Ken Searle grew up around the Cooks
River and the Wolli Creek, where he still lives.
He always says that he like to walk into a painting.
Whether he is doing a large oil painting or an illustration
for a picture book, he begins by exploring the area
and sketching on site.
demonstrates this method in workshops suitable for students
from Years 3-12.
Using the theme 'Letting the Landscape Tell the
Story', he discusses art
illustrating, and shows works in various mediums (charcoal, pencil, gouache,
oil and crayon) as well as explaining how he gets his ideas from place.
is also available for hands-on drawing workshops, in which
a number of techniques, including perspective.
with author Nadia Wheatley, Ken gives environmental workshops
that combine writing poetry
with art and design.
work with Ken and Nadia, one NESB student wrote: 'I really
liked art and I learnt how to shade, and how to draw things
faster, but most of all
improved my writing'.
in recent years Ken Searle has designed and illustrated a
number of highly acclaimed picture books, he is best
known for his oil paintings
of areas as diverse as the Sydney suburb of Newtown, Ballarat in regional
Victoria, and Papunya in the Western Desert. Since 1975,
he has been represented
Gallery (Sydney), where he has held thirteen solo exhibitions. A selection
Ken's paintings can be viewed on www.wattersgallery.com.
1993 Ken Searle worked for the first time as a book illustrator, producing
the cover and twenty clack and white line drawings for the novel Lucy
in the Leap Year, by Nadia Wheatley,
an Honour Book in the 1994 CBCA Awards.
Over the period 1998-2001 Ken Searle and Nadia Wheatley worked as consultants
at the school at Papunya, an Indigenous community 250 kilometres west of Alice
Springs. This led to the production of Papunya School Book of Country
and History (2001). Ken was the designer for this book, as well as
facilitating the illustrations done by over forty Anangu staff and students. Papunya
School Book of Country and History won a number of awards, including
the Eve Pownall Award (2002) and the History for Young People section of the
NSW Premier's History Awards (2002).
With the Seasons in Kakadu (by Dianne Lucas),
Ken Searle was illustrator as well as designer. As research, he explored
the flood plain - gathering plant specimens, taking photographs and sketching
Ken Searle's most recent book is the Going Bush (2007). Ken
was designer as well as illustrator for this innovative publication which incorporates
Ken’s photographs, illustration, design with a narrative by Nadia Wheatley
and children's artwork, poems and prose. This book came out of a project developed
by Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle for the Interschool Harmony Committee of Muslim,
Catholic and public schools in the south-west region of Sydney.
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