Don Whyte Off Cut Show

a painting task in contrasting colours at CDU and Don Whyte Off Cut Show

Don Whyte Framing holds an annual charity fundraising exhibition. Artists are given a canvas from the framers and asked to create artworks. The artworks are then sold in an exhibition, some of the proceeds go back to the artists and some are donated to different charities.

Director Don Whyte supplied the canvases to the students at Charlies Darwin studying visual arts. Participating in the exhibition was included as part of a task in contrast colour in painting class at the Certificate 4 in Visual Art.
This is the tenth year the Don Whyte Cut Off Exhibition has been held and artist were given a theme: “Construction, mining and decadence”.

El Greco, View of Toledo c. 1596–1600
In a tutorial about contrast, colour and composition El Greco and his painting View of Toledo was given as an example.

The colours of El Greco’s painting remind me of the wet season in Darwin, storm clouds against new tree growth.

Nither construction, mining and decadence, are normal subjects for me, and I was at a loss for what to paint, until I went back to subjects I do enjoy, Greenant nest. Perhaps because I am new to Darwin and the tropics, but I have fallen in love with Green ant nests, with a child like fascination. I watch the ants building, and collect their vacated homes. And from there I wanted to contrast the ants construction with human construction.

The building under construction at the corner of Daly and Wood, wrapped in blue with a crane. Blue the colour of storm clouds.

I wanted to paint with watercolour on canvas, and had read that Absorbent Ground when applied to a gessoed canvas would create a porous surface like paper. I wanted to paint the Off Cut canvas with confidence, and I could of apply adsorbent ground to other ‘practice’ canvases, but instead I painted several versions on different types of paper, experimenting with style, composition, and colour. Yuko paper is different to water colour, it is nonporous, plastic paper, and if it wipes clean if you aren’t happy with your first try…. something to play with some more another time.


Completed painting
Title: Under Construction

The Exhibition opening was on Sat 9 Apr, and by the time I arrived a little after 6pm, the Framing workshop was already crowded. The wall was full of small works of art, by artists from around Darwin, 77 artworks were listed on the exhibition catalogue. A feast of styles, subjects and mediums. Along with the other student, I recognized names of well-known and established artists.



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