A journal of published articles 2023-1988

Nov 01 2023

KOORALBYN artist Martin Day won Best in Show for his painting titled A Routine Inversion at an exhibition held at The Auditorium, Mt Coot-tha Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

The exhibition was part of the Queensland Wildlife Artists Society Incorporated (QWASI) 40th birthday commemorations.

Mr Day’s medium was acrylic on canvas and his painting is a perspective of an ‘in your face’ Red Kite swooping.

“It was with a great sense of pride and surprise that I was awarded Best in Show,” he said.

“The gallery walls were filled with absolutely brilliant works of art from some of Queensland’s most accomplished wildlife artists.

Mr Day has forged a career painting eagles and has sketched and painted eagles since 1987.

A water colour he painted of a bald eagle received top honours in a competition held in the United States recently.

“I found the details online during a search for prominent art contests,” he said of that competition.

“I wanted to make America a target for my work because of how Americans feel about eagles, and not just the bald eagle, although that is by far their favourite.”

His artwork won the Talent Prize Award at the prestigious Art Show International Gallery International Juried Art Competition in Los Angeles in January this year.

The pastel drawing was titled Surveillant Poise.

He went on to receive the same award in March for a watercolour painting titled Focus.

“This was an incredibly gratifying experience,” he said.

“The winning drawing was the first I had completed with my reconstructed hand in more than 20 years.”

His hand was damaged after a fall.

After several operations and rehabilitation, he was able to use it again.

He had early success as a courtroom sketch artist and painter but there was a period of two decades when he dropped out of the art world completely.

Now back with vigour he has been exhibiting and entering artwork in as many events as possible.

And Australians are taking notice too.

He exhibited a painting of a Wedge Tailed Eagle in Feathers, Fur and Flowers exhibition at Boonah Art Gallery earlier this year, as well as Ipswich Art Awards.

Beaudesert too has been home to many of his artworks.

The softly spoken artist said he had a role in the protection and conservation of wildlife and their habitats within Australia and around the world.

Using profits from artwork sold, he regularly donates directly to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warrior initiative.

Eagles close to Marty’s heart


Scenic Rim artist Martin Day won Best in Show for his painting of a Red Kite titled A Routine Inversion.

Story by Lara Hart


Raptor artist rides a rad new wave

Martin J Day Artist
Martin J Day Artist

Member for Scenic Rim Jon Krause called into the Boonah Regional Art Gallery last week to chat with Martin Day, who is one of the artists whose works are part of the current 'Feathers, Fur and Flowers' exhibition.

Story by Lara Hart

VISITORS to the Boonah Regional Art Gallery current exhibition art met almost at the door by a commanding painting of a Wedge Tailed Eagle.

It is the work of Scenic Rim artist Martin Day, who also has a second entry in the exhibition 'Feathers, Fur and Flowers', which is presented by the Queensland Wildlife Society of Artists.

Mr Day is not new to the world of art. He entered it several decades ago before putting easel and paintbrush aside to pursue other interests.

The past year has seen somewhat of a rebirth when it comes to 'getting his work back out there',

and he's been marketing himself and his art feverishly.

The Kooralbyn resident recently won an award at the 2023 International juried art competition in the United States for his pasted drawing of a bald eagle.

"I never really expected to capture the judges' attention, let alone receive such a notable award," he said.

Mr Day will also display his works in the Ipswich art awards being held at Ipswich Civic Centre in May and June.

Story by Lara Hart

A glimpse into the soul of an artist

IT WAS a blistering hot summers day when artist Martin Day drove his Ford Falcon to Alice Springs. The year was 1987 which meant no air conditioning and windows wound all the way down.

“My niece was in the car with me and between Coober Pedy and Alice Springs an eagle came flying down until it was level with the passenger side window,” he said.“It was looking at me side on.“Its feathers looked like fingers as it glided smoothly right next to me.”He said he was driving at 90 kilometres an hour and the raptor was matching this speed.“This seemed to go on for about an hour and within that time I felt a connection between the bird and myself,” he said.“It was stunning, and the bird was big!“They grow up to nine feet in wingspan.”

