Historical information

Graeme DRENDEL (1953- )
Born Ouyen, Victoria

Graeme Drendel is a key Australian figurative painter and printmaker who believes you should paint what you know. He studied Art Teaching at the Ballarat Teacher' College and Ballarat School of Mines in 1971 and 1972 before completing a Diploma of Teaching Art and Craft at Melbourne State College in 1974. While studying in Ballarat Graeme lived in the student hostel 'Beaufort House'.

After teaching for several years, Graeme undertook a life changing and extensive travelling tour throughout Italy, United Kingdom and United States at which time he decided he would always depict the human figure. Recognised for his intelligent observations of the human condition, Graeme’s art invites contemplation and reveals the humour of everyday life. The isolation he portrays through his characters may relate back to the isolation he felt on the wheat farm he grew up on.

As a prolific user of sketchbooks Graeme Drendel records close observations, which can inform his paintings.

Graeme Drendel is regularly a finalist in the Archibald Portrait Prize, Sulman Prize, Paul Guest Prize and in 2022 he won the prestigious Doug Moran National Portrait Prize with his portrait of fellow artist Lewis Miller.

In 2021 he received a Federation University Distinguished Alumni Award.

Physical description

An etching of a male doctor or surgeon.