Has Australian Artist Rod Bathgate Perfected Pastel Painting?

Australian Artist, Rod Bathgate

“Merewether beach looking South” by Australian Artist Rod Bathgate

Have you ever tried using a pastel? It breaks into pieces, is dusty, dirty, and when you work/draw down the paper the palm of ones hand usually rubs the image you have just perfected! Somewhat frustrating until you learn some tricks and skills.

It’s wonderful to watch a professional artist who understands the medium and is in control. In Rod Bathgate’s case an Australian artist who has an affinity with the medium itself. In fact he has mastered the use of pastel and it has become his forte! Is he Australia’s best pastel artist?

Whilst he is a fine artist in the medium of oil paints, he possesses the skills to capture the effects gained with the pastel medium with ease. His trademark effects with water reflections, light and movement culminate in the subject of his paintings being alive and exciting!

Rod I believe has developed a relationship with both the subject and the medium. He has the ability to capture a moment, often pleasing to the eye. We the viewer, are taken to that place he has capably recorded on paper or canvas.

Australian Artist Rod Bathgate

“Sailors Rock” by Australian Artist Rodbathgate

I have seen many ‘pastel artists’ both in Australia and in my travels and it is my opinion ROD BATHGATE is outstanding! I believe he has an insight where he has developed a “feel”- being totally comfortable working with the pastel medium in a unique fashion!

Cooks Hill Galleries is fortunate to have him as a long-standing gallery exhibitor. We as viewers may take his pastel painting skills for granted; don’t under estimate the natural skill and abilities Rod possesses. Whether they are learnt or he has been born with the talents, he has an affinity and respect for art of all styles.

“The fact he can paint upside down in a bucket of water and with his elbow’ is an exaggeration of Rod’s skill, however it goes somewhat to expressing his abilities.”

The breadth of the subject matter he works on is worth reflecting upon also: comic characters with Walt Disney influences, historical re-creations, seascapes, bush and landscapes.

Many people have tried to emulate Rod’s style and fall short. I respect and love his pastel painting skills!

Rod Bathgate’s new exhibition “The Summer of Love” is showing from the 7th – 21st December 2012 at Cooks Hill Galleries. Join us for the opening by RSVPing here! Rod will be in attendance.


  1. Please say hello to my old “studio mate” at N.C.A.E. Art School in Cooks Hill.

    1. Hi Barbra, how are you!? Certainly will do 😉 Will we be seeing you this Friday for an end of year drink and a chat at the opening of “The Summer of Love” and CHG Xmas Party?

  2. david marchioni · · Reply

    Mark – gerat to see an exhibit by Rod B. Amazing artist and it’s been a while since he has exhibited I beleive?

    1. Hi David, it is good to see Rod showing to coincide with our Christmas party. He did exhibit earlier in the year however “The Summer of Love” features new work. Look forward to seeing you soon!! Until then.

  3. Paul ROSS · · Reply

    Hi there, I have know Rod for many years and can only back up your comments as to Rod’s ability in using pastels to great effect. I am lucky enough to have a couple of pencil sketches as well of some of his earlier pastel works. Rod since I have known him has always had a natural talent to be an artist. I have seen many of his works hung in prominent offices and buildings in Newcastle. The buyers of Rods works all take great pride in owning his pastel works.

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