There is no doubt that one of David Hart’s greatest influences was his father and art mentor, Pro Hart. David says that he has never officially had an art lesson, but more what he would describe as exposure to opportunity, techniques and self-discovery. He believes that art is something that cannot be merely taught, nor something that can simply be learnt; he believes that art is a gift that already exists deep within a person’s soul. The only thing that can be taught is technique, and the only thing that can be learnt, is commitment to experimentation and discovery. In David’s opinion, this is the key to unlocking hidden gifts and potential. Influence should inspire people to explore what might be possible beyond their own boundaries, and should never be a repeat of someone else’s discovery. You can learn from people, and even apply similar techniques to them, but you need to apply them through your own expression and discover ways to push them further to create new ideas.

Throughout his childhood and teens, David spent countless hours watching his father at work and studying various techniques, often just sitting beside him, and talking as any father and son would. Often their time was spent painting side-by-side in Pro’s studio, or sculpting, and even messing around with pottery and clay. Pro never forced art upon David and he never told David how things should be done. David says the greatest gift his father ever gave him was the opportunity to discover art for himself. Pro provided the environment for exposure to mediums and techniques; discovery was left up to David.

David believes influence must be turned into inspiration for personal discovery, and that experience and exposure must push people to develop their own individual technique and style. The benefits of Pro’s influence and encouragement were greatly impacting on his art, but he has also benefited from his lifetime of exposure to artists who he was fortunate enough to meet as a young boy in his family home, some of whom have gone on to become Australian art icons. Possibly the second greatest influence on David’s art career, is the art of Jackson Pollock. Aside from his father, Pollock is the single greatest outside influence on him; he can still recall the first time he saw a Pollock painting.

David recalls one of his first memories of Jackson Pollock: “I still remember the day I walked into my family’s living room as a small child, and there was my father, in his paint covered shorts and flip flops; he had a super 8 camera on an old tripod and he was filming our black and white TV. There were no VCRs in those days so Dad was filming with his Super eight camera to record a man on the screen who was painting outside his house on an old concrete slab. It was Jackson Pollock. I remember he had a cigarette hanging from his mouth that was dropping ash onto his painting while he worked. He was wearing paint splattered clothes and boots, and was painting a big canvas with large tins of paint. He was dripping paint everywhere using sticks and brushes, and didn’t seem to mind walking all over his painting as he worked. I’ll never forget being mesmerized as I stood in the middle of that room and watched him paint for the first time. I was only a young boy, but there was something about how he became part of his painting that greatly impacted me. What he was doing made a connection with me that has stayed until today. Up until that moment, art had just been for fun, but right there, in that living room, I new I wanted to paint like he was painting; I wanted to experience that connection to the canvas just like he did. I still have that old Super 8 video footage, and every now and then I still watch it.”

Aside from human influence, David has also had the privilege of being born and raised in the outback-mining town of Broken Hill in central NSW, Australia. Its harshness and beauty have also been a distinctive influence in his life, and growing up in Australian outback has left him with lasting memories of vast landscapes and interesting characters. Although David looks to express new things as he learns more about different places, mediums, and techniques, his influences and roots will remain as the driving force behind who he is and what he does. He will always paint from his soul and will always stay true to his gifting as he creates work that reflects his love of painting and his love for the outback he grew up in.

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Originals

December 16, 2014

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Series

November 16, 2014

End of Day

Reproductions

September 16, 2014

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Giftware

August 16, 2014