Born 1954 in Southport, England, Gordon Hanley migrated by boat to Australia with his parents in May 1960. His childhood was marked by a largely migratory existence which saw him live variously in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney, followed by eight years on a farm in rural Queensland. Winner of a Commonwealth University Scholarship, he attended the University of NSW and then the University of Queensland and holds a B.Sc., B.A. and Dip Ed.
During this time he worked as a builder's laborer on construction sites, worked in a gold refinery and as a scientific research assistant. He then served five years in the military. Following work as a teacher in Science, Mathematics, History, Art and English Literature he gradually built up an art career which was launched in 1990 at Kenmore Gallery, Brisbane with a solo exhibition of 40 watercolors which sold out in 45 minutes.
From early childhood, he displayed a talent for drawing and painting, but due to unfavorable economic and personal circumstances, he made a comparatively late start as a full-time artist. Following a second sell-out exhibition at Kenmore Gallery a year later, at 37 Hanley began life as a full-time artist. Over the next decade, he released over 50 prints in open and limited edition format - his high detail, narrative works making him one of the more recognizable artists in Australia. From 2000-2005 Hanley was Artist in residence at Queensland Museum and was a member of the Royal Queensland Watercolor Society.
Fascinated by the drawings of da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo, since 2009 Hanley's art shifted from watercolor painting to drawings in the Renaissance medium of metal point. Moving from the more traditional silver on paper, most of his recent work features drawings in 24ct gold on paper with prepared grounds of his own design and development. Using continually evolving techniques, he has moved this ancient art form into previously unexplored territory, opening it up to new possibilities. His current work in this medium features still life, figure work, and portraits and he is now recognized as one of the world's leading artists in this medium.
Over the past five years, he has passed his knowledge on to hundreds of other artists in live demonstrations and has been the subject of a number of TV programs and magazine articles. His contribution to realist art was recognized by the Art Renewal Center who in April 2014 awarded him the status of "Living Master" (ARCLM).
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"Jim offers something that is almost impossible to find online: a truly one-of-a-kind resource. His information about Dynamic Symmetry is meticulously researched and comes from a place of knowledge and genuine interest, not sales, as so many educational sites do. Reading his surprisingly accessible work has helped me to grow artistically in a deliberate and satisfying way. I return to Dynamic Symmetry Art regularly and always learn something new." - Rebecca Isenhart
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"The Art of Composition: A Dynamic Symmetry User's Guide for the Modern Artist deserves to be a physical book in Barnes & Noble & on my coffee table!" - Elliot McGucken
"The Art of Composition: A Dynamic Symmetry User's Guide for the Modern Artist is, without a doubt, one of the most comprehensive e-books ever written on the topic of design in art. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced art/photography student, this user's guide is indispensable. I recommend it to all of my artists and photographers and have it linked to my website The Artist Angle." - Jennifer Finley "Though I am not a newcomer to photography, I am far from being a professional. So too, it has only been in the past few months that I discovered dynamicsymmetryart.com. I was transformed from being concerned with camera equipment, f-stops, shutter speed, ISO to considering how I would apply the principles of classical art training to my photography.
As I began reading about the old world masters, including da Vinci, Degas, Rembrandt, and Renoir, I learned that Dynamic Symmetry structurally changed paintings from being passive to active and dynamic. Furthermore, I didn’t realize that a small, yet renowned, group of photographers were well known for using Dynamic Symmetry in their photographs of city life and people. My journey began by reading. The Dynamic Symmetry Art website has numerous resources that gave me a crash course in art and composition. I had to learn about the visual properties of different kinds of rectangles and how each can be divided into compositional elements. Then I began using the Dynamic Symmetry grid overlays in Lightroom to analyze and crop my photos. I have found dynamicsymmetryart.com extremely beneficial, and it has contributed immensely with my efforts to improve as a photographer. Thank you for your commitment to art and art education." - Warren Wish
"With the passing of Myron Barnstone, we lost a great resource on the application of the Rectangles of the Masters and the Golden Section in creating art. But the website dynamicsymmetryart.com is carrying on that work Myron so thoroughly believed in and taught. Dynamic Symmetry can be used in the simplest of ways as well as being infinitely complex if one desires. Great minds such as Leonardo da Vinci recognized the power that this compositional tool offers. Dynamicsymmetryart.com is an amazing reference for artists who are open to exploring the benefits of using Dynamic Symmetry in their work. It applies to all the arts and resonates at a primal level of understanding harmony and beauty. Much thanks to James Cowman for his dedication to furthering this information to the public." - Master Artist and Teacher, Dot Bunn, Red Stone Farm Studio