Dave Groom’s landscape work is inspired by the mountains of southeast Queensland, which are a unique mix of open forest and rainforest. His studio is on the edge of Lamington National Park, where he has lived most of his life. Having completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design at the Queensland College of Art in 1990, he gradually evolved into a landscape artist and has been painting for 20 years.
Dave Groom talks about his work and his background:
My contemporary landscapes are concerned with the mountains and valleys that surround me at Beechmont, in the Gold Coast hinterland. My family has lived in the area for four generations and I now live and work in a studio, which I built on the edge of Lamington National Park. My Grandfather, Arthur Groom established Binna Burra Lodge on the edge of Lamington National Park and my parents continued with the management of the lodge, which led my sister and I to develop a great appreciation for the surrounding landscape of rainforest and open eucalypt forest. My Grandmother, Margorie Groom was a potter and has a number of works in the Queensland Gallery.
I believe the best way to capture the essence of the landscape is to live in it. This enables me to observe the constantly changing forms, colours, textures and light at different times of day and to watch the processes of nature. My work is a personal journey of observing our natural landscape.
I’ve always had an interest in drawing and studied art through my school years and continued that interest by completing a degree in Graphic Design. I soon realised I had little interest in a career as a Graphic Designer and after some time of soul searching and travelling through Europe I came home to discover a new awareness of our unique landscape. Its timeless beauty inspired me to start drawing again. This began in 1994. In 1997 I began building my studio, which took 3 years to complete.
I admire Australian landscape artists including Fred Williams, Arthur Boyd and William Robinson. I’m also taken by Jeffery Smart, Georgia O’Keefe and Edward Hopper, all very much landscape artists, with a great ability to contrast the landscape with the human condition. My family’s connection to the landscape I live in, is also a huge influence.
Being an artist is a wonderful life of dedicated isolation, especially a life as a landscape artist. My art practice is pretty much a daily ritual, whether it’s drawing, painting, or observing the landscape. If I’m working towards an exhibition, I’ll often begin with a number of graphite or charcoal drawings that help me come up with a theme and style of work. I think working with a theme and developing that theme through a body of work is the best way to produce work that has strength and a timeless quality to it. I love the sense of discovery that you experience as an artist. You discover new ways of creating as well as a sense of self. This is achieved through a constant practice, a daily ritual of immersing yourself in the natural environment.