Adrian Feint was born in Narrandera, New South Wales, and attended the Sydney Art School both before and after he served in France and Belgium during World War I. He started as a draughtsman and designer, and soon became known for his etched and engraved bookplates. He became a professional painter in 1938, and took commissions for flower studies, while also painting landscapes.
Feint's first oils were flat, but later paintings showed great depth. In his flower pieces, his imagination found an outlet combining manufactured objects from other lands with flowers and shells of the sandstone belt of the eastern coastal region of Australia.
His paintings were meticulously designed and set in a related environment of time and space.
In HIBISCUS, 1945, Feint typically pursues the decorative possibilities in an arrangement of vibrantly coIoured hibiscus flowers, placed in an oddly-shaped vase, set in a landscape of imaginative fantasy. The circular forms of flowers and vase contrast with the vertical lines leading outwards and upwards to the boats on the harbour beyond. An impression of richness is achieved in the overall design which emphasises form and structure with decorative intent.
It is possible that the blooms shown in this work came from the Carrick Hill gardens, as Ursula Hayward often arranged for flowers to be delivered to Adrian Feint for use in his paintings.
Like so many artists, Feint was a great personal friend of Edward and Ursula Hayward. GARDEN IN THE FOOTHILLS, 1958, depicts an area of the Carrick Hill garden overlooking the location of the former tennis court, now planted with the glorious blooms of the State Bank Heritage Rose Garden. This work provides an historical and sentimental link with a past era of the garden.
GARDEN IN THE FOOTHILLS, 1958, shows Feint's ability to combine colour and atmosphere. The artist paints a vista of radiant well-being, where the noise and bustle of the expanding city and suburbs are hidden by an enveloping and protective band of greenery. His compositional skill and sensitive feeling are shown in this delicate scene stretching to the seashore, where the high horizon of sparkling water meets the bright sky.
GARDEN IN THE FOOTHILLS, 1958, was developed from a sketch Feint made at Carrick Hill in 1956. In 1959 he gave the painting as a gift to Miss Vi Johns, then Director of John Martin's Art Gallery, who presented it to the Carrick Hill Trust in 1993.