This was developed from a tiny sketch I did on hotel note paper in 1999. For several years I had to attend meetings at UNESCO not far from the Luxembourg Gardens and I took the opportunity to visit the gardens and draw on my way back to the hotel.
About the Artist
Roger Beale is one of Canberra’s better known artists with numerous solo and group shows since 1984. He is classically trained (teachers include the late Betty and Roy Churcher, Melville Haysom, John Molvig and the faculty of the Florence School of Art) and paints in a realist style in the European tradition.
His art is held in private and public collections around Australia and the world, including several Ambassadorial residences. Canberra’s famous Ottoman Restaurant had a notable collection of his large flower paintings.
Canberra’s most eminent art critic Professor Sasha Grishin said in his review of Beale’s 2019 Humble House exhibition:
There is little doubt that Beale is committed to his craft and is passionate about his work and his sense of authenticity to the experience of the place is evident throughout the show. … The strength … lies in sensitive treatment of light hinting at the passing seasons and a certain transience of life in contrast to the permanence of the landscape. Many of Beale’s finest works could be described as mood paintings set within a romantic sensibility. At their best, they are highly evocative and lyrical and hark back to earlier traditions and conventions in art.
Roger Beale retired as a Portfolio Secretary of Environment and Heritage in 2004 after many years as one of Australia’s most senior public servants to concentrate on his art practice. He served as a member of the UN IPCC, Climate Commissioner, Chair of the ACT Electoral Commission and an environmental adviser to the Chinese government. He led many inquiries and reviews and was a board member of Australia Post, the Federal Airports Corporation, Brisbane Airport Corporation and Connector Motorways.
He paints from a wheelchair as a result of childhood polio and, besides painting, is a member of the Board of the Australian Centre of Christianity and Culture writes for policy journals and advocates for the disabled. Large paintings like the 2m poppies are painted on their side so that they can be reached from the chair.