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Australian Artists and Painters (#1): d'Arcy W Doyle

John has loved art since school when he won various art awards. He has studied Commercial Art and has done advertising illustrations.

australian-artists-and-painters-part-one-darcy-w-doyle
d'Arcy W Doyle

d'Arcy W Doyle

Arrival of the First Fleet

Arrival of the First Fleet

Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass

An Introduction to Australian Art

There is a plethora of articles on the Internet about famous artists and artworks. There is no shortage of information for example on The Impressionists such as Monet, Renoir and Degas; Post-Impressionists Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne etc.

There have been many other art movements throughout the world before and after these however, and even in the 20th Century we have paintings by the likes of Matisse, Picasso, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Norman Rockwell etc.

Although there is information available on Australian artists I find most of them are not widely known throughout the world and so with this series of articles (of which this is the first) I aim to introduce you to some of my favourite Australian painters and artists. I personally own a number of d'Arcy W doyle prints including "Midnight Mass" and a series of collectors plates.

I hope you enjoy the art and life of d'Arcy W Doyle.


australian-artists-and-painters-part-one-darcy-w-doyle
Ipswich street scene

Ipswich street scene

Jacaranda and Horses

Jacaranda and Horses

d'Arcy W Doyle

Life and History

d'Arcy William Doyle was born in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia on 19 November 1932 into an Irish Catholic working-class family. In those years of the great depression, d'Arcy and his family experienced poverty and tough times. However, his father Thomas had secured employment as a railway man, which put the Doyles in a better position than many.

The Doyle family resided at 39 Darling Street, Ipswich, in southeast Queensland, and that house, its surroundings, and the family themselves figure prominently in many of d'Arcy's paintings. The purple flowering jacaranda tree was a central subject in much of his art as well.

d'Arcy displayed a keen interest in drawing from an early age. Surprisingly he was completely self-taught as an artist and although there were few opportunities for artists in his home town, he spent time studying and copying the work of local sign writers.

At 18 years of age, along with some friends, d’Arcy joined the Royal Australian Navy and served for seven years, seeing active service in the Korean War.

On leaving the navy, d’Arcy found work as a painter and sign writer and then in 1961, he had gained the confidence to make art his full-time career.

Pie and sauce

Pie and sauce

Go Fo'ard

Go Fo'ard

Mary MacKillop

Mary MacKillop

d'Arcy and Jennefer Doyle

d'Arcy and Jennefer Doyle

While working in Sydney during the 1960s, d’Arcy was commissioned to paint a mural on the walls of the Belmore Returned Services Club. This mural was so popular that he received many similar commissions from other clubs and businesses.

During one of those mural painting jobs, he was told by an impatient club official to remove his painting equipment from the function room where he was working as they wanted the room clean and tidy for a function to be held there that night. d'Arcy pleaded for more time, saying that the work was almost complete, and he wouldn't disturb anyone. The official became more disagreeable and insisted he leave, which he did. It was later found that, in retaliation and as a parting gesture, d'Arcy had painted a pink elephant in a prominent position within the mural.

While in Sydney, d'Arcy met Jennefer Taylor and In December 1968 they were married. The couple had two daughters, Samantha (born 1970) and Alexandra (born 1972).

d'Arcy Doyle returned with his family to Queensland in 1973, where they purchased a block of land on the Gold Coast. It was here that d'Arcy remained and continued working until his death on 28th August 2001 after battling bone cancer for almost a decade.

In 1990, after not feeling well while visiting Ireland, d'Arcy underwent some medical tests which revealed a diagnosis of bone cancer. Two years of painful treatment followed, and in January 1992 d'Arcy's doctors cautiously advised that they could find no further signs of the cancer. However, sadly the cancer returned a few years later to finally take his life.

Cobb and Co Coach

Cobb and Co Coach

Sir Donald and His Trusty Blade

Sir Donald and His Trusty Blade

Collectable Plate

Collectable Plate

His Art

d’Arcy Doyle had a deep love of the Australian bush and the subjects of horses, sheep, drovers, and farm life have a prominent place in his work. He was greatly Inspired by the well-known American illustrator Norman Rockwell, and his many street scenes depicting children's games and sport reflect this. d'Arcy Doyle’s paintings offer a nostalgic impression of post-war Brisbane and Ipswich of his childhood, as he remembered it.

One of d'Arcy's more famous paintings is entitled "The Cricket Match". This painting was the subject of a comparatively new marketing strategy, involving the production and sale of a limited edition of personally autographed prints. This method proved so successful that the first edition of 1,000 prints sold out quickly, leading to several re-prints.

