About Les Graham the artist


The Artist Les Graham

The Artist Les Graham

Les was born in the small country town of Kempsey, NSW and has been a professional artist for some 45 years. He began his career painting landscapes in the Macleay river valley in the late 50’s when he was a teenager. He married in 1962 and two years later he moved to Sydney with his wife and baby daughter to try to explore the possibilities of a future that involved painting.

After some early success he met fellow artist Doug Sealy and together they spent several years camping out and painting intensively, mainly in the Turon, Capertee and Macleay river valleys. The value of this union is evident in the level of quality both artists achieved.

Les’ paintings are now in important collections in Australia and throughout the world. They hang in the homes of Royal families, film stars, politicians, professional and private people. They hang in foreign embassies, boardrooms and galleries. In 1979 he donated a large collection of his work to the townspeople of Kempsey which now hangs in perpetuity in the Civic Centre. He has won many awards, published two books, contibuted art work to several others and written many articles on art and has been made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of History and Arts.

“My philosophy on Art is quite simple. Long ago I put aside all the theories, debates and experimenting and just tried to do two things; namely, to paint only what I like and to do the best I can. Few people are as fortunate as I am, to know their purpose in life, and fewer still who can enjoy every moment of it.

I have the most wonderful memories of painting trips in some of the most beautiful valleys of our country, struggling for control over a developing craft and enjoying the company of good friends. If I succeed in communicating the essence of the subjects that inspire me to paint, and the absolute pleasure I have in creating them, then I feel a simple, but important function of art has been fulfilled.”

Les was invited to exhibit with Kevin Hill’s Top Ten Australian Artists group 1994 and remained with them until he retired in May 2011. He achieved a “Living Legend Award”. He was featured in five Limited Edition publications with the Top Ten group during that period and has been published in several editions of Australian Artist and Palette magazines.

Les has his own gallery on the Crescent Head Road, Kempsey where he is known as the “Macleay Valley” artist. He has the unique ability to capture the light and character of the subjects he chooses with the skill that comes only from years of study and practice. He paints mainly landscapes but is also well known for his still-lifes and nude paintings. He also paints in watercolours and pastels and has created several statues. He has had several exhibitions of his drawings and etchings. His work is available now only from his own gallery.

The gallery is open most weekends and school holidays from 10 am to 5 pm. Other times if Les or Lorraine are home the gallery will be open, just ring the bell.

NOTE: We no longer hold facilities for Bankcard. Purchases can be made using cash, bank cheques, personal cheques or direct debit.  Just enquire for your preference.