Joseph Zbukvic: 45 Years of Art & Tradition

Joseph Zbukvic’s solo exhibition is NOW OPEN! The Opening Reception will be held tonight from 6-8:30pm. We have over thirty brand new watercolors that feature an array of locations such as; the canals of Venice, the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, and the pastoral regions of Australia.

This show marks Joseph’s forty-fifth year as a professional artist! Unfortunately he is unable to attend, but he has a lovely note to share with all his fans and collectors:

It is my great pleasure and a privilege to hold my solo exhibition in this beautiful gallery. Even though I am unable to attend, I hope to be there with you in spirit through my paintings. Each one has been carefully selected just for this exhibition, which happens to also coincide with the celebration of my 45th year as a professional artist. It has certainly been a long road since those early days when I first headed into the countryside with a few brushes. At that time nonfigurative art was in vogue and as a young man I was under a lot of pressure from my peers to go in that direction. My love of painting made me stay within the boundaries and rules of traditional art, even though it was not easy to find that elusive personal way of saying something differently within that square. That search has taken me on many travels around the world and I have grown and as an artist and a person since then. However, that love and desire to paint has remained with me, and is still just as strong as it was in that young boy so long ago. I hope you can sense some of it when you look at my work and I also hope that you truly enjoy viewing each painting as much as I have enjoyed painting them.

Joseph has also provided quotes about each paintings and we will share those here on the blog throughout the exhibition. You’ll get a sense of his inspiration and personal connections to the scenes he paints. Keep scrolling and you’ll find a few below!

Click here to experience a virtual walk through of the exhibit.
Les Grands Boulevards 14.5×10.5, watercolor on paper
From the Collection
Twilight Melbourne 14.5×10.5, watercolor on paper

This fabulous old building was once a bank and is very close to my studio. I often simply walk to paint there. Andrew Wyeth said that he could paint the same scene for the rest of his life, depending on the quality of light and time of the year, it constantly presents a new vision. I don’t think I would go quite so far, but I do return to this subject regularly. He  was certainly correct in saying that it looks different each time. The reason I think this makes for such a good subject is that spire, it cuts such a great shape against the sky. I see it as a visual arrow connecting the earth to the sky. This was actually painted on what I call “steering wheel easel”. It was a miserable day so this time I had to paint while sitting in a car, to the amusement of passers-by. I’m used to people stopping to see what I’m doing. I recall painting in France under a restaurant awning in similar weather while freezing, suddenly the door opened and  the proprietor came out with a cup of hot chocolate! Plein air painting often brings such surprises.


Old Timers 13×19, watercolor on paper

This farm is only an hour or so from my studio and I often go to paint there. It is owned by an old farmer who is in his 90s and has kept every ancient truck and bits of farm machinery, not just from his time, but from his father’s as well! It is like a living farm museum with rusty bits of stuff strewn everywhere. Whenever I get there I find him still works hard and refusing or use what he calls, that newfangled stuff. Of course for me it just makes for a plethora of magic painting subjects. I’ve never come home from there without a good painting. I hope you agree with me with this work as well. This old fashioned  lifestyle is sadly fast disappearing, with modern equipment and huge sheds replacing what you see here. I feel it’s almost my duty to keep recording it. Naturally it also takes me back to my childhood days on a farm, so I truly enjoy visiting there and he and I have had many long chats about the good old days. I hope this place keeps living on, at least I hope it will in my paintings.


High and Dry 15×15, watercolor on paper

This is another painting from Williamstown. I love painting boats in the water with their reflections, but I also really enjoy seeing them high up on supports while under repairs. Boats have lovely organic shapes and look as if they could sail away into the ether, particularly the older wooden kind. I like painting the masts and ropes as they cut strong  silhouettes against the sky. It reminds me of Chinese calligraphy somewhat. It has to be done very quickly and you simply only have one single go at it or it loses its freshness. Brushwork is just like handwriting, if you go slow and methodically it can look neat but somewhat boring, and if you rush it’s illegible. Like everything in life there’s always that ideal meet in between. I was very happy with this work from the first brush mark to the last. It didn’t need anything else when I got it back to the studio. I hope you agree.


Please email any questions or inquiries to info@principlegallery.com and click here if you’d like to view the entire show. The exhibition will be on display from October 22nd through November 8th.