"When the mood took him, he surrounded himself with saucers brimming with pure colour ... Swiftly he would cover a sheet of paper with his great general tint. Into this before it was dry he would, in the most dexterous fashion, introduce some design out of his sketchbook. He would with the colour still wet, tilt the paper this way and that, letting the wash settle into forms which he would later utilise. His long experiments had given him a dexterity in the use of all sorts of inventions in the practise of water-colour which has certainly never been equalled by any Australian water-colourist."
Julian Ashton, 1917
Young was a leading practitioner in watercolour in Melbourne in the first decades of the twentieth century. His experimental approach using washing, scraping and rubbing back of the paper, highlights the staining and dilation inherent in the watercolour medium, especially when used in large formats. In Dry weather, he handles the massive forms of the landscape by the use of transparent layers to create an illusion of depth - recalling traditional Chinese watercolour in his use of non-linear space.
watercolour on paper
56.0 x 76.8 cm sight; 75.1 x 84.7 x 3.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r., brown watercolour "BLAMIRE YOUNG". Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 16 exhibitions
Society of Artists Spring Exhibition (1912), Society Rooms, Queen Victoria Markets, Sydney, Nov 1912 -
Exhibition of Australian art (1923), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], Sydney, Jun 1923 -
Exhibition of Australian Art (1923), Burlington House, 06 Oct 1923–03 Nov 1923
British Empire Exhibition (1924), Empire Stadium, Wembley, 23 Apr 1924–Oct 1925
Australian watercolours from the National Art Gallery collection 1836-1946, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 May 1946–Jun 1946
100 years of Australian painting (1948), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Apr 1948–17 May 1948
The Australian Landscape 1802-1975:
Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Dec 1979–28 Jan 1980
J.J. Hilder and Contemporaries:
The art of Blamire Young:
- S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks 04 Aug 1983–11 Sep 1983
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 16 Sep 1983–16 Oct 1983
The great Australian art exhibition:
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 17 May 1988–17 Jul 1988
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth 13 Aug 1988–25 Sep 1988
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 21 Oct 1988–27 Nov 1988
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 21 Dec 1988–05 Feb 1989
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 01 Mar 1989–30 Apr 1989
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 23 May 1989–16 Jul 1989
Twentieth century Australian watercolours from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 05 Apr 1989–25 Jun 1989
Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s:
Our country: Federation landscapes 1900-1914, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 14 Sep 2001–18 Nov 2001
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003
Australia, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 21 Sep 2013–08 Dec 2013
Referenced in 23 publications
Herbert Badham, A study of Australian art, Sydney, 1949. plate no. 56
Herbert Badham, A gallery of Australian art, 'Introduction', pg. v-vii., Sydney, 1954, xiv, illus.. plate no. 77
Ian Burn, National life and landscape - Australian painting 1900-1940, 'Art versus Nature', pg. 38-51, Sydney, 1990, 42 (colour illus.). plate no. 26
Gavin Fry, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'J.J. Hilder / Blamire Young / Norman Lindsay', pg. 72-87, Sydney, 2002, 75, 77 (colour illus.), 146, 147.
Anne Gray, Australia, 'Art nation: Australian landscape 1880-1920', pg. 146-183, London, 2013, 175 (colour illus.). cat.no. 115
Elioth Gruner (Organiser), Catalogue of an exhibition of the works of Australian artists, Sydney, 1923. cat.no. 145; Room VIII (Water Colours); not paginated
Elioth Gruner (Organiser), The exhibition of Australian art to be held at the galleries of the Royal Academy London, 1923, Sydney, 1923. cat.no. 177; not paginated
Elwyn Lynn, The Australian landscape and its artists, Rushcutters Bay, 1977, 56 (colour illus.).
Bernard Smith, 100 years of Australian painting, 'Foreword', pg. 2-4, Sydney, 1948, 13. watercolours cat.no. 7
Daniel Thomas, Art and Australia, 'Australian collection', pg. 52-62, Sydney, Jul 1972, 54 (illus.).
J.J. Hilder and contemporaries, Sydney, 1981, illus.. cat.no. 34
Jane de Teliga, Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1979, 10.
Bernard William Smith, Australian painting 1788-1970, South Melbourne, 1971, 107 (illus.). plate no. 71
Art Gallery of New South Wales, A selection of eighty-two reproductions mainly from the Australian collection and including examples from the British, French and Dutch [Art Gallery of New South Wales], Sydney, 1959, (illus.). cat.no. 14
Trustees of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australian watercolours from the National Art Gallery collection 1836 to 1946, Sydney, 1946, 5, 9. cat.no. 18
Unknown, Catalogue: British Empire Exhibition (Wembley) 1924, 1924, 95. no catalogue numbers; Lent by the Trustees of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales
The Christian Science monitor, 'The home forum', page unknown, Boston, 14 Jan 1956, page unknown (illus.).
Ron Radford, Our country: Australian Federation landscape 1900-1914, 'Introduction', pg. 16-22, Adelaide, 2001, 13 (colour illus.), 158.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, Sydney, 1995, 36 (colour illus.), 116-117. cat.no. 24
Hendrik Kolenberg, Twentieth century Australian watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1989. cat.no. 82
Jean Campbell, Australian watercolour painters: 1780 to the present day, 'The twentieth century to 1914', pg. 92-109, Sydney, 1989, 94 (colour illus.).
Jean Campbell, Australian watercolour painters 1780-1980, Adelaide, 1983, 91 (colour illus.).
The art of Blamire Young, Sydney, 1983, 19 (colour illus.). cat.no. 15