Friday, August 28, 2009

I will be having my paintings photographed at the end of next week prior to taking them up to Brisbane for my exhibition. I have had disappointing results when taking them myself and feel it is worth getting high quality images done before “my babies” leave home. I always have a problem with reflection. It is best, so it is said, to photograph the works in the shade, in natural light in the morning without the flash on. Even so, the gloss of oil paint or some acrylic gloss mediums cause reflections for me.
I am including here a link to a blog page that gives information regarding photographing artwork that might be of interest to other artists.

I was reading an article in an old Good Weekend that I came across about the way in which John Olsen views art and the landscape. I always find it fascinating the way artists relate to their environment and the different ways in which they express their relationship with it.

"The space in Australian deserts lure me" Olsen says "because it provides a structure to look at a landscape in a different way. Drysdale's desert pictures are almost like looking at stage machinery, so dramatic and theatrical. Fred Williams is always standing back, with the horizon level slightly up. Nolan is often flying over it." Olsen, too, often takes an aerial perspective, swooping up and down on it like an inquisitive bird "But I'm more intimate, juicy and mucking in with the landscape, getting into bed with it full-on.." Janet Hawley. Good Weekend SMH 2nd Sep '09 p.23.

My own work gives an overall view but while working I am always conscious of the unique and often small features of the landscape that makes that particular area special. I am interested in the geomorphology of an area and in my works that are based on my local area look at the use of the land by farmers. My exhibition in Brisbane will have works based on my local farming and gorge country as well as works based on areas of the outback.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Over the last week I have been sorting out my paintings for my Brisbane exhibition New Horizons - Beyond Landscape at Doggett Street Gallery in Newstead Brisbane.
I have made my own selection. I have asked a friend who does not know much about art but "knows what he likes" to select ones he thinks work and ones that don't - for him. I have asked my family also but they are overly diplomatic I find. I will now ask a fellow artist whose judgement is well informed. Finally I will look at each painting and try to see it in the ways in which these people have seen it. It is very interesting seeing how people come raw to a particular work of art and how they see it in terms of their own world and the visual and emotional aspects of their life experiences and history. The final decision as to what to put in the exhibition and what to leave out will be mine and in the end probably based on my own gut instinct. It will probably not differ that much from my initial selection. It will be based on the ideas I am working on at the moment although, saying that, my work is not conceptual but based on a feeling for a place and a consciousness of the earth's history and it's resultant shape and colour. I enjoy landscapes where the rocks and "bones of the earth" are exposed. I am in awe of the ruggedness and uncompromising "otherness" of dry uncultivated landscapes. That was what I loved about the Flinders Ranges. Next year I will be going painting to the MacDonnell Ranges, Kata Tjuta and Simpsons Gap. That will be a real treat for an artist.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Montecastello Landscape

Was reading an interesting interview by John Tusa with one of my favourite painters Frank Auerbach. A link and an excerpt:

"Don't you ever long for the easy canvas; the one that really does present itself to you comparatively early?

Absolutely. I think I start...every painting I've ever started with the hope that I'd be able to take the brushes and the colour, put all the colours in the right place, get something that is coherent and alive and fresh and new and true, and I'll be able to leave it. And it just hasn't happened yet - it hasn't happened. What I usually find is that I see something that is... reminds me far too much of paintings I've already done or that is just simply wrong in some way. ...

What would you say to a young artist starting off from art school today?

I'd never... it seems to me to be a bit of an impertinence for me to say anything to a young artist, but I'll try and. I think subject is terribly, terribly important and it's implicit, it isn't only the labelled item as it were, the head or the tree or the factory or whatever, or the abstract. I think that one has certain deep feelings which express themselves in a plastic way. I mean, if you were I don't know, perhaps this has to do with what you would do with another person - stroking or grabbing or something, that has something to do with it, but there must be some experience that is your own and to try and record it in an idiom that is your own, and not to give a damn about what anybody else says to you. I think that is important and I think that the key word there's subject - find out what matters most to you and pursue it."

Monday, August 3, 2009

Had a lovely weekend drawing and catching up with friends and family. I went out drawing with a friend to her farm just out of Armidale on Saturday. On Sunday I went to my son's place at Wollomombi. I did some small drawings with pencil, watercolour and oil pastel. I am hoping to go back there next weekend with some canvas and paint. The country is rolling and dry now with lovely greyed-off trees and wonderful dead tree skeletons. The angularity and ruggedness of the landscape is always fascinating.