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The Age article June 16 2017

The Age article June 16 2017

Former Canberra Times cartoonist Ian Sharpe exhibiting at Bungendore

Artist Ian Sharpe sketching in his garden. Photo: Jamila Toderas

When artist Ian Sharpe left The Canberra Times in 2012 he packed his pencils and his sketchbook and set off to see the world.

While quite content in his “little corner of paradise”, at home in Kambah with his wife Gayle, travel soon became an integral part of his retirement.

“Retirement? I’ve never been so busy,” says Sharpe, his tall frame and easy smile a familiar figure.

We reminisce about former colleagues, about a personal drawing he did for me when I left on maternity leave for the first time in 2001, about a few “heated discussions” we had over the years, about the regular Sunday column he illustrated, written by Richard Begbie (if anyone can recall its name, both our fading memories would appreciate it).

And we talk about a new exhibition at Bungendore Fine Art Gallery, Wild, which he is staging with fellow artist Lyn Randall.

A selection of Sharpe’s works have been inspired by the Bob Dylan album Blood on the Tracks, others are illustrations from his 24 years at The Canberra Times, others are landscapes from his travels. His distinctive style familiar.

His lounge room walls are scattered with landscapes from the Greek Islands, of Chicago and Santa Barbara and San Francisco. He spent a month in Italy last year, sketchbook in tow.

“It’s an amazing thing,” he says, “If I was just to sit down on a chair in the middle of a piazza in Florence to take in the scene, the police would come and move me along but because I have a sketchbook, it’s okay.

“People would come over to see what I was doing. I’d have lots of conversations, some with locals keen to tell me all about the neighbourhood, but also tourists like myself who want to see what you’re doing.”

He’s about to head off to Vancouver to see his son James. A fresh sketchbook has already been packed.

Closer to home, he’s the president of the Canberra Caravan Club, taking off on rallies around the local area, to Victoria, soon up to Noosa via Broken Hill.

“I never thought I could make a career out of being an artist,” Sharpe says.

“I loved sitting down to draw, I found it a sort of meditation.

“I saw it as my contribution to the community, especially when I was at The Canberra Times. In a community, some people collected wood, others tended the goats, I made pictures.”

Wild, Bungendore Fine Art Gallery, 42b Ellendon St, Bungendore. Open every day 10am-4.30pm. Until June 30.


Sharpe Cartoons Launched

Sharpe Cartoons Launched

This is my new website. It has been constructed by Rob Armstrong of Bullseye Graphics and illustrated by myself.

It’s genesis has been my recent departure, on mutually good terms, from my employer of 24 years, The Canberra Times, and signals a new chapter in my career as an artist. The website is designed to give prospective clients a broad view of my past work and an indication of my ability to fulfill their future requirements. There is also the means for clients to contact me directly by e-mail or mobile phone. E-mail is preferred because it provides a reference I can easily return to. I do not believe that my evolution as an artist has ended and hope to be able to regularly update the work on this website.

Being There On Sale Here

Being There On Sale Here

March 4 2013. Today I have added 17 pencil and watercolour sketches to my Paintings folio.

They are sketches I did while Gayle and I travelled through Europe in 2012. Each sketch was made on site and completed in one sitting. Most were sketched while sitting on a small fold-up stool that I bought in Nice. It fitted neatly into my carry-bag. Making sketches while I travel is my way of ‘being there’. I try to capture the ambience of the scene rather than photographic accuracy. In the past, I have returned to Australia and had the work framed and held exhibitions that proved very successful. But now, being of a certain age I am less inclined to put myself through the stresses of such solo shows. Added to this I am a member of a number of art groups; The Artists Society of Canberra, Nighy Owls, The Queanbeyan Art Society and The Tin Shed Artists Group. Which all keep me busy with our annual group exhibitions.

All my travel sketches are made on high quality, smooth, 300 gsm watercolour paper with Winsor and Newton watercolour paint and are for sale. Framing may take 2 weeks.

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