David Fielding and Frolicking in the Woods

Famous Melbourne born artist, David Fielding Gough Boyd was born on 23rd August, 1924. David Boyd was the fourth child of William Merric Boyd, a potter, and his wife Doris (née Gough), a painter. The Boyd family’s artistic dynasty includes painters, sculptors, architects and other arts professionals, commencing with David’s grandfather, Arthur Merric Boyd, and uncles Penleigh Boyd, and Martin Boyd. David’s sibling were:

Like many other Boyd family members, David Boyd studied art within the family, before entering the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne at the age of seventeen. After one year, David was conscripted into the army. Upon his return, he studied art at the National Gallery of Victoria School on an ex-serviceman’s grant. In 1946, he worked with his brother Guy at the Martin Boyd Pottery in Sydney. He also established a pottery studio in London in the early 1950s and continued working mainly in pottery through to the mid-1960s.

In 1956, Boyd and his wife Hermia (nee Lloyd-Jones), became widely known as leading Australian potters. Married in 1948, they introduced new glazing techniques and potter’s wheel use in shaping sculptural figures. Hermia was born in Sydney in 1931, the daughter of graphic artist Herman and Erica Lloyd-Jones. Hermia’s career included being a potter, painter, decorator, artist, stage designer and later became the decorator of David’s pottery. They had three children:

  • Amanda, painter and costume designer
  • Lucinda, model and painter, and
  • Cassandra, painter and illustrator

David’s painting career began in 1957.  He joined the Antipodeans Group in the 1950s. He discovered a technique in 1966 known as Sfumato, which is one of the painting modes of the Renaissance, and is a painting technique for softening the transition between colours, mimicking an area beyond what the human eye is focusing on, or the out-of-focus plane. It was named after da Vinci’s usage of the word to describe graduations of smoky tones in his paintings. David’s method achieved this effect through a new technique involving candle flame. He and his family moved to Rome in 1961, and later moved to London. They also spent several years creating art in Spain and the south of France before returning permanently to Australia in 1975.

  • David Boyd was artist-in-residence at the School of Law, Macquarie University, Sydney from 1993–1996. He died on 10th November, 2011.

The images included here are:

  • Sunday Picnic (oil on canvas 81.5cm x 91.5cm)
  • Reaching for the Blossom (oil on board 43.5cm x 49.5cm)
  • Hide and Seek (oil on board 19.5cm x 17cm)
  • By the Mountain Stream (oil on canvas 39.5cm x 34cm)
  • Angel (oil on composition board 32cm x 26.5cm)

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Source: McCulloch Alan. Encyclopedia of Australian Art. Hutchinson Richmond 1977
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