Rolf Harris – The Studio Collection 2011

Rolf Harris has released a breathtakingly beautiful new collection which is close to his heart, personally selected from his own studio. It takes us on a journey from the wild Australian outback, to the majestic scenery of Venice and through the colourful morning streets of Amsterdam. He is one of the countries most beloved painters, but what is the meaning and thinking behind his new collection? Harris explains just a few in his own words.

Rolf Harris - Zebra and Wilderbeast

Rolf Harris - Zebra and Wilderbeest

“Wildebeest, as you probably know, is another name for the gnu – Wildebeest is how it’s better know today. For Zebra and Wildebeest I conceived an idea that would be nice if everything in Africa, instead of being green, green, green whenever you looked, might look more exciting if all the grassy areas of a painting were red. It was a good thought. I painted the zebra and the baby zebra and the wildebeest in their accurate colours, from a photograph I’d taken out in Africa, but then, instead of green everywhere, I painted brilliantly red grass. I really rather likes the effect. I hope you do.”

Rolf Harris - Gondola in the Rain, Venice

Rolf Harris - Gondola in the Rain, Venice

Gondola in the Rain, Venice was a fascinating picture to paint because you’re trying to get the perspective of everything that’s happening with this strange shape of the canal which goes round in a series of curves to the left and then back to the right and the buildings going up and up and gradually disappearing into the background. Nothing is straight! It was fascinating to paint all that and to get a feeling of impressionism in the shapes of the wall and to get the perspective of the lines of bricks running along the wall to show the way it’s all following the complex shapes and curves of the canal. And then to see that gondola coming towards you with the man controlling it, standing on the back platform with the white of the muted sunlight reflected off the platform, silhouetting his legs. The two customers sitting in the gondola underneath the umbrella sheltering from the lightly drizzling rain, are loving the whole experience. I love the off spreading ripples created by the lightly falling raindrops in the right bottom corner of the painting.”

Rolf Harris - Winter Sunrise

Rolf Harris - Winter Sunrise

“The title of this painting, Winter Sunrise gives you an idea of what it’s all about. It was painted from a photograph sent to me as a Christmas card, by a dear friend of mine, Penny Tweedie. She’d got herself up early in the morning one freezing cold Winter’s day last year and had taken this astounding photograph as the sun rose, with the silhouettes of the various trees against the great mass of greeny-grey trees in the background. In the foreground you have the darker greeny-grey of shadows on the slightly lighter colour of the snow. Then once again on top of that you get a much darker colour pinpointing the edges of the hedge and the little bits of trees and the trunks covers in ivy and empty leaves against the orangey sky as the sun rises. The fascinating thing with Penny’s photograph was the intensity of the sunlight coming from the half orb of the sun on the left hand side, bleaching out everything around it, even turning the trunks of the trees a vibrant red against the gleaming white of the sun.”

Rolf Harris -  Fishing Felluca, Hot Day Egypt

Rolf Harris - Fishing Felucca, Hot Day Egypt

Fishing Felucca, Hot Day Egypt is a title that says it all. It was just wonderful to paint from start to finish. It was from a photograph that I took when we were in Egypt many years ago. I’ve got so many photographs sitting there waiting to be painted and this one was tremendous, mainly because of the fact that it all seemed to be green. Everything was a sort of bluey green except for the brilliant sunlight and I was fascinated by the fact that the green-ness of the photograph, somehow seemed to indicate a terrific background heat. You felt that heat and I think the reason you felt it, was because of the brilliant sunlight on the top of the mast and along the bit of bamboo holding the sail, as well as along the edges of the boat and the fierce yellowy-orangey sunlight on the curve of the snail and the brilliant sunlight on top of the figures. I think the whole thing creates an impression of intense sunlight coming from above, even though normally you would think to yourself that to get a hot scorching sunshine effect, you would want to have orangery-red everywhere. I love the poor sea-sick fisherman with his head in his hands. He can’t wait to get off the boat and on to dry land.”

Rolf’s newest release compiles of ten images and we currently have the whole collection in the Artworx Gallery. If you would like more information please visit:

Rolf Harris at Artworx Gallery

or call 01543 502971 or email on

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