Friday 28 August 2015

Sharing Favourites II - Seth Godin

Seth Godin needs little introduction – he’s an author, entrepreneur and public speaker.
I love the fact that his posts are generally short and succinct – he cuts to the heart of the matter.

Artists are faced with this daily struggle – how does this painting/drawing/sculpture measure up? Is this any good? Am I wasting my time? We continually beat ourselves up over the standard and worth of our work, in an ever self-defeating cycle.

This post about has special relevance for artists.  

Read his wise words here: Compared to…

Love Dahlia - watercolour on paper 270mm x 270mm © 2015 Carol Lee Beckx
This painting will be exhibited in the Nundah Village Festival Art Exhibition in September.

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Sharing Favourites I - The Savvy Painter

Today I'm starting something new. It's a way of sharing posts and blogs that have become favourites over the last few years.

Hopefully it will become a regular feature of Art Matters so you can look forward to catching up with blogs and people I enjoy. I'm purposefully going to keep each post short and keep the focus on one artist, blog or a particular post that resonated with me. I'll add these links to a dedicated page at the top of the blog for future reference.

Strata - oil on canvas 760mm x 760mm © 2015 Carol Lee Beckx

Listening while you work 

Most artists have little rituals when they start work in the studio. My painting time begins when I put on my apron, originally black but now more white than black. While in the studio, I listen to music or talk shows on the radio. 

Recently I discovered The Savvy Painter, podcasts by Antrese Wood. Her podcasts are interviews with a wide range of artists. It's so much more than a podcast, however. It's a resource where you'll find information on other artists, art books, and much more. They talk about their work, their inspirations, art education amongst many other topics, ably directed by Antrese's insightful questions. Her lovely conversational tone makes these a delightful accompaniment to painting.

About an hour long, these discussions keep me painting. They keep my left brain occupied and informed while my right brain is free to work on creative solutions. If I get caught up in my painting and tune out, I simply stop the podcast and go back to replay a section I have missed.Sometimes I find if I have music playing, I listen too much - if that makes sense - and lose focus on my painting, words are easier to have running in the background. I'll be interested to know what you think about this.

Each podcast is accompanied by detailed notes on the episode including links to the website of the images of the artist being interviewed, other artists discussed, and books mentioned during the show. 

I hope you will enjoy the podcasts as much as I do.

Friday 14 August 2015

More Sktchy Portraits

It's been three months since I developed a new obsession - using the Sktchy app to create portraits. I've written about the portraits before, but I'd like to share a few of my newest sketches.

In this day of the endless selfie, and the current love of sharing these on social media, there's an endless supply of wonderful people to be inspired by. 
Many people who are on Sktchy have no plan to create any portraits, they are content to post creative photos of themselves for others to use. Are we becoming a tad self-obsessed?

Each weekend there's a different challenge, the Weekend Art Extravaganza. It may be  #WAXinyourshoes - creating a portrait in the style of a fellow Sktchy artist whose work you admire; or it may be #WAXinmotion where the aim is to capture movement. 

The lovely photograph of this little girl jumping with delight over a puddle of water made a perfect reference to use for #WAXinmotion. I was delighted that it was featured as a 'Sktchy Pick' 

 Jumping watercolour and gouache

Last weekend it was #WAXmini - making a very small portrait and photographing your painting with something to show the scale. Some years ago I painted many miniatures so it was fun to re-visit the world of the small. I had to search for my smallest 3/0 brush to paint this portrait.  
Yasmin - watercolour on Canson Hot press paper

Often when working on paintings in the studio I'm reluctant to experiment and I realise it's important to make time to play; to use different materials; to try another technique. These portraits give me the impetus to do just that - use an unusual colour; add a lively wash to the background of a ink drawing - and in this case, deciding to leave the portrait itself in black and white, adding no watercolour washes to the face. 

Men and beards is another favourite theme - here are two of Ronin Memphis. What a magnificent beard - a pity it's now been trimmed !!  

RoninI Ink and watercolour

Ronin II Ink and watercolour

And here's a portrait of the co-founder of the app - Jordan Melnick

Jordan Ink and watercolour Beta sketchbook

Sktchy has a Tumblr site where many of the portraits can be viewed as well as interviews with some of the artists. 

And of course, here's a link to the Sktchy app itself is where you’ll find all the action!