When it comes to his artwork, Roger Beale is concerned with beauty. It's something that comes across easily in his latest exhibition Sun, Rain, Flowers, which is set to open at Humble House on October 6.
"Beauty has gone out of fashion in contemporary art. It's regarded as a somewhat suspicious commodity," he says.
"I see art as a branch of aesthetics, not as a branch of ethics - for me, personally.
"I grew up in the 1950s artistically, and the 60s when there was a great rebellion on the left and indeed the right against propaganda art, and the political art of the fascists and the communists.
"I grew up in that period of art with an interest in beauty."
Beale considers himself to be a studio realist - rarely would he paint what is in front of him - and often his pieces are thought through and re-examined through the eye of historic art techniques.
It's an element in Beale's artwork that is not unsurprising when you see his bookshelf filled with books on art history from Europe, America, Australia and even some on Chinese and Japanese works. But even without this knowledge, Beale's knowledge of art history shines through in his pieces.
His piece Baroque Peony, for example, employs - as expected - techniques used during the Baroque period.
"With the flowers, one of my long-term great interests have been Renaissance and Baroque," Beale says.
"I use the same sort of approach with the flowers and it's like a meditation on art history and the use of techniques that have gathered over the years."
When looking at Beale's work it's hard to believe that his career hasn't always been as an artist.
As those in the public service may already know, Beale was an economist, policy adviser and consultant, and was one of the most senior Commonwealth public servants of his generation, including spending nearly 20 years at department head level.
It wasn't until 1984 that he first exhibited his work, and in 2004 he retired from the public service to focus on his art.
"I [originally] chose a life of public policy," Beale says.
"I couldn't exhibit very frequently when I was a secretary because I could only grab small amounts of time to paint and I don't want to liken myself to Winston Churchill but like how he painted all the way through the war, I've always had a painting on the go."
Beale's focus on flowers is a "late but loved discovery in my repertoire".
Initially, it began as a suggestion from his wife when Beale was searching for an idea for a dramatic piece to draw people into an exhibition. Ever since his wife chooses the flowers that feature in Beale's artwork and will be the one to tell him if an artwork isn't working.
- Sun, Rain, Flowers will be at Humble House gallery from October 6 to 27.