Looking Back

During the 80’s and 90’s I worked as a Freelance Artist, specialising in freehand pen and ink sketches. The first commission came in 1979, from a Real Estate Agency in Essendon, Victoria. They weren’t happy with the illustration an artist had done for a delicate Victorian two-storey terrace home. The Commission was completed and published with other property advertisements in the local newspapers. Other RE agencies tracked me down and before long I was working for 12-15 companies in any week. As ads with my sketches appeared I was then approached by various other businesses, organisations, local and state governments.

The following year I was commissioned to create The Essendon Then and Now Series of limited edition prints. In the mid 80’s I created the series of 6 Historic Buildings of Essendon, as prints and greeting cards.

Before Drones
A new direction and challenge for me was being commissioned to portray an aerial perspective of the position of a block of units in Flemington. It required driving around the streets with my trusty Polaroid camera and sketch book to establish the scene. The concept was popular, and I was commissioned to do many of these over the years.

Little did I realise that a bigger challenge was awaiting me. A builder asked me to do an aerial sketch of his new village of units. I agreed and asked for the address. I can still remember my horror at being told they weren’t built yet but that he was confident I could do the elevation from the plans. LOL! Well I did it, and it was the first of many perspective sketches and pen and wash paintings. In 1986 I moved to the Gold Coast and continued this work. I loved especially visualising the completed views of architects plans for many luxurious mansions on Sovereign Islands.
Below: A selection of illustrations from Melbourne and the Gold Coast in the 80’s and 90’s.

Meeting the deadlines for this work was high pressure. I knew if a commission wasn’t ready for the newspaper deadlines then clients would find another artist. In 1979 my four sons were aged between three and ten. It was the perfect job for fifteen or more years as I could work from home, visit properties, deliver artworks, all during school hours. Very grateful.

Besides Real Estate Agencies, some of my Clients included: Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria, Victorian Egg Farmers, Victorian Fishing Industry, wedding reception estates, churches, and local businesses. A lovely commission on the Gold Coast was to illustrate a pocket book for travellers to Australia – an explanation of the meanings of the Aussie Slang.

I guess this explains why I am so loving focusing on nature, landscapes, trees, flowers, and birds these days. But who knows … maybe I’ll be captivated by an old shack or amazing architecture again one day.


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