This experience drove him to paint multiple artworks of the majestic birds of prey. Canvas after canvas, sketch pad after sketch pad was filled with different eagle drawings, each one grander and more detailed than the last. Then ... he stopped.“I had a 20-year break from painting entirely,” he said.“

I went into signwriting and built a business.“I also worked for Channel 10 as a courtroom illustrator.”He said he was given a pager and buzzed when a big case was ‘going down’. He’d be rushed off to the courthouse or TV station office with paper and artist pencils in hand.“The TV station would send a cab for me and sometimes a chopper depending on the location,” he said.“They’d message me a little bit of information, I’d meet up with a reporter at the courthouse and we’d both go in together.

“I’d sit in the courtroom and pencil it all out over the course of about an hour and a half and then on the way back in the taxi cab, I’d colourise it and make a bunch of notes.“The reporter would be sitting with me the whole time saying things like ‘get that guy on this angle’.

“A lot of the drawing showed prosecutor, judge and lawyers next to each other when in reality they weren’t that close.”

Then disaster struck and a serious fall landed him in hospital. Even worse, the injury all but destroyed his right arm and for an artist who is right-hand dominant, was a tragedy.“I had a series of operations on my arm, they were going to amputate it but thankfully it never came to that.“I still have some issues with range of movement but I’ve managed to get most of the use back again.”He said his hiatus from art and painting his beloved eagles ended two years ago.

A watercolour painting of a bald eagle was recently awarded a prize at a competition held in the United States.“I found details on the competition online during a search for prominent art contests,” he said.“I wanted to make America a target for my work because of how Americans feel about eagles, and not just the bald eagle, although that is by far their favourite.”

His artwork won the Talent Prize Award at the prestigious Art Show International Gallery International Juried Art Competition in Los Angeles this year.“This was an incredibly gratifying experience,” he said.“The winning drawing was the first I had completed with my reconstructed hand in more than 20 years.”

He is preparing for an exhibition next year in Beaudesert where the theme is birds of prey.“I’ve started with a pencil drawing for that,” he said.“I think I’ve always been good at art, my teachers always said I painted well and used my work as an example for the other students.“Both of my parents were artists and I remember seeing my father paint and being awestruck by the work he did.“It feels good to be back doing what I love.”

• The Queensland Wildlife Artists Society is holding an exhibition at the Boonah Regional Art Gallery Feathers, Fur and Flowers, where Martin's work will feature from Wednesday, March 15.

Kooralbyn artist Martin Day has been recognised at an international level after winning the Talent prize in a prominent Los Angeles Wildlife art contest.

Day said he was humbled by the honour, especially since his work, a pastel pencil drawing of a bald eagle titled "Surveillant Poise", was up against works by many other talented artists.

"I wasn't expecting to be noticed in an international art contest, particularly one in the USA, "he said.

"I thought I'd be lost over there, a tiny little droplet in an ocean teaming with astonishing artists."

Day said thousands of professional painters and sculptors had entered the competition from countries all over the world and featured an incredible array of talent in the Animal category.

"Once the initial burst of frantic adrenaline had settled back down I had returned to a state of calm the reality had set in," he said.

"I was now an international award-winning artist, living in a quiet little town in the beautiful Scenic Rim."

Scenic Rim artist wins in America

By Larraine Sathicq

February 01, 2023

Artist Martin Day with award and prize-winning drawing

By Larraine Sathicq

Scenic Rim artist shows first work in 23 years at Brisbane Show

SCENIC Rim artist Martin Day has reprised a long and interesting career after his work was chosen for the Queensland Wildlife Artist Society annual exhibition at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-Tha.

The Kooralbyn-based artist was just pipped at the post for the People's Choice Award for "Siesta", which depicts a koala having a snooze after a good feed

"It was an extraordinary experience, an honour to have my painting shown with so many accomplished artists, many of them who have achieved global recognition for their work," he said. The exhibition ran from November 4 to 6.

Day, who has worked as a portrait artist, a court artist for Channel 10 and a tourism artist said he had returned to his art after a 23-year hiatus due to a series of unfortunate events.

November 8, 2022

They included a serious arm injury after a fall off scaffolding and major heart surgery." I picked up the pencils again early last year," he said."For years I've been wanting to but it felt like I had lost my way.

"Day said the last serious painting he completed had earned him a highly commended at a major art exhibition."I was going to launch my wildlife art career and then all these other things kind of took over," he said."And to be honest, I convinced myself that nobody cared about art anymore, that the computer had taken over.

"But I'm happy to admit being wrong about that, and being wrong for decades."

Thursday November 10, 1988