2018). In 2016, he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Watercolour Society of Victoria for his service to the Society and broader community.
Taylor was the Australian judge on the international jury adjudicating the inaugural 2010 Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition and his work was selected for the National Collection in China. In May 2013, he held a solo exhibition at the Quanhua Watercolour Art Gallery, Zhujiajiao, China as part of the International Watercolor Masters’ Series.
His work is featured in two educational DVDs, Solving the Mystery of Watercolour and Looking for the Light, both produced by APV Films.
A member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 1983, David Taylor is a Fellow of the Victorian Artists Society and a member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society, in which he served as Vice President.
The Work of Art
In David's words, My early years in colour etching, and learning hand skills with the brush and engraving tools, was a solid grounding in understanding the intricacies of colour and value, which was to assist in the development of my work. I was inspired at the time by a number of our great early painters in watercolour, particularly those that chose to work spontaneously and emotively. My aim and approach stemmed from the freshness one could achieve by working simply and the beauty found in the medium as it flowed on the paper, often creating passages by itself as it intermingled with another colour. Plein air painting, working with nature and its moods, is a great love of mine. The abstraction is found in what doesn’t need to be said and by what is not always visible. The need to create is important. It’s a skill to illustrate, an Art to create.
Cloak of Morn is more in the style of a traditional landscape. Painted in 1984, it is a watercolour that depicts a winding river. The twists and turns of the river and the bays make an interesting composition. Much like David's other watercolours (should you look at his work online) he encapsulates the effects of light on the water and on the shores. His works are very attractive and sought after. It is no wonder that his art is represented in many corporate and private collections in Australia and worldwide.