Skip to main content

Coming to visit? Ticketed entry is in place to safely manage your visit so please book ahead. Need to cancel or rejig? Email bookings@npg.gov.au

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Frank Hinder

In their own words

Recorded 1963

Frank Hinder
Audio: 2 minutes

My present method of working is, in most cases I start directly on the painting. I occasionally make small sketches but not often. It’s quite different to the way I worked previously, when I made very careful and thorough drawings, enlargements, colour sketches and so forth. I feel again, as my wife said, as she feels she’s becoming more on the expressionist side, so my own work in one sense is loosening up, and I find possibly that starting on the job itself and trying to carry it through then possibly either throwing it away or scraping it off and starting again, allows one to do things that are a more definite approach. Sometimes [it] ties down. In other words, I think I tend to be much too tight or worry too much about the little sketches, and in the process of doing that the big one loses a certain amount of spontaneity. I’m quite sure it’s my fault; it’s not in the procedure because the old masters, I understood it, worked that way and certainly their final results, to me, leave nothing to be desired. But again, it’s the method of trying a slightly different approach.

[I’m] still working, of course, with theatre, and with this, and at the moment I’m getting back to painting again, as there seems to be less theatre work, and so I have more time too.

I should have mentioned previously, of course, one reason I married my wife was, I thought I had one of the best critics, and she’d be very handy to have around, apart from any other reason.

And as she knows, I usually ask her opinion, and then she gets very irritated if I, not necessarily disagree with her but I still insist, that she says ‘What?’ but I’ve found it’s pretty infallible. In other words, I’m not my own best critic by a long shot, and one needs a certain amount of either support, moral support or an outside view, I think, and I certainly value hers more than anyone else’s.

Acknowledgements

This oral history of Frank Hinder is from the De Berg Collection in the National Library of Australia. For more information, or to hear full versions of the recordings, visit the National Library of Australia website.

Audio source

National Library of Australia, Hazel de Berg collection

Related people

Frank Hinder

Related information

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency