“Shopping Day” By Russel Drysdale

This is one of Drysdale’s paintings about Aboriginal people he met on his travels. This painting reflects the life of Aboriginals where they are forced to integrate within the white society and were forced to abide by the rules. The subjects here were all in a standing position as if someone in front of them is taking their photo. I like the concept of this and this is one of the reasons I chose this painting. The other reason is, Drysdale’s sympathy to the Aboriginals that drives him to paint them and the outback as his subjects. This painting shows a picture of two Aboriginal women and two Aboriginal children. The way they dressed up and the hats they are wearing are suggestive of something of an old European- style. The buildings behind them also indicates the same. The faces of the subjects were painted vaguely that it is almost impossible to accurately describe their facial expressions. For me, their postures indicates their feeling of boredom and nothing indicates a feeling of excitement. This could suggest they are forced to wear these clothes.

source: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

The artist uses earth tone colours in this painting. We can see it in the colours he used for the ground, buildings and the statue. Black is also used when he painted most of the dress that one of the women is wearing. Some parts of the sky are in the shades of grey which tells me the weather on that day is not too hot. This is probably the reason why the subjects are not wearing shoes. There is nothing much included in the picture. No other people, animals or tress included. It looked like a lonely place for them to be in.

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6 thoughts on ““Shopping Day” By Russel Drysdale

  1. https://vivbasbell.home.blog/2019/04/07/shopping-day-by-russel-drysdale/

    I decided to Peer Review Vivian Bell’s blog about her visit to the art gallery, a trip which I remember taking to look at the very picture that she describes. 

    I love your description of the painting and how you provided a photo for your audience, however I do wish that there was more to your explanation, such as what you believe the purpose of the painting was and why you chose that painting specifically to write about, but otherwise, well done. I look hope to seeing what you do next xx 

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good job Vivian! You picked up on so many visual symbolisms in this artwork. I thought your observations regarding the earthy colours and the women’s clothing were very detailed.
    Something I picked up on: 1. ‘For me, their postures indicates their feeling of boredom and nothing indicates a feeling of excitement’ = ‘For me, their POSTURE indicates their feeling of boredom and lack of excitement’.
    2. ‘Black is also used when he painted most of the dress that the woman is wearing’ = ‘The colour black is mainly used on the WOMEN’S dresses’.
    Good job!
    Laura.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great entry Vivian. You write about this painting with excellent attention to detail and you bring out the mood of the painting.
    Editing Needed (and some workshop follow-ups- see Purdue Owl for help: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/
    * Some parts of the sky is in the shades of grey = Some parts of the sky ARE in the shades of grey [ Agreement of Subject and Verb. Plural nouns need plural verbs and singular nouns need singular verbs. What should this be? http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/595/01/ ]

    Liked by 1 person

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