Taking something ordinary and making it sublime

THE essential ingredient in painting is light, and Philip Turton's studio in Berrima has a south facing window which supplies an all-day source of soft consistent light.

This window also looks out over a kitchen garden providing another source of inspiration for the 'classical realism' still life paintings on show in Philip's exhibition of recent works at the Milk Factory Gallery - Classical Realism.

Philip studied art as a young adult but the art world of the 1960s had lost interest in the traditional representational art that he preferred. A resurgence in representational art occurred in Europe and America in the 1980s and 90s, where traditional atelier painting and drawing studios, with their concentration on passing many generations of accumulated knowledge and skills from master to pupil, became popular.

One branch of this contemporary revival of classical painting has become known as Classical Realism.

In 1984, Turton decided to refresh his art career and returned to the Julian Ashton Art School where he studied for three years.

Turton manages to paint, exhibit and sell his works while running 'Ashrowan', a bed and breakfast in Berrima with fellow artist, wife Susan Heslin.

Turton's inspiration is based on the old adage of 'taking something ordinary and making it sublime' comes from the new and the old with the help of Susan's collection of unusual and extraordinary pieces sourced over many years.

A recent buyer described the painting of a bowl that he bought from Turton as "sitting in splendid isolation", beautifully summing up what is the essence of these classical realism works.

The exhibition opens tomorrow at 2.30pm and continues to September 4.