That marketing strategy was repeated numerous times afterwards with many other d'Arcy Doyle paintings, and always with great results. A substantial number of his prints were widely licensed for use on calendars, biscuit tins, and decorative plates. His sentimental vignettes are so widely popular that the Australian Reproductions website estimates that as many as one in four Australian households have at least one of his prints.

After his death, the d'Arcy Doyle Art Awards was established to perpetuate his memory and to encourage and support others in creation of iconic Australian Art.

(source: Wikipedia; d'Arcy Doyle Art Awards)

The Daisy Patch

The Daisy Patch

Doyles Ain't Doyles

australian-artists-and-painters-part-one-darcy-w-doyle

© 2015 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 24, 2015:

Glad you can now associate his name to his work Flourish. The jacaranda is a central theme in many of his paintings and at the moment they are flowering almost everywhere I go around here. Thanks for your comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 24, 2015:

Although I've heard of him, I've never associated his name with specific works, and this hub is such a tribute to his work. His talents are tremendous, and I love his work. Gorgeous. Although it's hard to have a favorite, the purple flowering jacaranda tree is right up there. (We just don't have jacaranda trees where I'm from! Ah, Australia!)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 13, 2015:

Yes Lawrence, you are right. You can read a lot of Australia's history in his paintings. I have always been a fan of his.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on November 13, 2015:

John

D'arcy captured a moment in time with each painting, life in Australia as he saw it, and they're amazing.

Lawrence

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 11, 2015:

I am pleased that you enjoyed the art of d'Arcy Dowle ps. Yes I can understand when you say you could sense being in the paintings. So could I. All is good here. Thanks.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 11, 2015:

Thanks for Sharing him with us, John. There is, like you say, a plethora of art by those very famous artists but as this illustrates many others are waiting in the wings to be discovered.

I had a real sense that I was within the painting...do you get that??

Hoping all is good with you and yours..Angels bringing blessings are on the way once again this morning ps

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 04, 2015:

Thank you Mel, Jacarandas are flowering all around Australia at the moment. I am glad this hub is winning d'Arcy Doyle new fans outside Australia, even though like many artists, it is posthumously.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on November 04, 2015:

His subjects and style remind me a bit of our Norman Rockwell. I love his vibrant colors. Jacaranda trees abound here in San Diego as well, but he paints then larger than life, almost heavenly. Great hub!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 02, 2015:

Thanks for the kind comment Deb. Yes Rockwell was his major influence so I guess it tells in his work. I look forward to doing more hubs in this series.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 02, 2015:

Thanks for the kind comment Deb. Yes Rockwell was his major influence so I guess it tells in his work. I look forward to doing more hubs in this series.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on November 02, 2015:

What a wonderful artist. d'Arcy reminds me a lot of our Norman Rockwell, yet he definitely has a flair of his own. This is a great idea that you have had regarding the Australian artists. Carry on!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 02, 2015:

It was my pleasure to introduce you to d'Arcy Doyle, Shauna. I am glad you appreciate his paintings and colour.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on November 02, 2015:

John, until now I wasn't familiar with this artist. His work is amazing! The colors are brilliant and each painting is full of life. He was truly a very talented artist. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful talent.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 27, 2015:

Thank you for checking out this hub Denise, being an artist and painter, and art lover yourself I thought you would appreciate his work. thanks for the kind comment too. Blessings back.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 27, 2015:

Well, this is fantastic. I love it. I can't say I've never heard of him again. Lovely work. I especially love the children playing games in the front of several. And the purple trees. I don't think I've ever seen trees like that before. Amazing. Can't wait for the next installment!

Blessings,

Denise

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 27, 2015:

Thank you Hari, for reading this and for sharing about Raja Ravi Varma.

Hari Prasad S from Bangalore on October 27, 2015:

Excellent paintings. Thanks for introducing doyles work.

In india we had raja ravi varma who was in the late 18th century to early 19th century who is still revered to be the first individual artist who created his own stand, because most artist in those times were working for rulers.

- Hari

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 27, 2015:

Thank you Chitrangada, I am glad you enjoyed this introduction to d'Arcy Doyle and his paintings. I hope you will follow the rest of the series. Have a great week.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 27, 2015:

Very interesting and informative article on d'Arcy Doyle. I have never seen any of his paintings or heard of him. So glad to learn about this great artist, loved his paintings, theme and use of vivid colours.

Thank you for this great introduction of a great artist. You included beautiful pictures of his paintings.

Thank you very much for this very informative Hub!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 26, 2015:

Hi Genna, it's good that you love d'Arcy Doyle's work and yes his use of colour was a major asset in his paintings. There are many other fine painters in Australia as you see from the video and that i only a small selection. I won't have any trouble choosing others to highlight in this series. Tom Roberts is one of our most celebrated and will surely be one I write a hub about at some stage. I have to do more research on Lindsay Womersley. Have a great week.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on October 26, 2015:

Hi John...

