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Max Wilks (President TMPS) in his studio.

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Oil painting by Max titled
“Making Way, Early Morning”.

I have been a member of the Society since the early 1980s. I was elected President for a number of years and I am once again in the Chair this year.

As a young artist with other artist friends I would visit the Annual Twenty Melbourne painters Society exhibition at the Victorian Artists Society looking for inspiration and knowledge. We were very fortunate to meet, talk with and be taught by great artists of that time such as Shirley Bourne, David Newbury, Peter Glass, John Farmer, Doug Miller, Gordon Speary, Bill Dargie and many more. Extraordinary people, fantastic painters. All these artists that have been part of our Society were driven painters and teachers, all very generous with their time and generous in the passing on of their knowledge.

These early members felt it was a privilege to be a member of the Society as indeed do today’s members. To be a member and be part of the long tradition that makes the Society what it is today is indeed a privilege. I believe that to be a good or successful painter you need to understand your subject and how to transfer that understanding and image to the canvas or paper. This comes with good teaching and practice.

Having a Society that has a history of talented and skillful painters in it for over 100 years can only benefit today’s students of painting as it has done in the past. That past history of imparting their knowledge to students has also provided many artists who have been and are members today.

I have always thought that my life changed when Sir William Dargie rang asking me if I would like to be a member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society. The Society’s next exhibition was held at the Victorian Artists Society. I seem to have come full circle as our next exhibition later this year will be held at the Victorian Artists Society. This will be our 106th exhibition and will be held in the beautiful old Victorian Artist Society (VAS) building that itself has a long history involving many famous names.

Part of that history involved the breakaway group to form what is now the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society. I won’t write anymore about this part of our history as it is covered already on our website. It must have been an interesting time to be an artist and see these changes happening.

Our exhibition this year will exhibit the best of realist impressionism works of all mediums. All five Galleries will show paintings that will be exciting and inspiring to the viewer. This will be your opportunity to view paintings by some of Australia’s best and most talented artists.

We look forward to seeing you there.