In the current exhibition at David Sumner Gallery, audiences can expect to see Lewitzka’s signature style of local scenes as well as scenes of Europe.
For Terry Lewitzka, the defining moment of his career, which set him off on the path to be the painter he is today, was in 1966 when at 22 years of age he shook the hand of the great Hans Heysen. “Heysen was an inspiration. When I met him and saw his studio it was a great influence,” he says. Lewitzka paints in the traditional impressionistic style, driving around in his van scouting for scenes to paint en plein air. “You see something and you stop and ask yourself, ‘What is it I like about that?’” he says. “Once you have identified that you try and paint it. Usually it’s a weather condition or a scene of something that appeals and you can’t help yourself.” Lewitzka paints a small work on location and takes a photograph to refer to later when he is painting the large-scale work. He often finds that the photograph looks nothing like his interpretation of the painting. “There is a lot of interpretation that happens between what you see and what you end up painting or how you see the scene,” he says. In the current exhibition at David Sumner Gallery, audiences can expect to see Lewitzka’s signature style of local scenes as well as scenes of Europe. “They are mostly landscapes and seascapes. The Flinders Ranges features fairly heavily in the paintings,” Lewitzka says. “I enjoy painting the mood of the scene.” The exhibition contains a number of very significant works of rural scenes. Arkaba Station Flinders Ranges is a very large painting (60x122cm) of the Arkaba Range in the Flinders Ranges. River Murray Sunrise has a gilt frame and captures the morning sunshine rising over the red cliffs of the River Murray – it depicts the golden glow in the background and the coolness of the vegetation in the foreground. Another beautiful painting that captures the light is Afternoon Shadows Eden Valley. It’s been a long successful career for Lewitzka, part of which has seen him teaching for the last 30 odd years. As of this year, he has decided that he will no longer teach but instead concentrate on his own painting. “I would like to go on painting more for myself now,” he says. “Having said that, I have always painted for myself. If an artist is true to themselves they will always paint for themselves. You can only paint who you are and what you are within yourself.” Terry Lewitzka David Sumner Gallery Sunday, February 1 to Wednesday, February 25 david-sumner-gallery.com