Most artists paint their masterpieces on canvas or paper. Not so the Bribie Community Arts Centre Artist of the Month for March, Rusty White. Rusty has been painting in oils for 40 odd years, starting as a teenager using tiny tins of model aircraft paint. Back then surreal fantasy was his preferred style. When his father introduced him to artist’s oils in the 1980s, painting became for Rusty an addiction.
Then, after meeting and befriending artist Colin Brown in the early nineties, Rusty earned his name when he branched into painting on old relics. About the only things he doesn’t paint on are people. “Their resale value is not good,” he jokes. His alternate canvases include hand saws, frying pans, milk cans, teapots, and teaspoons. Some three decades ago, Rusty traveled Australia in an old International bus selling his artworks at markets and festivals from the Tamworth Country Music Festival to the Barossa Valley Vintage Festival. At his Artist of the Month Talk and morning tea, I must ask him if he painted on the old bus!
Although no longer selling at festivals, he continues to set up shop at markets such as Mt Gravatt, Jimboomba and Rocklea. In addition to painting on the relics, even on the occasionally stretched canvas, Rusty undertakes consignments he calls his Heirloom Work. Clients bring an old photo they want to be reproduced in oils to cherish for future generations. He specializes in painting photos and subjects relating to family history. Local residents with such a photo they’d like reproduced are most fortunate that Rusty has recently moved from Archerfield to Bribie Island after falling in love with the place whilst visiting a few years back.
His AOM talk would be the ideal time to discuss this with him. Bring your photos! So far as living on our picturesque island is concerned, “Bribie,” comments Rusty, “is an artist’s paradise, offering so much inspiration with its natural beauty which can be identified in my work.” Any further information you may require can be obtained by ringing the Arts Centre on 07 3408 9288.