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Gerzabek paintings from the beginning

I bought a slide scanner recently so now I can convert my old coloured slides to digital images.

What a nostalgia trip for an artist to go back 40 plus years to the beginning of his career in art creation.

In the early seventies I worked as an Architect full time during the day whilst at nights I painted obsessively and feverishly, sometimes well into the night.

Unfortunately, having had two jobs this way, I did not have any time to exhibit or promote my artworks, enter art prizes or show my work to gallery owners.  Hence my sales were sporadic and mainly limited to friends and acquaintances.

Here are a few examples of my work at that time.  The images are not perfect, my photography was relatively casual and not to my current standard.

Still most of these works are strikingly original, vital, and not really amateurish.

blue abstract painting blue moon

Blue moon


painting nature inspired colourful



minimalist painting black and white

Black and white


painting abstract banana boat

Banana boat


abstract yellow painting brighten up

Brighten up


painting abstract purple red blue

What's below


abstract painting red blue


Abstract landscape paintings

This short essay is not an academic treatise but my subjective opinion.  I believe landscape paintings are inspired by Nature, the natural environment in its many manifestations. 

Many different kind of landscapes can provide the source for inspiration: wilderness areas, mountain ranges, forests, deserts, open plains and fields, seashores and also waterways and the ocean are my favourites.

Landscape paintings can either be traditional or contemporary.  Traditional landscape paintings are usually depictive, photorealistic or stylised to some extent.

Contemporary landscapes are in some aspects different from what the eye sees, they are modified by the individual creative process applied by the artist.  The visual image produced may be simplified, exaggerated, reorganised or abstracted to some degree in comparison to the actual landscape.  The artist would modify the observed subject by introducing a subjective element of his own.  For example, the painter may only use the colours of the landscape but reassemble them in a different free-form pattern.

As I see it, the inspiration drawn from the landscape is always important as a starting point, and even when the creative modifications are carried out to the extreme degree, it is still important that at least the “feeling of being there” should be apparent.  The memory, the ghost, the jolting recollection of the place should be felt.


Every landscape has a dominant characteristic, a certain mood and an ambience.  The challenge for the artist is to capture this essence.  This can be achieved in many ways, I prefer the following approaches, loosely based on historical art movements:

  • impressionist - by focusing on the colour mix, the fine details and the decorative aspects

  • expressionist - by boldly capturing the dominant forms and shapes and utilise the life-force energy residing in the place by intuitive action-painting

  • minimalist - by reducing the landscape to its basic essential elements and omitting all unnecessary and distracting details

  • pattern making - by focusing on the rhythm, patterns and texture of a place, for example, by focusing on the minutia of close up details

  • applying fantasy - creating imaginary landscapes which express the artist’s mindset as opposed to the reality of the visible world

I am sure there are also many other ways to come up with original solutions.  Landscapes have a generative power and presence which inspire the mind and soul of visually sensitive artists.  It is not unusual to be carried away by the visual stimulation provided by exciting landscapes and seascapes and take off on a journey of exploration.

For me, the adventure of Nature inspired new discoveries, the stretching of the imagination and producing original artistic delights is the most satisfying aspect of art making.

On art collecting

ABC TV broadcast a most interesting program late last night: Herb and Dorothy - The Vogel Collection. It was about a New York couple who started collecting modern "new" art more than 50 years ago and amassed a quality collection.

Not being rich, they restricted their collection to affordable art pieces. They nearly always selected prominent artists or upcoming and emerging ones who invariably became famous as time went by.  They focused on the latest trends in art and bought the most progressive paintings, sculptures and  installation pieces. They focused on abstract, minimalist and conceptual art without limiting their interest to any one movement.

They had a few rules for collecting: they had to like the piece, they should be able to take it with them on public transport or taxi and it should be able to fit into their apartment. Usually they met the artists face to face and following a friendly discussion they ended up buying something relatively modestly priced.  They had an unusually sharp eye to pick out the best art pieces available at the time.


They followed current trends by visiting progressive art galleries, attending museum exhibitions and such.  The wife's income was spent on rent, food and necessities, whilst the husband's earning was devoted to purchasing art. When they did not have enough money to buy a piece they loved, they payed instalments, or when they could not afford a Christo  installation, they ended up baby-sitting Christo's cats in return for a drawing.

Their small flat was crowded with artworks, all walls were covered with drawings, paintings and bas-reliefs and sculptures.  The whole flat resembled a hoarder's abode, except every available space was filled with artworks not junk.

