How Graham draws inspiration

Published 7:00am 8 April 2023

How Graham draws inspiration
Words by Nick Crockford

Graham Forsyth, a resident at Bolton Clarke Bongaree Retirement Village, first studied art at school and took up a paintbrush again to challenge himself in retirement.

Now the former policeman, 74, is hoping to set up an outdoor studio on the patio of his one-bedroom unit to expand his catalogue of more than 100 paintings

That includes the winning portrait from the village’s 2022 art competition.

Mr Forsyth says his love of painting grew to keep him challenged after he retired in 2004.

“I did art as a subject at school and was introduced to water colours where I developed an interest,” he says.


“I was inspired by the impressionists like Vincent Van Gogh and Monet.”

In retirement, the grandfather of three was looking for a new challenge and in addition to acting as the village’s volunteer bus driver, he decided to try his hand at art again.

“I like puzzles, crosswords and anything which is a challenge, and painting provides that for me,” he says.

“The bigger the canvas the more I can enjoy the art itself and work on improving my technique.

“I try to do a bit of everything like landscapes and still life paintings where I can adjust the lighting and shadows.

“I recently painted a series of trawlers anchored in the Bribie Passage.”

Get eyes right

Graham has painted many self-portraits and often profiles his wife in his work.

“I try to get the eyes right, then everything else follows,” he says.

He also uses the Bribie Island bushland setting as a creative stimulus.

“I like the green of the bush and I’ve noticed every tree has a different shade,” he says.

“Being here at Bongaree on the edge of Bribie is inspiring.”


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