Gus Leunig · New Paintings

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Tuesday 20th November 2012

Gus Leunig in his Gardenvale studio, with his dear pal, Desmond the dog!  Photo – Brooke Holm.

New painting by Gus Leunig for his current show at Libby Edwards Galleries.  Photo – Brooke Holm.

Studio details and works in progress.  Photo – Brooke Holm.

You might recall this lovely guy called Gus Leunig who I wrote a little post about many moons ago.  Gus is a Melbourne artist, musician, and on-again-off-again film industry person.  I first met him a long time ago, when I used to work in film, before TDF kind of took over my life!

Anyway, I bring Gus to your attention again today because I reckon he truly is one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets!  Aside from being a tremendously talented musician and artist, he is also quite honestly one of the sweetest guys you could ever meet.  He’s a bloke’s bloke at heart, but is so thoughtful, softly spoken – and humble to the point of being completely unable to answer any questions about himself or his work at ALL!  (Mildly frustrating when you’re trying to interview someone!).  He just can’t bear the spotlight.  So I can only apologise Gus, today we’re shining our little light on you!

Gus has a new exhibition of paintings at Libby Edwards Galleries in High st Armadale, which just opened on Saturday.  The works are truly stunning, layered with intense colour and detail… they’re inspired by nature, Gus’ beloved dog Desmond (pictured above) and his new son, Caspar!

We asked Gus a few questions about his work and the new show –

Ok so you’re a musician and a fine artist… how does that work!?  And how long have you been painting for –  forever?

Ahhh, yeah, been painting pretty much forever, I think!  I studied fine art at Monash for one year, then went into music. It’s like a cyclic thing with painting and music – I’m always doing one or the other.

What’s the name of your current exhibition?

Ahhh… I don’t think it’s got a name!  I have a newborn son.. and it’s been so, ah, confusing having a child!  If I could call the show a word I would probably call it ‘Newborn’.  With this show I’ve been finding new techniques – painting outside the studio, at the kitchen table, and making time to work around Caspar – he dictates my schedule these days.

Aside from Caspar, what influences do you have in your work at the moment?

Listen, I think it’s pretty basic stuff.  I often paint animals, inspired by Desmond, my dog. I’ve always had a dog, since I can remember. I love dogs and animals.  I love making work that isn’t quite perfect, I love the mistakes. I’m forever learning about painting.

When you start painting, do you have any idea where it’s going to end up?  Do you have set plan for each painting?

I have no idea!  I don’t draw charcoal or white lines, I just follow an abstract background and try to make sense of chaos.  And I love that, I think that’s the easiest way for me to work and move forward.  Every painting is a learning process, and I take it as that…  I think ‘artist’ is a big word, I tend to shy away from that.  I don’t really see myself as a ‘dignified artist’ in the old fashioned sense – I just love the notion of exploring.

If you’re in Melbourne, do pop in and see Gus’ work at Libby Edwards Galleries, on display now until Dec 1st.

Also we are thrilled we have scored a selection of Gus’ smaller paintings for The Design Files Open House, happening in Melbourne NEXT WEEK!  Oh Lord.

Gus Leunig works in progress.  Photo – Brooke Holm.

Gus Leunig at his Gardenvale studio. Photo – Brooke Holm.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Tuesday 20th November 2012


  • Mel 4 years ago

    Your links to Libby Edwards Gallery are broken.
    I love Gus’ work. Amazing.

  • Bec 4 years ago

    These paintings are beautiful. Gus really looks like that guy in Seachange.

  • Poppy 4 years ago

    Beautiful work. Any relation to the Leunig cartoonist?

  • Melanie Beauvironnois 4 years ago

    I agree with the previous comments; stunning work!

  • Grover 4 years ago

    Huge fan of Gus’s artwork.

  • S t e F a n i a 4 years ago

    Good good work! I enjoyed this post :-) shame not to be able to pop in Melbourne.

  • Two Ducks Swimming 4 years ago

    What a wonderful coloured rug Gus is standing on!! Really love his paintings too.

  • alilovesdesign 4 years ago

    First time I’ve seen his work, Im really impressed! So intricate and almost batik-esque…amazing!

  • Camilla 4 years ago

    Beautiful! -his work AND him!!

  • karen 4 years ago

    …love that dog Desmond too!

  • Gidgie76 4 years ago

    The Libby Edwards website is temporarily down, it’s not a faulty link. It’s being fixed ASAP

  • jasmine 4 years ago

    Really beautiful detailed work, I love the straight forward simple responses to your questions Lucy, very refreshing!

  • Karly 4 years ago

    Great to see Gus happy and back at it. And yes he is related to that other Leunig.

  • Kath W 4 years ago

    Such beautiful paintings. Congratulations on the bub.

  • Michelle 4 years ago


  • Maggie rose Lyons 4 years ago

    Lovely guy and beautiful creations! I always loved Paul Klee’s work…his taking a line for a walk and allowing the work to appear. I think Gus is a bit like, controlled and so creative all at the same time. xx Maggie Rose Lyons from Tawonga in NE Vic.

  • Andrew Obrien 4 years ago

    Great work Gus – the show looks great AOB

  • Cez 4 years ago

    What an amazing guy & artist….. inspiring stuff….

  • Joanne 4 years ago

    Hi Desmond!!! You’re so handsome!

  • look see 4 years ago

    Love the colour and patterns! :)

  • Barbara Bowyer 4 years ago

    A very talented is his mother, Pamela.

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  • Marmalade 4 years ago

    Wow. Beautiful work. I’m picking up some Rosetta Santucci vibes as well. I love her work too.

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