Arts Everyday Living: Australian Art This Week—Margaret Preston, Artist of the Bushland

Click once, then twice, to enhance the paintings.


When Margaret Preston (1875-1963) was asked to paint her self-portrait in1930 for the Art Gallery of New South Wales (the first woman to achieve that honor), she was recognized as an influential Australian artist. Yet, she was about to embark on a new direction in her career.



Margaret Preston

Margaret Preston, Self Portrait, 1930, oil on canvas, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


For by 1932, she  had made her home in the bushland of Berowra outside of Sydney where her appreciation of both the local environment and Aboriginal rock engravings resulted in works like Flying over the Shoalhaven River which she describes below.


I have thought, I am flying over the river; the earth was an addition.  I concentrated on my clouds, remembering the laws of form and color; the river the same, and lastly the earth.*




Margaret Preston, Flying over the Shoalhaven River, 1942, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia


*Quote of Margaret Preston is from Australian Art by Andrew Sayers, Oxford University Press, New York, 2001.


For an excellent resource on Margaret Preston, click

Art Gallery of New South Wales


And compare the visions of Prescott’s contemporary Georgia O’Keeffe, particularly of the New Mexico desert.  Just google O’Keeffe, Arts Everyday Living.


The images are used solely for educational purposes.













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