Painting the South Burnett with Paul van Vegchel
THE South Burnett region has many impressive artists.
One worthy of a mention is Paul van Vegchel, a star in the region's artistic scene.
Paul is a regular exhibitor at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery and has been painting and sculpting for 54 years.
"I went to art school when I was 16 and I'm 70 now. I paint the Australian landscape, which is a passion of mine, particularly with the first people, the aboriginal people,” he said.
"I get inspired by the nature in the South Burnett. I go in the landscape, I do some drawings and take photos then, when I come back, I collate the experience mentally and it hits the canvas.
"This is what I do and I've done it all my life. I started off as a teacher then ran the Kingaroy Art Gallery for 15 years but now my paintings and sculptures are all over the world.”
Mr van Vegchel's gallery operated for 15 years before the new volunteer one took its place.
"It started up in 1994 and finished in 2009. My wife used to help me run the gallery when it was on a contract basis to the council,” he said.
"My wife, Fran, is now the president of the Kingaroy Arts Team which operates the council's volunteer gallery. It's becoming pretty successful and I'm really impressed with how people are coming here from Brisbane to exhibit too.”
Mr van Vegchel also does his part in promoting the South Burnett region at his out-of-town exhibits.
"I've had five exhibitions in Sydney since 2000. My last exhibition in Sydney was called the Bunya Mountains and Beyond, and people bought from New Zealand and all over the place,” he said.
"People buy my art because this Wakka Wakka area is a unique place, and pretty special country.”