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Eclectus Parrots View larger

Eclectus Parrots

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Watercolour and Gouache on Paper. Size 19'' X 22 1/2''

Information on the artist:
Oenone Hammersley specializes in painting rainforests and wildlife She has been exhibiting regularly since 1980, with shows in U.S.A., U.K, Europe and Africa. She spent three years living in Tanzania, where she painted traditional wildlife scenes as well as her newly developed style of surreal images. In Greece she used Greek Mythological figures to illustrate her paintings, working both in oil on canvas and watercolour & gouache on paper. She has just returned from Papua New Guinea which is part of the focus of her recent collection of paintings.

Oenone's recent wildlife paintings embrace the vivid colours of the infinitely varied species of bird life and exotic frogs of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Many of the paintings in this collection are in watercolour and gouache on paper, with which Oenone achieves her greatest detail. Feathers look so real you think you could stroke the birds, and frogs seem to be about to leap out of the paintings.

With her oil paintings Oenone has used large canvases, leaving bold areas of ground space in order to introduce her latest fascination with seeds. Oenone has collected seeds from many parts of Australia and has included them as collage in her new work. Inspired by the seeds in Daintree Rainforest, where Oenone started her collection. The collage effect of the seeds gives a three-dimensional and textural quality to her paintings that is unique, and makes an exciting departure for her work.

Oenone has brought into some of her recent oils a favourite theme of balconies, which she also used in her oil paintings in Athens, Greece. Here in Australia she has painted the intricate and beautiful wrought iron balconies found in Paddington, Sydney, with Australian wildlife perched on them, and fantastic views such as Uluru or the Olgas in the distance.

Deriving inspiration from her extensive expeditions to South-east Asia, India, Africa and Latin America, she is committed to furthering the cause of conservation through her work and involvement with organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Flora and Fauna International and Earthwatch. She raises funds for conservation by donating a percentage of the proceeds from the sales of her work, and frequently accepts commissions on request.

Clearly influenced by the work and colour of Gauguin, Matisse and Rousseau, Oenone has been able to create her own style and colour with a hint of the surreal, and found a way to express her feelings about nature and wildlife. Paths and the choices we face when confronted with those pathways feature heavily in her work. The question of choice, whether to choose to take the path that leads to saving wildlife and nature, or to choose another way, is presented allegorically. The animals in these paintings act as guides and stand like sentinels at the gateways.

Oenone was born and educated in England. She studied theater design and printmaking in London. She is married to an American Diplomat and is currently living in Alexandria Virginia.