In April I wrote about some interesting Richmond gates (see post here) at 208 Lennox Street. At the time I was fortunate to meet Mark Schaller, the owner of the 'faded-glory property' and creator of the gates. As I admitted at the time I hadn't heard of him. (Where have I been?!) He kindly invited me into his amazing art studio and I have to say I was 'gobsmacked' - not only to think I hadn't heard of him, but to think he had been 'just around the corner' for many years beavering away creating.
|The Schaller Studio in Richmond - canvasses stacked awaiting his touch|
Since that first visit he has had one of the famed Art Hotels named after him. He has now joined the illustrious Olsen, Blackman and Cullen Hotels with the new Schaller Studios now open in Bendigo. On the first visit Mark was unpacking loads of stretched canvases - little did I know what for. The studio was - how can I say - a mess of cardboard, canvases and much more. In amongst my excitement to photograph not only the studio but his bright paintings not a word was mentioned about the forthcoming Schaller Studios.
|Mark unpacking a serious 'stack' of canvasses|
|There's a lot happening in the studio attached to the 'drinking house'|
|Every surface inside and out has a work-in-progress|
At that time he took me through the 1880's hotel's main drinking 'salon' to the working studio attached. I was 'beside myself' with excitement at all that was going on. In my haste I left my camera cover and so decided to pop back the next day to retrieve it. I stepped into another world. I was in a transformed space - with the renowned photographer Earl Carter and producer/writer Annemarie Kiely setting up for a photoshoot for Vogue Living (you will find a copy of the May/June issue in the Cottage - pages 112 - 119) Wow what a difference a day makes! It was fantastic. The colours of his paintings were just popping off the walls - it was a wondrous transformation.
|The day before the Vogue Living shoot|
|What a transformation - on the day of the shoot (photographed from the pages of Vogue Living)|
|Canvases ready to go, works in progress, finished works (Vogue Living)|
And to think all of this came about when I stopped to photograph a great set of gates - which he had of course created! So if you are visiting Bendigo why not stay at the Schaller Studios in Bendigo - see a taste here.
|Fun, quirky, bright and breezy - right in the heart of the Bendigo Arts Prescinct|
|He has been busy, he's even painted an historic Bendigo tram|
There are not many artists who have a hotel/studio named after them - or who have painted a tram! Mark Schaller - a colourful and prodigious artist with a working studio in Richmond and a studio in Bendigo!