You are quite right; there's isn't much info available on Australian artists, but I love the work of Doyle, and his use of color to distinguish the various form and intricacies of life through his subjects. I also enjoyed the video, and especially liked the work of Lindsay Womersley and Tom Roberts. Thank you!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 26, 2015:

Thank you Larry, glad to introduce you to a new artist.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on October 26, 2015:

Always enjoy learning about the world's artist. Just beautiful work.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 26, 2015:

Thank you o much for reading and commenting stricktlydating. Have a great week.

StrictlyQuotes from Australia on October 26, 2015:

What an interesting article about Australian art!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 25, 2015:

Hi Ann, so glad you enjoyed this hub and his paintings. It is good to introduce others to all sort of artists they aren't familiar with. Yes the Jacaranda is a common them in a lot of d'Arcy's work and the Brisbane/Ipswich area is particularly known for that tree. We have one in our but it is not very big yet.

I saw you had published a new hub in the "take a word" series and have been trying to find the time to read it. I will do that later today, particularly as my hub inspired it. Have a great week.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 25, 2015:

What a great idea, John! I love finding out about different painters. Australian painters would have a style all of their own, I would think, because of the totally different environment.

I've never heard of this man but I love the art, especially the cricketer and the Jacaranda. I saw one of those trees near Brisbane a few years ago and it was breath-takingly beautiful. At the time, I didn't know what it was.

This is a great hub and I'm looking forward to the next one.

I've just realise that I didn't mention your incentive which led me to one of my latest hubs so I'm going to amend that - your hub referring to number six in which you said you'd be interested in my personal preference to no.2. I've added it to my 'take a word' series!

You have a knack for writing about unique subject matter. Great stuff, John!

Ann

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 24, 2015:

Hi Phyllis. So glad that you enjoyed the paintings of one of my favourite artists. Although their are few Australians who haven't heard of him or even have a few of his prints, I had a feeling he would not be widely known outside this country. I am happy to provide the opportunity for others to see and appreciate his work. Thank you for your kind comment and for sharing.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on October 24, 2015:

I so enjoyed this article on d'Arcy Doyle. I have never seen any of his paintings or heard of him, so am very glad to have found this. I love his paintings and use of vivid colors and the themes he portrayed.

Thank you, Jodah, for this great introduction of a great artist. Sharing.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 24, 2015:

Oh, okay ... I am so behind in my reading here, including some of Bill's hubs here of late.

Guess I need to do some reading!

Blessings

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 24, 2015:

Thanks for coming back to share this Theresa. Bill's prison comment refers to my comment on his hub "Using a Photo for Writing Inspiration". I can't explain here but I will send you an email.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 24, 2015:

Thanks for coming back to share this Theresa. Bill's prison comment refers to my comment on his hub "Using a Photo for Writing Inspiration". I can't explain here but I will send you an email.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 24, 2015:

Came back to share now that I am on my laptop.

What did I miss ...reading Bill's comment about prison?

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 24, 2015:

Yes Blossom it is hard not to like his paintings, they are very colourful and uplifting in general. Thank you for your kind comment.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on October 24, 2015:

A really interesting article with great images! Love his paintings, too; they have bright colours which show so well in our clear atmosphere.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 24, 2015:

Thank you for your kind words and follow Rabadi. I am interesting to hear that d'Arcy Doyle's work does remind others of Norman Rockwell as he was a major influence for this self-taught artist. I will have to check out Thomas Kinkade's work too.

O from New York on October 24, 2015:

Wow fantastic photos I enjoyed this Hub and also thought of Norman Rockwell he is one of my favorite American Artists next to Thomas Kinkade. Great Read I am now following you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 24, 2015:

Hello Theresa, I hope you are having a great day. Thanks for checking out the beautiful art of d'Arcy Doyle. It is good to able to introduce one of Australia's most popular painters to the rest of the world. I was hoping this series would prove popular. Blessings.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 24, 2015:

Oh, John, thank you introducing us to an amazing Australian artist! I adore his paintings. They all come alive with such vibrant colors. That one with the beautiful tree and horses is stunning. When I first saw his paintings with children, I immediately thought of Norman Rockwell. This is going to be an interesting series here and I look forward to reading more. I am a new fan of his work thanks to your hub. I will share once I get back on my laptop. On my phone now. Peace and blessings

