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Wolfgang Melchhart, 
54 Coopers Hill Dve.  Westmeadows 3040,
Melbourne, Victoria , Australia 
Ph.:xx 61 03 9338 5969
Mob.: 04 1480 4116

A brief 'Who am I?'

I was born in Berlin, Germany. My father was a visual artist but lost his life in the war. I grew up near Hannover, West Germany. I was influenced by an artist friend, who thought an artistic career was laid for me. However, we realised very soon, that in those days it was not easy to be an artist, therefore I studied electronic engineering at Siemens. Painting became a hobby up to the point where my painting were exhibited and sold. I found my self being recognised in a certain area in Germany and the UK.

The training in engineering gave me perhaps a logical approach to art, as my paintings are sometimes regarded as engineered. However, if engineering was good enough for the old Masters and Composers, then it should be good enough for me. Fake paintings are usually discovered, for the lack the struggling of the artist to get it right and are usually qualified on the many overpainted layers. Only forgers get it right the first time. (This applies to the old masters off course).




My change in different styles was also frowned upon but I don't like to be type-caste into one style only. Different motives and moods require different styles, paints and layouts for I paint not necessarily what I see but rather what I would like to see. In my opinion, art does not necessarily depend on the restrains of one style only.

In 1966 I married a girl all the way from Australia. We decided in 1985 to settle in Melbourne, where I joined the School of Chemistry at Melbourne University. I decided to retire in 1993 and become a full time artist.

Some philosophy behind my paintings.

PAINTINGS, not pictures.

Photography is an art created by the person that is shooting the image. However, if ten cameras are faced in the same direction they would produce the same image regardless, even if pictures were different in texture, color and composition. (I know that photographers will burn me at a stake, but I hope they will understand that I only use it as an example.)
Ten painters being in the same situation would produce ten paintings very different indeed, for there are added and missing parts of the scene, the perspective of the image would certainly be different in every painting, so would the painting material that is used. Some would be abstract, and some realistic. You may see what I man.
Apart from that, a painting or drawing can be created in the studio purely out of memory, without having to look at any image. It would be a collage of bits and pieces collected during travel or when I was asleep. Some artists producing very realistic paintings, done on location and they may look like photographs but they are not; they are
PAINTINGS and they should be called PAINTINGS and not pictures. A picture does not distinguish between a compute image, a photograph or a scribble in the sand. The word picture describes just an image, without qualification.

BRUSH-Stroke's or not?
When I started drawing many years ago, I was taught to be extremely accurate in producing details. I still know how to draw a drill-bit very accurately from memory. After I was released from this punishment, I lashed out and produced some fantastic paintings consisting of slapped brush-stokes. However, over the year's canvases piled up and I noticed that I wasn't noticed. Then I remembered a story an old artist friend told me, when I was a kid:
A Chinese Mandarin asked an artist to paint a rooster. The artist went to work straight away. Several years later the Mandarin came back to pickup the painting. The artist asked for a moment of patience, stretched up a piece of silk, took a brush and slapped a few strokes onto the silk. He asked the Mandarin: "Is this what you had in mind?" The answer was yes.
Well growing into maturity, eventually this story made me understand why I didn't sell any paintings and I realized that what I produce was simply bad. Another wakeup came when I was forced to drive passed a large billboard every morning in Berlin, displaying a silly advertisement over one of my slap-on paintings being used as a background. (That was incidentally the only one I sold in a pub for a couple of beers.)

Well, I gave up showing off. I found that everything looks good from a distance and if you are half blind it helps. However, not everything looks good at a close up. If a close-up does not create a good gut-feeling, then there is something wrong with it regardless what kind of brush-stokes are used.

If paint is applied on the canvas without any philosophical rubbish in mind, then it was done because it had to be done. This can not only be noticed by an 'expert' but any philistine as well. I stopped wasting time with listening to most other people giving advice about art, and started painting. I found that I was trying too hard to pleasing other people. If I would stop making the splits in every direction, then I am sure that brush-strokes will fall into place eventually. This applies to the color-pallet as well. Maybe one day I get the composite color theory right. Too many people try to show one how it is done and if one listens to closely, the individual creativity is muddied, in the same way as colors are. Lately I spend months of agonizing over one painting trying to get it right, layer after layer, week after week. However, many of those creations do bite the dust, for that time is over where drowning paintings are rescued. Some of those casualties I keep still hanging on my wall as reminders.

The STYLE is another thing being pushed by 'experts'. Consider the variety of styles used in classical music, boat building, farming and dancing! There is a big world out there of things to discover. Sitting your whole life on a conveyor-belt may make you an expert in what you are doing, but……… who am I to criticise, for I am just a nobody. I know there are many artists that are happy in copying they're own paintings over and over, but I would get bored. Ever so often I have to try something new. Right or wrong, I like it.

One thing I studied very closely though and that is the chemistry of materials used in paintings.