Sunday 29 January 2012

New Journeys - Vintage Soul

This is the first Exhibition by the members of Vintage Soul - it is"New Journeys" because for some of the group it's their first exhibition.

Seagulls at Redcliffe – oil on canvas 8” x 8” © 2012 Carol Lee Beckx

This Community Art and Craft group was formed by Tamara Haddon to allow women of all ages to come together and create art in a friendly atmosphere. The group meets once a fortnight at Artrageous in Deagan.
For a newcomer to Brisbane this is a great way for me to meet fellow artists.

Brighton Park: walking the dog - oil on canvas 8” x 8” © 2012 Carol Lee Beckx  
The opening night is on Friday February 3rd at 6:30pm. There will be live acoustic music by Danielle Lee, Mark Haddon and Dale Dearman. More details about the exhibition are here.

Brighton Park oil on canvas 8” x 8” © 2012 Carol Lee Beckx  

My paintings for the show are in this album on my Facebook page, Carol Lee Beckx Artist.
These small paintings are inspired by new places I have discovered, Brighton Park and the coast at Redcliffe.

Saturday 14 January 2012

More drawing: Vernon Ah Kee

An artist whose works made a huge impression on me is Vernon Ah Kee. His large scale drawings in charcoal, pastel and synthetic polymer paint on canvas feature family members. The canvasses measure some 3.2m x 2.4m. The images are built up with feather-light strokes of charcoal, gently creating form and volume. No false starts are evident here!
These drawings form part of another exhibition currently at the Gallery of Modern Art  Ten Years of Contemporary Art :The James C. Sourris Collection
       “In recent years, Brisbane benefactor James C Sourris, AM, has  been  gathering an extensive collection of contemporary Australian art, focusing on the first decade of the twenty-first century and paying particular attention to Queensland artists."

Annie Ah Kee 2008 pastel, charcoal and synthetic polymer paint on canvas

neither pride nor courage is a triptych of his grandfather in frontal and profile pose. The third portrait is of his young son.

Vernon Ah Kee | Kuku Yalanji/Waanyi/Yidinyji/Guugu Yimithirr people | Australia b.1967 | neither pride nor courage (detail) 2006 | Pastel, charcoal and synthetic polymer paint on canvas.

Writing in The Australian 12 July 2008 - The Face: Vernon Ah Kee, Rosmary Sorenson includes the following observations:
According to Ah Kee, Aboriginal art should be as varied as the lives of Aborigines.
   "My work is about my life now," he says. "I use my own family to demonstrate the depth and complexity of modern Aboriginal life.
 "I'm expanding the idea of what it means to be Aboriginal and what it means to be human. A lot of the problem this country has with Aboriginal people is that it struggles to see Aboriginal people as fully human."

Bella Ami 2008 pastel, charcoal and synthetic polymer paint on canvas

I have included a detail of Bella Ami to try to give you some idea of the delicate line work that makes these drawings so special.

Detail: Bella Ami

Annie Ah Sam  pastel, charcoal and synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Please note: All photographs were taken with my iPhone camera without flash so the quality is not too good. 

Monday 9 January 2012

Matisse: Drawing Life

Last week I spoke about the resolution to do more daily drawing so it’s perhaps happy synchronicity that Matisse: Drawing Life is currently at GoMA Brisbane. I spent the day there last week and was able to immerse myself in the wonderful drawings.
This exhibition is one of the most extensive of works on paper by Henri Matisse, a collection of more than 300 drawings in pencil, ink and charcoal as well as lithographs and etchings. I loved the small portraits. These, as with most of his drawings use the utmost economy of line, yet the personality of the sitter is apparent.
"A sign is enough to suggest a face, there is no need to impose eyes and a nose on people…It is important to leave room for the spectator’s reverie."
"My line drawing is the purest and most direct translation of my emotion."
Henri Matisse 1951
Even in later years when he could no longer get out of bed he attached drawing materials to a long pole and drew directly on to the walls of his bedroom.

A highlight for me was the Long Gallery, transformed into The Drawing Room. The room features still life objects, flowers and pot plants, fruit and opulent fabrics, creating a vibrant setting for drawing. Sculptures from the galleries collection complete the atmosphere.
There are regular sessions with models clothed in costume to complete the inspiration. Drawing boards, paper and pencils are provided and on the days there is a model, it pays to get there early for a prime position.
A 21st century addition is the provision for one to do a drawing on a tablet and email to a friend. An added bonus is that each drawing will be entered in a completion to win a trip to Paris. In addition visitors are entertained by regular violin performances.

I spent the most engrossing couple of hours in The Drawing Room – it was so good to be drawing from life once more.

Monday 2 January 2012

What's in store for 2012

New beginnings are so energising. I love a new diary – the year stretches before you, filled with promise. The first pages of a brand new sketch book are a blank slate – there are no disappointing drawings or false starts to mar the pages. There’s the promise to do a drawing EVERY day…

Chuck Close - graphite on paper - from a TV image

I love hanging up a fresh calendar in my studio. I always have an artist calendar. Previously I have enjoyed Monet, Rothko, and Leonardo da Vinci. This year it’s Klimt, a gift from my family. This one has some landscapes -Apple Tree and Orchard with Roses as well as some favourites, The Kiss, Judith and Three Ages of Women. His paintings inspire me to experiment with gold and silver leaf in my work.
My plans for the year…
I’ll be continuing my weekly studio art classes. The interaction with my art groups is stimulating and inspiring. I will add regular workshops to that programme as well.  These will cover topics such as experimental drawing, practical colour and elements of composition. I’ll post more details about these when dates are finalised.
My personal creative plans include…
More drawing – I love drawing and want to make this a daily routine. I’ve made a small start already with these charcoal and graphite drawings.

A young Lucien Freud - charcoal on paper - from a TV image

Sculptor Richard Serra talks about the daily practise of drawing in an interview with Charley Rose.  He says that to see is to think and that drawing is another way of thinking. His drawings are monumental and dramatic.
Coupled with this resolve to draw more is the desire to introduce the figure into my drawings and paintings. It’s not something that I have ever really done. I’ve painted portraits but I've never concentrated on the body as subject. Even the photographs I take are more often than not of things and places; seldom does the human form intrude. (The use of the word “intrude” is perhaps telling) I’m not sure yet how this will be accomplished. It’s possible that another item on my list – to experiment with abstract elements can include abstracted figures in some way.
To my loyal readers - thank you for your interest - may the year ahead be exciting and creative.