SELF-TAUGHT artist Darren Trebilco has disappeared from the public eye for the past six months, which is most unlike the usually colourful and highly visible Sunshine Coast character.
His return to public life heralds a new extravaganza that he calls Sustenance, a solo exhibition delivering to the public the energy and imagination that an artist finds when he simplifies his life and gets back to grassroots.
"As an artist, keeping true to your passion in this financial climate is a challenge," the 35-year-old Sippy Downs resident said.
"So I took time out to do what I needed to sustain my drive and love for my livelihood, and it must have been the right decision. Out flowed Sustenance."
Trebilco will be sharing a large selection of his work, including eight pieces never before exhibited. Two in particular - Straitjacket and Acceptance - will not be revealed until the exhibition. Trebilco said these paintings had taken him through his own "dark night of the soul" as he struggled over four months to regain a sense of direction. "You question yourself: am I doing the right thing? But I've always believed that you should love what you do, and I couldn't love anything as much as I love painting. Loving what you do makes life worth living," he said.
His subjects are drawn primarily from the variety of forms and hues he finds in nature: "From the different shades of the earth in a well-worn bush track, to the texture of a rock or tree, wildlife sightings and experiences, the power of the rolling surf and the flickering light campfires bring at night. It's all so beautiful."