Their collection, which they exhibited in various galleries time to time, was eventually donated to the National Gallery of Art in Washington USA.  It worth many millions today, in fact, it is considered priceless.

Driven by their obsessive love of art, it is amazing how much they managed to achieve on a limited budget.  It is also amazing how much pleasure they got out of this passion for art.

DO's and DON'Ts for selecting and displaying paintings

Preliminary requirements

Before deciding to purchase an artwork from a gallery or direct from the artist, make sure the artist used high quality paint and not inferior student quality pigment. 

Artist quality paints will not fade readily and are more stable unlike cheap household paints and student grade pigments. Unfortunately, many emerging and "self-declared" artists use inferior materials, including canvas, stretcher bars and paint and unsuitable yellowing varnish. In the case of digital prints, they may not use pigmented inks and acid-free paper, but dye based inks which fade quite quickly.

Avoid experimental mediums such as bitumen and like, I have seen many artworks self-destruct over time where the "artist" experimented with unproven methods and materials including non-archival materials.

Selecting artworks

Look at all available paintings and sculptures in the gallery or artist studio and assess the artwork's suitability for their intended location.  However, when selecting a piece do not rely entirely on intellectual reasoning and logic, but listen to your gut feeling and intuition.

An artwork should "speak" to you, capture your attention and get you emotionally moved. Recognise this and follow your desire and instinct.

If you and your partner cannot agree on an artwork, consider having a "his and hers" purchase, ie each of you choosing a piece really really liked, rather than a middle of the road compromise.

Always choose enjoyment over investment considerations unless your main interest is just to make a profit.

Hang paintings in living areas instead of mirrors

Instead of mirrors and such "lacking in personality" items, consider hanging paintings or bas-relief wall sculptures on your walls .  When you have mirrors in living areas (as opposed to bathrooms and dressing rooms) why would you want to look just at your own reflection all the time when you could enjoy  an artwork instead.  You might be very pretty and impressive, but ... really, stop being narcissistic and be serious!?

Advice on hanging paintings

Do not try to match colours in a painting to your cushion or curtain. This pedestrian approach will ignore or minimise any artistic merit an artwork may offer.  Most paintings and sculptures have a life of their own and do not need to harmonise with an existing interior design colour scheme. 

It is important though that there is no significant clash with existing dominant colours in the room but a certain amount of contrast may be acceptable and beneficial. Like jewellery provides accent to an otherwise harmonious outfit.

Do not place a small painting on a large wall. Be brave and choose a decent size artwork on a given wall space that creates an impact and improves your visual environment.

Do not hang paintings too high, ie the centre line of the painting too far above the eye level of an average height woman.

Don't be afraid to buy a non-cliché painting, ie a highly original piece different from the run-of-the-mill ordinary stuff.  Many galleries promote pigeon-holed, mass produced works, where a successful artist is encouraged to turn out paintings in the same style over and over.  The sense of adventure and the thrill of discovery and the magic of freshness may be missing from such works.

Give preference to galleries and artists who have a satisfactory return and refund policy.  This is important in case you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase.

If you own a number of paintings, try to rotate them between rooms and available wall spaces.  You will be surprised how a painting can assume a new lease of life in a new location.  It is like a holiday for pictures and for you like a pleasant meeting of an old friend.

Jeans for Genes Charity Art Auctions

Jeans for Genes Art Auction
are held in Sydney every year.  World famous celebrities, sports stars, entertainers and other prominent people donate their personally signed jeans and prominent Australian artists are turning the jeans into artworks.


All of the jeans are auctioned during a special dinner function and the proceeds are used by the Children's Medical Research Institute for valuable medical research.

photo of Simon Tedeschi world famous concert piano virtuoso with Ernie Gerzabek famous prominent Australian artist

Simon Tedeschi (sans jeans) with Ernie Gerzabek
who incorporated Simon's jeans in his artwork below

Simon Tedeschi's jeans donated to jeans4genes charity art auction by gerzabek

Simon Tedeschi 2006

This contemporary artwork by artist Ernie Gerzabek is a tribute to Simon Tedeschi, the talented young Australian concert pianist.  This extraordinary performer approaches his music with sensitivity, passion and superb technique.  Simon has performed not only in Australia but in prominent venues all over the world.

