TED Lewis was just 18 when he hosted his first exhibition at the former Clinton Street art gallery, the Hesley Galleries in Orange.
At the time there was a proliferation of privately run art galleries in Orange and Millhorpe, with more than half a dozen providing the opportunity for artists to display and sell their work on a regular basis.
Fresh out of high school, Ted’s first exhibition was a great success for such a young artist and he sold several paintings at that first exhibition with his talent appreciated by lovers of Australian landscapes.
Mr Lewis is one of those fortunate artists who is now able to make a full-time living from painting.
“It was about 12 years ago now that I made that decision and even though there are quiet times, it is good to be in that position,” he said.
Mr Lewis is preparing for his next exhibition to be held in Kenna Hall next weekend and this exhibition contains some of his favourite subject mater - the beautiful river gums of the Forbes area, and the landscapes of the Capertee Valley.
“I also love to paint around Mullion Creek, and out the Ophir way which is where I live now and I can really soak up that landscape,” he said.
Painting mostly in oils and only using acrylics occasionally, Mr Lewis’s style has evolved to include some more contemporary images, but still with the strong themes drawn from day to day life in Australia.
Among the paintings in his upcoming exhibition is a view of Sydney Harbour with sailing boats dotted in the foreground and the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge as a backdrop.
“I am starting to use some bolder colours now in my paintings,” he said.
As an experienced artist who has been selling his work over four decades, Mr Lewis is now in a position where he can extend himself and now enjoys painting everything from Sydney beaches to the Red Centre.
When he travels, there’s no way he would leave home without his paints and easel.
Over the years Mr Lewis has received various accolades for his work and his prizes include the Traditional Landscape Award at Royal Easter Show in 2007, the People’s Choice six year’s earlier in 2001 at the show, as well as several prizes at regional shows.
“My most valued acknowledgement comes from the people who continue to admire and purchase my paintings,” he said.
This latest exhibition which features scenes from the main street of Sofala on a wet day, to a traditional working property where bushmen are gathered round the yards, with their foot on the rails and bush hats perched on their heads.
The exhibition will open to the public on Sunday, April 24 from 10am to 5pm, Monday, April 25 from 1pm until 6pm. and Tuesday, April 26 from 10am until 3pm at the Kenna Hall in Hill Street.
A preview will be held from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, April 23 with the official opening at 7.30pm that night.
“During the exhibition I intend to set up and work on some of my paintings and people are most welcome to come and watch me as I work and ask questions,” Mr Lewis said.
Footnote: Mr Lewis has donated a painting titled Peaceful Greys which will be raffled by the Rotary Club of Orange with proceeds to Orange Health Service for a project to be determined by Rotary.
Tickets will be available during the exhibition or are on sale now at Peter Smith Chemmart in Summer Street.