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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Joseph Z. Interview. Today.

No need to say WHO is Joseph Zbukvic and how much he has done to bring the watercolor media to the highlights. Here is the interview with the Australian master, which I got today.

Could you convince an oil painting lover in advantages of watercolor painting?
Personally, I like both mediums and I know some people have a bias either way. I could tell an oil lover all the magic qualities of watercolor but in the end it`s the matter of taste. That is hard to change. Historically, oils hold a high ground and always will, due to their ability to be displayed in museums and public places without a worry of fading etc... Also size and strength... Watercolor will always be a Concerto versus the symphony of oil... It`s how it is. The two are as valid but should not compete.

Joseph Zbukvich. Quiet Corner. 15x22". 2012

Which qualities of watercolor media made you so dedicated to it? 
I discovered watercolors some 40 years ago as part of my university course. I gained a diploma of industrial design in 1974. The moment I used it I was hooked by it`s own “life” ... It can not be tamed. Instead of controlling it, you ride it like a wild horse. It`s always exiting and alive. It never ceased to surprise me even after all this time... It it`s elusiveness and spirit I adore.

Joseph Zbukvic. WAITING FOR CUSTOMERS. 22x30".2012

Could you do without watercolor?
Well, that is obvious after 35 years as a professional artist, I can do nothing else... I have a favourite saying...” I just paint, all else comes after”... It has cost me my marriage and many relationships... She is my only true love... watercolor... I once went on a holyday without my paints. I lasted 3 days and then went to an art store and spent the rest of the time painting... I like to say that ART CHOOSES YOU...ONE CANT CHOOSE TO BECOME AN ARTIST...

Joseph Zbukvic

Do you consider watercolor graphic or painting media?
Strange question. Any medium can be graphic... If you look at some illustrations, particularly old ones - they are work of art... It`s a fine line…

Joseph Zbukvic

If the result of work is not perfect would you consider the painting is wasted?
No such thing as wasting time... (xpt for writing this< ha ha) Every painting is an experience, whether it works or not. Anyway I never paint for purpose of success or sailable work... I just paint... Anyhow “watercolors` elusive quality is made to have “failures”. If you succed every time – you are not painting properly...

Joseph Zbukvic

Do you expect a certain result when painting or it is more important to be flexible and enjoy the process?
I always start with an inner eye vision but also always let watercolor tell me what to do... It has to be a balance between the two – otherwise it`s too controlled and stiff or just a happy accident of running paint...

Joseph Zbukvic

Who influenced you the most in watercolor?
Sargent is the only man I look at with awe... He used 5 colors – did it all on location – no camera-no nothing – just for fun... Amazing stuff.... Also my four painting buddies in our group “Winterlude” ALVARO CASTAGNET, HERMAN PEKEL, PATRICK CARROLL and NICK CANOSA. We have been mates for 15 years and have travelled the world painting together...

Joseph Zbukvic

If you had a choice of only 5 colors which ones you would select?
Well I just said Sargent only used 5! I think they were ULTRAMARINE, BURNT SIENNA, CAD RED, YELLOW OCHRE and one more... can`t remember... I could paint using one color and have done paintings using instant coffee just for fun... But - CAD YELLOW, BURNT UMBER, CAD RED, COBALT TURQOUISE AND ULTRAMARINE WOULD BE A MUST..
Joseph Zbukvic

What is your attitude to black paint?
Black is not a colour, just a total lack of colour.

What colors do your silverish grey tones consist of?
Gray is a combination of all! colours!!!! Every one of them!

Joseph Zbukvic

What is your brushes variety for a single painting? 
I use 'ESCODA' BRUSHES... made in Spain by a lovely family in a small factory, ALL HAND MADE!... My brand squirrel mops for big washes and nylon “Perlas” for details. Only one thing is important with brushes - they MUST HAVE PERFECT POINTS!!!! So many students try to save money and paint with old blunt ones - useless!!! The brush is a tool that rates the marks to produce your work... If they are no good?!?!?! No point of drawing and mixing paint and using good paper and then trying to paint with crap!
Joseph Zbukvich

What is your paper choice?

Can you give an advice on details selection? 
 Detail is just “jewels”. Big shapes create the atmosphere and space, depth, etc... Details merely enhance that and finish the work ... Most people confuse details with creating better work - WRONG! Big shapes and major washes are the boss!


Do you always finish the painting in one session?
All my paintings are one in one go – mainly on lacation!... I may do some “polishing up” next day in the studio (more details).

Can you determine the percentage of control and spontaneity in your work? 
Control versus spontanious is a repeat of your NO. 6 question? I think you meen inspiration? Without that there is just pictures, not works of art. Sadly we see way too many of those paintings only painted for money…


  1. your watercolors are realy beautifull, whith my compliments

  2. your paintings are fabulous!!!!!jsm

  3. Bardzo podobają mi się zarówno prace, jak i blog... Pozdrawiam serdecznie i nieustającej weny twórczej życzę... :-)

  4. Your paintings are WONDERFUL, i LOVE THEM, and I love this blog congratulations to Konstantin Sterkov for his posts¡¡¡¡¡

  5. I love you painting and follow you.

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