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

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d'Arcy W Doyle
d'Arcy W Doyle | Source
Arrival of the First Fleet
Arrival of the First Fleet | Source
Midnight Mass
Midnight Mass | Source

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.


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Ipswich street scene
Ipswich street scene | Source
Jacaranda and Horses
Jacaranda and Horses | Source

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 | Source
Go Fo'ard
Go Fo'ard | Source
Mary MacKillop
Mary MacKillop | Source
d'Arcy and Jennefer Doyle
d'Arcy and Jennefer Doyle | Source

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 | Source
Sir Donald and His Trusty Blade
Sir Donald and His Trusty Blade | Source
Collectable Plate
Collectable Plate | Source

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 | Source
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© 2015 John Hansen

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Comments 68 comments

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 13 months ago from Europe

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!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Bronwyn Joy Ellio 13 months ago

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

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. :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 13 months ago from Toronto, Canada

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 13 months ago from Dubai

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


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 13 months ago from LOS ANGELES

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.


drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida

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!


lollyj lm profile image

lollyj lm 13 months ago from Washington KS

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


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 13 months ago from Nibiru

nice paintings there...cost?


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

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


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 13 months ago from london

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


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

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!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 13 months ago from The Beautiful South

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!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Rabadi profile image

Rabadi 13 months ago from New York

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 13 months ago from Victoria, Australia

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

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

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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 profile image

Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

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


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 13 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


stricktlydating profile image

stricktlydating 13 months ago from Australia

What an interesting article about Australian art!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 13 months ago from Oklahoma

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

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!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 13 months ago from New Delhi, India

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!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


shprd74 profile image

shprd74 13 months ago from Bangalore

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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


PAINTDRIPS profile image

PAINTDRIPS 13 months ago from Fresno CA

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 13 months ago from Central Florida

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 13 months ago from Stillwater, OK

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!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 13 months ago from San Diego California

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!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 12 months ago from sunny Florida

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


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 12 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

John

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

Lawrence


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 12 months ago from USA

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!)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

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.

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