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Monthly ArchiveAugust 1998

Sydney 2000

Sydney 2000100cm x 60cm, oil on board. Phil Carrero

Quick commission work by a dear local accountant.

In this painting I remember dabbing with powder pigments. I was still cautious and the colors remained light. Soon after I learned you can’t add too much pigment or they will take over adjoining color and darken the lot.

In this painting Sydney Harbour Fire Engine and replica of Bounty heading east towards the bridge.

Macarthur President F D R And Nimitz

McArthur_and_FDR

120Cm X 120Cm. Oil On Board. On Board Of USS Missouri, Pearl Harbor. Phillip Carrero.

 

-“The seeds of the greatest naval battle of the Pacific war were not planted by U.S. Navy strategists, but rather by a larger-than-life Army general and the President of the United States.”-

 

-“Franklin Roosevelt had much work to do. Important work. And that was why this wartime president was on his way to Pearl Harbor in July 1944.Whether that work was strategic or political, only Roosevelt knew for certain. The official purpose of the journey was for the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy to meet with the two men running the war in the Pacific. But some claimed this trip was more politically motivated than strategically necessary, that Roosevelt had no need to confer directly with Nimitz and MacArthur, that he was jumping the chain of command by conferring with the two subordinate theater commanders, and that his real motivation was to be seen (and photographed) with General MacArthur. It was, after all, an election year, and just the day before his embarkation in the Baltimore, FDR had been nominated for an unprecedented fourth term as president.”-… and it continues on a well known yardage about the liberation of the Philippines, the Pacific and the war upon the peace treaty signage on that very ship.When I was shown the original photo I instantly recognized Mighty Mo. Who wouldn’t, but it surprised me in that I had never been on it that I knew of… funny feeling.

I am happy with this painting, faithful, good rendering, real looking newspaper and relaxed smiling faces. Nimitz uniform is white without using pure white, a personal achievement on the day. MacArthur’s leather jacket and shiny shoes, the deck… each a challenge in it’s own right, yet no problems.
I love this kind of history painting, but can only do what I’m told, and paid to… do.

 

Sister Judith

SisterJ

60Cm X 80Cm. Oil On Canvas. Sister Judith, The Stables “Wivenhoe”. Phillip Carrero.

 

When Claire St Claire, then director of the “Friends of the gallery” at Campbelltown Art Gallery, passed away her last words to me were -“Look after Sister Judith”

Now, Claire knew I made and sell art supplies, so what I gather is she meant supply Sister Judith with whatever she needed of my wares to sell at her project complex.

Sister Judith did a remarkable, or should I say superb or amazing, work at upgrading the 100+ year old horse stables at “Wivenhoe”. They became a state of the art stop for touristic coaches with toilet blocks and a complete arts and crafts centre.

That alone was good enough to get involved as the surroundings, part of the Sisters of the good Samaritan Convent are simply beautiful, and peaceful. But she did it in a way that touched my heart: she employed complete derelicts from the Corrections Department to do the job. I guess just like the convicts from the colonial era built it in the first place.

And then she taught watercolor and oil painting, specially to children. She organized regular gatherings of the popular “Poets Corner” on the grounds, plus exhibitions and workshops.

 

… and all that for the love of art, “ad honorem”.

I Shall Return

 

MacArthur_landing120Cm X 120Cm. Oil on primed board. Phillip Carrero.

Gen. MacArthur And Personal Staff On The Philippines Landing.

Reasonably large, my biggest painting by that time. Gun holsters, uniforms, Philippines MP’s, cartographer and personal secretary. Landing craft and marines. All depictions faithful to original.

I don’t recall painting better than these, but that’s up to the beholder, they say.
Water splashing up the pants and uniforms didn’t happen realistically at first. Sheer frustration and all fingers dragged the paint from the water level to where it should be, or so I thought. Then, as I turned around resolved to fix the mess another day, a glimpse of the dragged paint caught my eye… and to my surprise, it looked good! So that day I learned to paint with my fingers and it never left me. The wet reached up the legs literally, and the effect was amazingly real.

Second achievement to my eyes, was the space between the viewer and the marines having a “smoko” on the gunwales of the landing craft. They don’t look as having taken as long to paint as they did, but they look relaxed, and natural. I love the result as much as the rest of the people there. So with the sky

My back-thought in this work was the overwhelming drive of General MacArthur. His authority and his personality as depicted in history were all too evident to me. I had no trouble seeing soldiers jump at his mere word, not unlike the centurion in Matthew 8:8, used to his will being done, no matter how far. Or so I thought, until I was told he was actually worse than General Patton, of the allied forces in Europe. He actually practiced this landing three times and photographed the scene many times over, until it looked right for the newspapers. The two of them were famous for not letting anything go to print before it was personally edited.

I still build castles in the air, but listen to experienced personal accounts too. One thing is for sure, he was a great man regardless.

 

Gen. MacArthur at West Point

MacArthur at West Point

70Cm X 90Cm. Oil On Primed Board. Phillip Carrero.

 

Retired military brass and friend, Nick.
MacArthur is one of his role models and he went all the way to the Smithsonian at the US to get material for this paintings. Also from the ex US base at the Philippines, as many locals remember him.

This was one of a series of thirteen oils for his private collection. It was necessary to research cap and pipe mainly on this one.  Actually, it saved a lot of hours the fact that Nick knew already about colours and materials the uniforms were made of.
I never thought there were so many kinds of corn pipes made in those days… and not all pictures depict him smoking the same one every time.
This pipe was his favorite, though.

Wedding day, Peter Dixon.

Scn044260cm x 80cm, oil on canvas. Phil Carrero.

Peter had a newsagent in Hoxton Park, west of Sydney. I also did paintings of compositions of his four children and of  his daughters and young son.
It was at a time when I was very busy with commissions and most likely didn’t have a camera handy before the paintings were picked up… sorry for the oversight.