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Michael Challen's realistic works depicting the peace and serenity within the Australian landscape, contrast starkly with the industrial port of Newcastle, NSW, his birthplace in 1957. Challen began working on a major collection of his work in 1997, due to tour Australia in 2004. In his quest to document the Australian landscape, environmentally and historically, his travels have taken him out of the comfort zone of his studio to panoramic vistas along the Canning Stock Route in WA, ancient glacial regions within the Wilderness of Tasmania, crocodile-infested waters of Kakadu in the Northern Territory, snow-capped mountains in Victoria and Heysen country, the Flinders Ranges in SA.
"I wouldn't want to be anything but an artist, so I find it ironic that I don't really enjoy the painting process. I find it difficult and exhausting; often the canvas is like a battleground. Fighting with the limitations of pigments while trying to keep the vision fresh".