Monday, 31 July 2017

Looking back - August 2010

I started writing Art Matters towards the end of August, 2010 when my move to Australia was becoming a reality. (I had applied for a visa back in February 2008) It follows that around this time of the year I become nostalgic. I thought I would revisit some of the posts that I enjoyed writing as well as those you enjoyed reading too.

When I began the blog I knew nothing and had to learn everything along the way, including how to add photographs. 

My second post  on Art Matters 'Deciding to Move'   sets the scene...I've added a favourite painting from that year. It's the view from my daughter's farm across the Barbeton Valley to the Kaapse Hoop mountains.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Deciding to move.

Towards Kaapse Hoop - oil on canvas  760 mm x 915 mm

In May 2008, I made the decision to relocate to Brisbane, Australia. Now, over two years later, the move is becoming a reality. It's strange to be in neither one place nor another and it's almost as though one's life is in limbo.

Although I studied art at high school and later trained as an art teacher, most of my life has been spent following other career options - more out of circumstance than a specific plan. I have been amongst other things: a landscape gardener; a mosaic artist; a book illustrator; and at one time junior and high school
teacher teaching a variety of subjects - English, Maths, and History.
For the last 12 years I have been the owner of a retail shop that has no connection with the "art world"
at all.

I taught art formally for relatively short periods, but have lectured and demonstrated for numerous
art groups. Although  making art has had to be done alongside other occupations, and has often taken
a back seat, I've learnt to be very productive in short bursts when a gap appeared in my day.

I plan to change this and now, eventually, do what I love - paint, draw and teach art.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

It's me who is my enemy

It’s me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
~Paula Cole
Please  listen here: Me - Paula Cole

Cannas - watercolour - hand painted collage papers 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Black and White at Aspire Gallery, Paddington Brisbane

There's something very appealing about the simplicity of black and white - the strong contrasts catch the eye. Working in ink with a fine pen is meditative. You can loose yourself in the repetition of the lines, building up delicate cross-hatching, gradually darkening the values.

Teacup with Cherries - ink on Zeta paper - Framed 230 mm x 230 mm 

These two ink drawings are part of the Exhibition Black and White currently on at Aspire Gallery, 53 Kennedy Terrace, Paddington until the 22nd July. There's a wide variety of work being shown - paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture and a fabric installation as well.

Porcelain with Tomatoes - ink on Zeta paper - Framed 230 mm x 230 mm

My drawings hanging in the Gallery. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Switching mediums

I have always used different mediums. When I attended art school (way back when) oils were the medium of choice. I know I'm giving away my age, but Acrylics were relatively new then, and not very good. Watercolours were definitely not a good choice for making an impression on the lecturers. The medium was deemed not important enough for profound artistic statements. In spite of the focus on oils at Art school, subsequently I worked for many years in watercolour, loving the way the paint moved.

Personally, I prefer to stay with one medium for a while, delving deep, discovering, experimenting and developing a theme. Then, after some time with a medium, say watercolour, I crave the smell of oil paint; the texture of it; the feel of the brush on the canvas; the freedom to scrape away and paint over.

Ideas stemming from seeing the magnificent rock formations during last year's visit to the Tasman Peninsula are influencing my current obsession with surface. I am focusing on the way the paint lies on the canvas or panel; the topography that is created through layers; through incising lines into the semi-dry paint exposing earlier layers; by dragging painting over uneven areas building a history of marks.

WIP Detail - Untitled - as yet - Oil, Oil pastels, Charcoal and Cold Wax on panel

Then as a complete change of pace I have a couple of ink drawings on show at Aspire Gallery 53 Kennedy Terrace Paddington. The group show Black & White is opening this coming Saturday 8th July, 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm and will run until 22nd July 2017.

Cherries in a Teacup - ink on Zeta paper 230 mm x 230 mm

Porcelain with Tomatoes - ink on Zeta paper 230 mm x 230 mm