Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mixed Media/Collage

While I love the prospect of dragging luscious paint over large canvases, small mixed media works are such fun to do. There is a much more 'playful' thing going on when you move bits of paper, found objects, etc., around a small space.  Finding a combination that resonates is not always as easy as it looks... but the journey is absorbing and taps into the subconscious more readily (for me anyway) than painting does.

Sun Prince (sold)

Out Of Time

There are usually several projects going on at one time in my studio.  This is a great help when one hits a creative 'block' with a painting.  Changing to another project gives the brain a rest, and often inspiration hits unexpectedly.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Textured work

Have lately been exploring texture in paintings.  It all came via my interest in collage and the alterations it makes to the surface of a work.  While I have no trouble loading the canvas with patterns of modelling paste, I have trouble then relating that surface to a finished work.  If perseverance is worth anything then I must be getting somewhere.

I am a great believer that the best learning comes from solving problems.  No painting should ever be tossed out simply because it 'doesn't work' or 'you don't like it'.  Have a good look and consider what is actually wrong with it.  Using all the knowledge you have gained from previous work you should be able to decide.  Is it out of balance, the colours too raw, no variety of tone or shape?  Is there a lack of movement? 

If all else fails, turn it upside down and correct these things before you restore it to the correct way up.  You might be surprised at the difference.  One gets bogged down in the 'known' at the risk of enlightenment.  Be adventurous.

My ventures into texture are still works in progress and, as yet, unsigned.  I might not go any further. Then again I might.

Other Worlds
Could be 'Alien Encounters' or 'Space Odyssey'?

After the Fire
I'm quite happy with this and will probably leave it alone

After The Fire - detail

Monday, February 21, 2011

Collecting Art

For me 2010 was 'the year of collecting art'.  Although I have occasionally bought a painting I loved, or swapped with a friend, last year I bought THREE beautiful, and valuable, works. The first was painted by local artist Peter Hudson, described in my January 20th blog. The other two are aboriginal art by Emily Pwerle and Betty Mbitjana.

Betty Mbitjana
Betty is a member of one of the most renowned painting families in Australia. Her mother was Minnie Pwerle (dcd 2006), her aunt was Emily Kngwarreye (dcd 1996), two of our most prominent artists. One of Minnie’s seven children, Betty has emerged as the artist to carry on the particular legacy of colour and design of her mother’s works. Her paintings depict the designs that the women would paint on their bodies, and the dancing tracks which are made in the sand during women's (awelye) ceremony. Through their awelye ceremonies, women pay homage to their ancestors, show respect for their country, and dance out their collective maternal role within their community.

Emily Pwerle
Emily Pwerle, one of eight children and younger sister of the acclaimed artist Minnie Pwerle, was born in the Utopia Station region of the Northern Territory. Sisters Molly, Galya, Emily and Minnie - worked collaboratively and individually to produce a series of paintings based on ceremony and their Dreaming stories. Like her sisters, and niece, Emily’s main title is Awelye Atnwengerrp and whilst the sisters share the same Dreaming, each one has developed her own unique, contemporary style and interpretation of her Dreaming.

Awelye Atnwengerrp or Women’s Ceremony is represented by designs based on dancing tracks which can only be painted by the Pwerle or Kemarre owners. They are painted on the women’s bodies before ceremony is performed.

These purchases have sorely depleted the 'Art' account and will have to hope for a sale or two when the various exhibitions begin in the winter.  Roll on winter!... and not just for the exhibitions but also the weather.  It's HOT! HOT! HOT! here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Evolution of an abstract painting

The annual Sunshine Coast Blues Festival always includes an art exhibition and sale.  The brief is simple... a 'blues' related painting as widely interpreted as you like.

This caused me to consider an abstract work so, the thinking cap duly placed, I brainstormed the word 'blues' in conjunction with all sorts of scenarios.

I began with my canvas covered with a background of assorted 'blues' rolled, dripped, doodled and then added some dashes of red. 

Not entirely happy with this 'patterned' piece I needed to get some 'shapes' in there.  More blue in various tones certainly helped, with a little scratching here and there, and "A Little Red With My Blues" was born.

As the painting remains unsold it will probably evolve more.  What do you think?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Commissioned Earrings

At a recent lunch with some 'arty' friends Aileen was wearing a wonderfully coloured dress.  Her problem was, she said, that she could not find any earrings to match.  Of course, not one to avoid a challenge, I proceeded to photograph part of the garment with a view to making a match.

The gorgeous fabric

Such beautiful colours!  Could I possibly find anything among my treasures to match this? ..... of course I could.  My collection of beads is quite comprehensive.  Aileen's brief was "you know what I like, something a bit flamboyant".  The result was -

The orange and green is unakite, aventurine, and agate, with onyx and black glass, hot pink miracle beads, and Thai  Hill Tribe silver cone.  She loved them, fortunately, and I was a very happy 'beader'. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Art vs Craft

The Art vs Craft debate has been going on forever and is not likely to be resolved in this blog. That said, in my world 'Art' is an intellectually demanding obsession.  My brain is often crowded with ideas for new paintings, collages, etc. My bookcase is overflowing with art books (and I can't stop buying them). My 'computer time' is spent visiting artists and galleries all over the world.

When I begin to suffer from art overload I turn to my hobby - beaded jewellery - for respite.  This I would class as 'Craft'.  It began simply as a desire to have jewellery to match my clothes, and to do it cheaply.  Over the past two years or so it has become addictive.  I collect interesting beads wherever I go and am often asked to make something to match a new outfit for a friend.  My 'beads' have been in several local galleries prior to their closure (a sign of the times... or a comment on my work?), but mostly I make for myself.

Citrine and carnelian

Onyx and silver

I particularly like Thai hill tribe silver, gemstones, and beads made by glass artists.  It is such a delight to be browsing through my collection looking for the right beads to suit a particular project.  Yes, THIS is a hobby.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Collages Posted to NZ

I have at last posted my collages to New Zealand and included another theme titled "Other Worlds", three of which are below.

To The Moon, Alice

A Face At The Window

Shadow Fish
Now I can get back to some painting, in preparation for the Rotary Artcoast Award exhibition coming up in April.