Thursday, 2 November 2017

Inktober II - the second half

So here we are at the end of October and I’ve run the race and completed the challenge - under my own terms. My aim was to complete a portrait every day. Some days I did more than one so I could afford to skip a day. I’m pleased that I didn’t try to keep up with the prompts because then I think I would have fallen by the wayside long ago. 

I enjoyed the routine of daily drawing even though some of these portraits have been very quick scribbles. The important thing for me is the 'doing' rather than the assessment or critique at the end. I think the trick with these challenges is to make them doable. Don’t set the bar so high that you will never stick to the plan. 

I love ink, make no mistake. I think it’s the best medium to stop fussing while drawing. You make a mark, live with it, make another mark - the good, the bad, the ugly. You have to own what you have done and move on. 

Now that I have spent the 31 day’s drawing with ink I crave some loose, messy, drippy watercolours. These might not be as easy to do while I’m out and about but I’d like to try. 

All reference photographs are from Sktchy.

Ink wash, pen for detail and then brush pen.

Black Crystal Bic ballpoint

Noodlers Black in Lamy Safari EF nib

Brush pen

Black ink and wash

Black ink and wash

Pilot Metropolitan F nib with waterbrush and brush pen

Brush pen and large watercolour brush

Pilot Metropolitan with Noodlers #41 Brown - don't you just love this colour?

Black Crystal Bic ballpoint

Konrad Flex pen and waterbrush

Konrad Flex pen and dry brush 

Noodlers Black with Diamine Hope Pink

Noodlers Black in a Lamy Safari EF nib

Black ink with waterbrush

Black ink with waterbrush

Black ink with waterbrush and brush pen for the dark background.

Please note: all photographs were taken with my phone with minimal editing - I figure - done is better than perfect. 
Maybe I’ll get round to scanning all of these but somehow I don’t think so. I’d rather do another drawing instead. 

Monday, 30 October 2017

A change of venue - visiting GOMA with the Saturday group

Yesterday the Saturday class had a change of venue. Instead of working in the Studio we went into the city. We met at The Library Cafe for coffee and sketching (that was the plan - the reality was that we chatted until it was time for GOMA to open.)

Our aim was to see Gerhard Richter - The Life of Images. This large exhibition exhibits a comprehensive collection of his work over the last 50 plus years and shows his extreme versatility as an artist. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this show and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. 

The paintings range from the very tiny overpainted photographs to the massive abstracts and tapestries. I never really understood the overpainted photos before but seeing them IRL is the best way to appreciate the detail. 

The exhibition opened with the portrait of his daughter Ella. This painting has been used as the principle image on Gallery marketing, is surprising small and intimate - and breathtakingly beautiful. On an adjoining wall is a huge digital striped abstract - so colourful - absolutely mesmerising.

2007 oil on canvas 
40 cm x 31 cm

The photographic paintings are drawn from a vast store of photographs collected power the years. The collection of images form Atlas seen in together in a separate gallery. It's worth allowing a good length of time to view the exhibition as there is a lot to see and absorb.
These are images are transformed and made so much more. Richter looks into the image, amplifies the content, blurring the focus creating a lush painterly finish. Even subjects that could be sentimental like the dog and the glamorous film star are painted so sensitively they escape that categorisation. 

1967 oil on canvas 
50 cm x 50 cm

Portrait Liz Kertelge
1966 105 cm x 70 cm 
Oil on canvas

Whenever I return from an exhibition and start to capture my impressions I realise that I should have taken notes or at the least photographed as few more exhibition captions.

This painting of Richter in the arms of his aunt is especially poignant. When he painted this Richter had no idea of his aunt’s tragic story. Briefly, during WWII she had been captured by the Nazis and tortured to death. The melancholy is evident.

There are two painting of Moritz, Richter’s son. One was more highly finished and this one with rough brushstrokes and some areas unpainted - no more needed to be said...

2000 62 cm x 52 cm 

Oil on canvas

I enjoyed this large abstract viewed from another gallery - it required more than a little patience to catch the image without any people!

Another gallery has a sombre collection of four abstracts relating to Birkenau
these large abstracts,260 x 200 cm, started as paintings using images smuggled from the death camp. Richter, unable to leave the images visible, obliterated them under layers and layers of paint. 

And finally another large abstract and a few detail photos showing the way the paint is layered smeared and scraped.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Inktober 2018

October means Inktober, the annual drawing challenge that has been going for a number of years. Jake Parker started this in 2009 to improve his inking and drawing skills. The challenge comes with daily prompts to help keep you on track. 

Perhaps it’s because I have trouble following rules, but I’ve usually lost interest when the given prompts didn’t strike a chord with me. 

This year Sktchy has joined the challenge, using the ‘official’ prompts. Theses are emailed daily to all taking part. Today is always earlier in Australia than everywhere else - except for New Zealand - so the prompts come at the end of the day. I like to get my drawing completed early, or even start a new one the day before, so getting a late prompt has given me a good excuse to do my own thing!
(Yes, I know, I could download the list...)

My challenge is simply to do a portrait in ink every day in October and to date it’s been working well. 

Ink in Hero Bent nib calligraphy pen 

De Artramentis Fog Grey - Pilot Metropolitan Medium nib and water Brush

Digital ink using Procreate - this was drawn on the way from a weekend away. The ride was quite bumpy which added to the scribble effect!