This artwork reminds us that when Simon interprets the composer’s score, he relies on his mastery of the concert piano - which is basically just a mechanical device.  He is at one with his instrument, with all its limitations and infinite possibilities – the piano is part of him and he is part of the piano – a marvellous relationship!
  Harry Seidler's jeans donated to jeans4genes charity art auction original acrylic art painting

Harry Seidler 2006

A tribute to Harry Seidler, world renowned and award-winning Sydney Architect by artist Ernie Gerzabek.  As a fellow Architect he has admired Seidler’s work since his student days.

In his painting Gerzabek evokes the seemingly simple but functional style of the master, using Seidler’s preferred palette ranging from quartz white to granite greys.  The façade-like background is carefully divided by joints and recesses into well considered proportions.

Minimalist yet stylish, unpretentious yet sophisticated, it is an affirmation of quality and excellence and rejection of the merely trendy and derivative.

Chubby Cheker's jeans donated to jeans4genes charity art auction original acrylic art painting

Chubby Checker 2003

Let's Twist!  Get up and give it a go, do not think, just enjoy! 

The joyous tune of the Legend is washing over you in waves - a rich big voice and the pounding rhythm of a big heart filled with the spirit of generosity.

Have a sparkle in your eyes and let the music inspire you to the joy of giving.

  Angry Andeson's signed jeans donated to jeans4genes charity art auction original acrylic art painting

Angry Anderson 2004

A tribute by the artist to Angry Anderson, the rock legend, Australian icon and outspoken supporter of worthy causes - an extraordinary human being.

Surviving an abused childhood and living a rebellious adolescence, he rose Phoenix-like to become an outstanding rock musician.  As lead singer of Rose Tattoo he achieved high acclaim for his hard-rocking, ground-breaking music and outrageous stage antics.

In recent years the wild boy has become less controversial, turning into an actor, media personality and ardent promoter of worthy causes. 

Despite Angry’s tough exterior, he is a big-hearted and compassionate supporter of countless charities and humanitarian organisations.  His ongoing support has benefited countless sick children, hospitals, the homeless, the hungry and the disadvantaged.

Tribute to Ernie Gerzabek's Art by Hungarian poet Johannes Katona

Having discovered my artworks,
this prominent Hungarian poet has written a number of beautiful poems in response to some of my particular paintings.
It is quite flattering for me to receive a tribute of this nature. Thank you Johannes.
Hungarian speaking viewers would be impressed, I am sure.

ocean inspired abstract blue painting by contemporary Australian painter   contemporary  geometric wall sculpture bas-relief artwork


...lehetnék mély Tenger árja,
Hogy a Világot szennyétől
mossam tisztára.
Hoznék bőséggel termő szigeteket,
Virágoktól pompázó kerteket,
Ahol szeretetben nevelitek
Ellátnám lakóit élelemmel,
A Tenger mélyének minden kincsével,
Mellyel ember szeme be nem tel.
Kicsik s nagyok Hullámaimon
Lágyan ringó habjaimon alhatnátok,
Miközben féltve őrzöm álmotok...

Pesti sikátorok...

Köszönöm Pesti sikátorok,
Hogy eszembe jutottatok
Elkészíthettem eme vázlatot,
Mely emlékemben már oly kopott
Építettem én is Gruntot,
Hol gyermekkorom zajlott
Bú felejtőt, ahol
A lányokon nem láttunk Fűzőt
Tágas teret, melyen
Elférjen minden gyermek
És szép, zöld gyepet
Legyen hol sétálnia a gyepmesternek
Ültettem fa sort,
Mert az gyerekkoromban is gyér volt...
Köszönöm nektek!
Hűen őrzött emlékek,
Hogy alkotni késztettétek kezemet

abstract curved lines painting   flora inspired nature painting

Árulkodó Képek

Ránézek eme festményre
S ifjú korom jut eszembe.
Fiatalon, hazától messze kerülve
Bolyongtam a Világ rengetegében.

Vonalak mutatják utamat
Az ábrák munkáimat
A színekkel népem jellemeztem,
Kiket máig nem feledtem

Távol a hazától

Távol a Hazától...
Lelkem vidám színekben tombol.
Magam előtt látom rétet s mezőt,
Magas hegyeket, a dúsan zöldellő erdőt
Gyermekkorom kedvenc játékát
A gyermekláncfű szerteszálló magvát.
Még érzem a Tisza oly fönséges illatát
A Duna lágy simogatását.
Távolban látom a Puszta hogyan párolog
Az oly sokat emlegetett Délibábot.
...s mert el kellett hagyjam Hazámat
Nem feledem Magyarságomat!
Eme színekben fejezem ki hovatartozásomat!


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Abstract Landscape Paintings Gallery