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Same here Jackie. I have so many paintings packed away instead of being on walls. I guess you can rearrange now and then and hang different ones in place of others if you have to. Yes it sure would be nice to pick up a bargain that was worth a fortune.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 23, 2015:

I so love art and yours are so beautiful. I have so many paintings I have nowhere to put but I just can't pass it up. That will be a New Years Resolution I thing; to make room to admire them. I heard of someone picking up a painting for $5 worth $50 million. Would be nice if I had one of those!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Missy, yes his work is iconically Australian, and although he was influenced by Norman Rockwell almost all of his paintings are of outdoor themes whereas a lot of Rockwell's were interior scenes. I have a set of plates and a few prints which I am very proud of. Thanks for reading this hub.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Yes he was a noble man Manatita and his beautiful work lives on. Peace.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Thanks Mike, I am hoping to do that and hope d'Arcy Doyle was a good arts to start with.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Hi Clive. The cost of his original paintings are generally a couple of thousand dollars. His seascapes especially being quite rare are among the most expensive. However a collectible plate can be bought for around $60, and his prints are so widely available that you can often buy small ones in Department Stores etc for around $20 and larger ones for up to $60.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Thank you for the kind words lollyj. I was hoping others would find his paintings as beautiful as I do.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Drbj, yes he was very talented and I agree with you about his sense of humour. He certainly found a good way to get his revenge with the pink elephant added to the mural.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Dana, you are right unfortunately. It does seem that the truly gifted often suffer in some way. He will certainly live on through his work as his prints are in most Australian households. Thank you for reading and sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Thank you Vellur, I felt compelled to share the beauty of his work.

Missy Smith from Florida on October 23, 2015:

Those paintings are beautiful, and I do see a similar theme as Norman Rockwell painted. Although, I do see a difference as well, I think d'Arcy paints with more vibrant colors. I bet the plates, and things were beautiful. You can also definitely tell that his themes and heart are in Australia. Very lovely work!

manatita44 from london on October 23, 2015:

Interesting man and noble work. They all seem colourful and superb! Much Peace.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on October 23, 2015:

Hi John. I wish you luck with this new series. You will surely bring new names to your American readers.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on October 23, 2015:

nice paintings there...cost?

Laurel Johnson from Washington KS on October 23, 2015:

What magnificent paintings!! His talent is exceptional. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful hub. Well done!!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on October 23, 2015:

Thanks, Jodah, for this introduction to d'Arcy and his beautiful paintings. I can see why he is a favorite of yours - very talented and creative. I particularly enjoyed reading about his sense of humor - I'm referring to that mid-picture pink elephant. That is what I call justified revenge!

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on October 23, 2015:

The paintings are gorgeous. I was sad to here he suffered in the end, it seems like the most gifted always dies so horribly. Well, he is in a better place and, his work lives on to be enjoyed by many. Thanks for sharing. I will share also.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 23, 2015:

A great introduction to d'Arcy W Doyle. His paintings are so beautiful!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Thank you Surabhi. Midnight Mass is my favourite also. I have it hanging on my living room wall. I am glad you enjoyed the art of d'Arcy Doyle.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Thank you Surabhi. Midnight Mass is my favourite also. I have it hanging on my living room wall. I am glad you enjoyed the art of d'Arcy Doyle.

Surabhi Kaura on October 23, 2015:

I love art. You have done a wonderful art too by introducing this artist. 'Midnight Mass' is just flawless. Superb! Thank you, Jodah. I have made it my desktop picture.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Haha Bill, I thought I better at least get one more hub published before they cart me off. Thanks for reading reading about this great Australian artist.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 23, 2015:

What a great introduction to a wonderful artist. He reminds me of several in the States....very realistic paintings. Thank you, John, for writing this before they take you to prison. :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Hi Bronwyn, thanks for your kind comment. Yes, he is a true Aussie icon and there is at least one of his prints in most Australian households. I have seven including plates.

Bronwyn Joy Ellio on October 23, 2015:

Great hub on a great Aussie artist, Jodah. My mother has the bottle collectors print. Looking forward to more in this series.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Thank you Buildreps for checking this hub out. I have always been a fan of d'Arcy Doyle's work, so thought I should share his talent with others.

Buildreps from Europe on October 23, 2015:

Interesting article about this painter. You included beautiful pictures of his paintings. I had never heard of him before, but now I do, thanks to you, Jodah! Thank you very much for this very informative Hub!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 23, 2015:

Hi Frank. Yes he painted quite a few paintings of cricketers. The painting you refer to is of Donald Bradman, probably the most famous cricketer of all time. Thanks for the comment.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on October 23, 2015:

the photos are fantastic.. the Cricket Player pic is amazing.. would love to have a full size in my sports den.. awesome my friend :)

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