He competed in a ‘fence painting’ competition where his painting was brought for the highest price. ‘Fence painting’ was a term used back in the 60’s, where an artist could pay an entrant fee at a festival or event and set up their board or canvas attached to a fence and sit and paint for the day. The paintings were judged and awarded accordingly, which was how David sold his first artwork.
“I remember my first painting was of a rodeo and it was brought for the outstanding price of $14 which I think was around the average weekly wage at that time! It took months before I climbed down off that cloud.”
David grew up in Toowoomba and has a strong connection with his hometown. As a student he attended East School, Toowoomba High and what was then called the Darling Downs Institute for Advanced Education.
“The artist who tutored us then was William Rose who was an abstractionist painter. As a part of our project we worked on a giant mural at McGregor College. I do recall that I was awestruck by William Rose. I’d met plenty of artists by that time as I’d been knocking around with adult artists since I was about 12, but Rose was then considered to be in the Big League.”
With so much knowledge under his belt, David is looking forward to returning to McGregor School as a tutor to share his experiences with the current students.
“I really like the idea of being able to share some of my learnings. I’ve taken workshops in Bali, England and New York.”
David’s tutorials will focus on inspiring the students to find their creative instincts and to make them feel as though they can call themselves artists.
One of David’s key lessons for the students will be ‘less is more’, a lesson that he admits he is still trying to master himself.
As a wise man who has experienced the challenges and success of the being an artist, David’s advice to those who are looking to pursue a career in the creative industry is the following: “Don’t expect success overnight. Grasp every opportunity. Success is 10 per cent aptitude, 40 per cent attitude and 50 per cent opportunity.”
Back in his time in New York, David went knocking door to door in hopes of finding a gallery that would represent his works. Unfortunately no one even looked at his portfolio. Now, David has more than 10 galleries representing his artworks worldwide including places like New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney.
See socials from McGregor Summer School 2017, here.