Noodlers Black ink in Pilot Metropolitan fine nib in a Midori notebook. The paper, while quite light, is beautiful to use with a fountain pen - silky and smooth with no feathering or bleed-through. This notebook is available at a wonderful stationery shop, Bookbinders in Brisbane. They stock all kinds of notebooks, pens, ink and writing accessories. 

Ink and water brush in Midori notebook

Black and brown ink with water brush in Midori notebook.

Bic Crystal ballpoint in Alpha softcover sketchbook - using a ballpoint with a light touch mimics the appearance of graphite.

Sam the Sphynx with his special "look" - Fine nib Pilot Metroploitan in Midori notebook - the ears are pink Tombow brush pen, the eyes Inktense green.

Noodlers #41 Brown on Viking drawing paper A6 size

De Artramentis Fog Grey - Pilot Metropolitan Medium nib and water Brush
on Viking drawing paper A6 size

De Artramentis Fog Grey - Pilot Metropolitan Medium nib and water Brush
on Viking drawing paper A6 size.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Calendars for 2018 - yes already!

Last year I had some calendars printed which showed examples of my paintings. I can’t believe it’s time to plan for the New Year already!  I’ve just finished designing a new one for 2018. 

There will be both a Wall calendar and a Desk calendar. If you like to add special dates and anniversaries then the Wall version is ideal. I like having a Desk calendar around for those days when I can’t remember what day it is!
These calendars make lovely Christmas gifts and a good way have some shopping done early. 

Here are screen shots of the two versions. The resolution is not great but will give you an idea of the images.

Wall calendar - Flowers and Still Life

Desk calendar - Flowers and Still Life

If you would like to order one please let me know either by replying here on the blog, by email - or leave a message on my Facebook Page. 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Time to develop your creativity - Hamilton Road Studio

At this time of the year I realise that time doesn't ever stand still. In fact, if anything, the days pass by too quickly. In January I booked flights to visit my family in South Africa, thinking that the time would drag. Now there are just over ten weeks to go before my holiday. 

Studio Vacancies 

The last term of the year starts on Wednesday 4th October and ends on the 9th December. 

Wednesday evenings - places filled
Thursday - one place available
Friday mornings -  places filled
Saturday mornings - casual attendance available.

Please let me know if you would like to enroll or if you have any questions about the classes.         

Exploring Abstraction 

The artists attending the Friday classes have been investigating abstract concepts in painting. I plan to cover these topics more extensively in the first five weeks of the term with a different approach each week. These classes will be more structured than the usual Studio classes where artist work on individual projects. If abstract painting is something you have wanted to try, this is an ideal opportunity for you to experiment. Also, if you are less experienced, the more structured class will be helpful. These mini workshops can be done on the other days as well.

Tasman Story - oil, oil pastel and Cold Wax Medium on panel 405 mm x 810 mm

Art Classes Hamilton Road Studio

Terms and Conditions
Class times:
Wednesday:   6.00pm – 9.00pm  
Thursday:       9.00am – 12.00pm               
Friday:            9.00am – 12.00pm 
Saturday:        8.00am – 11.00am 

Please note that the Classes are suitable for adults
Venue:   22/960 Hamilton Road, McDowall 4053
(Please ring 22 then “Bell” at the intercom. There is usually parking inside the complex)
• Tuition in drawing, watercolour, acrylics and oils is offered
• During each class there will be some demonstration of technique as well as individually mentored tuition.
• Classes are small (Max 6) so each participant can work in their chosen medium and at their own pace.
• Students should be prepared to enroll for a term (usually 10 weeks). Since my Studio is small, casual classes i.e. pay per attendance cannot be offered.

Please contact me for more information or if you have any questions.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Botanique on show at Mt Coot-Tha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane

Botanique, and exhibition of all things Botanically inspired, is on this weekend in the Richard Randall Gallery, Mt Coot-Tha Botanic Gardens, from Friday 15th September at 1.00pm until 3.00pm Sunday, 17th September.

I will have a selection of paintings, a couple of large ones and a few small, gift-sized paintings. 

Peonies - ink and watercolour on Saunders Waterford paper

Orchids - watercolour on Saunders Waterford paper

Australian Bouquet - watercolour on Saunders Waterford paper

In addition, there will be some cushions and tote bags. These bags are a good way of introducing ourselves to using reusable bags instead of the throw-away plastic kind - and much more attractive too!

A view of my corner at the Richard Randall Gallery 

I've also printed a selection of cards which feature some of my paintings. 

Artichoke cushion 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Nundah NOW! Art Exhibition this weekend

I have four paintings on show this weekend at the Nundah NOW! Exhibition.

I've been experimenting lately with Cold Wax Medium and have become fascinated with the tactile quality it adds to oil paint. This technique is so well suited to recreating memories of last year's holiday in Tasmania. The granite cliffs on the Tasman Peninsula were the inspiration for this painting.

Tasman Story - Oil, Cold Wax Medium and Oil pastels on Birch panels.
810 mm x 405 mm

The park across the road from my home is another inspirational place. This abstract has its origin in the bark of trees I pass on my early morning walks. 

Bark Layers - Oil, Cold Wax Medium and Oil pastels on Birch panels.
810 mm x 405 mm

In addition two watercolours complete the quartet of paintings.

Abundance - watercolour on Saunders Waterford 535mm x 535mm

The Wrap of a Leaf - watercolour on Zeta paper 545 mm x 720 mm