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.