About the Artist
I am passionate about painting the Australian and in particular trees. My paintings of trees are unique in the Australian art scene, in technique, vision and approach to the subject matter. I have spent over 40 years painting on location mastering the art of distilling light, distilling form and distilling time into unique quality art works.
Often referred to by artistic friends as the renaissance man, my interests, artistic and educational are many. While this website focusses on my painting which has been my primary medium throughout my life you can follow the links below for further understanding of my artistic life. Or simply Google my name – the advantage of being one of two Russell McKane’s in the world.
I live in the intentional community town of Poatina where there is a strong and active arts colony. Situated at the gateway to the Great Lakes and Great Western Tiers it provides ready painting access to diverse biomes and Tasmania’s unique trees.
I started painting at thirteen years old- it all began with a $2 oil paint set. My enthusiasm for art led me to become a qualified art teacher. My first posting was at the last high school in the far west of NSW, Coomealla High. This led me to journeying out into the desert for drawing and painting ideas. It was here in the desert I discovered some old gnarly Mallee Box trees. They became my first major Brush Painting. I didn’t start small. No! 5 x 4 feet in size it was a studio work and as a first brush painting a high degree of naivism.
As I had my break, my luncheon in this shade have of the desert, these three trees reminded me of the Manets painting. Although flipped the trees take similar posture. I came to understand that in the Australian landscape we see trees from underneath their life giving canopies, not as a ornament to pastoral vista. Thus they populate the landscape with there immovable presence. Sculptural three dimensional created living beings who know and survive and thrive in their environment. So my Figures and Figure in Landscape series began: In 1980 in the desert. Go to my stories page for more detailed stories of my artistic journey and vision.