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Morpeth Gallery to host Festival of Two Palettes


World-renowned artists bringing pieces to life before your eyes, fire being used to create art and a delicious collection of gourmet treats to be sampled – all are elements that make up Morpeth’s Festival of Palettes on 12 and 13 March.

Maegan Oberhardt’s Barking Owl

Fire will be the hero ingredient when Victorian Maegan Oberhardt wows crowds at this year’s annual event.

The talented artist uses candles, wood, and a blow torch, to dance flames across her drawings leaving carbon soot that is then transformed into art using various instruments, brushes, stones, knives, and steel objects to remove parts of the carbon.

The method she uses, known as fumage, is thought to have been created by cavemen and since used by Salvador Dali. 

“I use the soot from fire to create my work,” Maegan says.

“The soot lays on the surface of the thick paper. It is very fragile at that point in the process, so fragile that an insect could walk on the surface, and it would leave their trace. 

“I can then scratch the surface by just touching it with various types of tools. I like using real feathers to draw feathers when I am working on a bird.

“For me, spontaneity and chance are what make my creative process effective.”

Maegan will be joined at Morpeth’s Festival of Two Palettes by world-renowned wildlife painters Stephen Jesic and James Hough, and Australia’s only International Marine Art Winner Ian Hansen.

Each will share their techniques, the subjects they love to paint and recent achievements in the art world.

Stephen Jesic’s two-metre by one-metre artwork will be on display at the event. It just sold for $160,000.

Last year Queenslander Stephen Jesic won the best wildlife painting in the world, beating more than 20,000 entries from 93 countries to take home honours in the world’s largest art competition. 

James Hough won third in the same event.

The two-day event will include tastings of all things balsamic from Morpeth Gourmet Foods, including barrel aged and caramelised foods, and balsamic infused with raspberry, vanilla, fig, pomegranate, pepper, passionfruit, lime and blackcurrant. 

Festival of Two Palettes will take place at Morpeth Gallery from 10am to 5pm on 12 Saturday and 13 Sunday March.

Paintings will be for sale.

Entry is free.

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