Enquire about Herman Pekel
Born in Melbourne in 1956 to Dutch parents, Herman showed an early interest in art which led him in his youth to studying plein-air (open air) oil painting with Roger Webber, Ernest Buckmaster and Lance McNeill. The raw experience of working (respectively) with them on location brought to the fore his passion for the “freedom of spontaneity” and the rigour of speedily capturing the fleeting glow and illuminating impact of subtle shifts of light across the landscape.
Painting spasmodically until he commenced a Fine Arts degree at RMIT under the tuition of Dale Hickey and Jeffrey Makin in 1981, like many young artists of his day he flirted with Abstract Expressionism before returning to an Australian realist base with a strong painterly technique. An artist of verve and enthusiasm with an expressionist leaning, he is best known for his “wild, impassioned, ebullient and kinetic atmospheric interpretations of the land/sea/cityscape” in oil and occasionally gouache – also he is a self-taught watercolourist of great merit.
Environmental issues are of paramount concern to Herman, and this love and veneration of nature in all “her” contrasting glory is unmistakably reflected in each landscape panorama he paints – “the energising spirits of the earth are alive and well here”. His pictures reveal a complex inner design often manifesting in vectored strokes, aptly scratched-in flourishes to perfect the compositional balance and internal pictorial rhythms, a lucidity of colour and surprising tonality. The scope of his pictorial world is somewhat daunting, ranging from soft, cosy draped interiors to dynamic industrial scenery, tempestuous Australian vistas and romantic European reminiscences.
In 2004 he won the Camberwell Rotary Art Show’s Best Oil, in 1989, 93 and 95 he won the Camberwell Rotary Watercolour prize, in 1989 he received the Camberwell Rotary Travel Scholarship, he won the Alice Bale Award in 1989 and 1993, and has won many other awards.
In 1994 Herman was invited by the National Taiwan Art Institute to participate in a book and travelling exhibition of selected artists from Australia, USA and Taiwan. His paintings are featured in Australian Impressionist and Realist Artists by Tom Roberts, 120 Years of Watercolourists, by the Australian Realist Artists, Artists and Galleries of Australia and New Zealand by Max Germaine and Profile on Contemporary Watercolourists.
He is a member ‘The Twenty Melbourne Painters Society’, ‘Australian Guild of Realist Artists’ and the Victorian Artists Society. He is in numerous private and public collections nationally and internationally.
Available for purchase is Herman Pekel's teaching DVD - A Passion for Paint, $50 plus P & H if applicable or call in and purchase at the gallery.