Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another outback landscape painting

It is grey outside and has been raining off and on. It is unusual for this time of the year in Tamworth. It would usually being consistently hot by now. Extremes in weather conditions are always in the news. We have experienced floooding and drought here but I can't imagine what it would be like to spend long periods in snow as so many parts of the owrld do. I will be working in Tamworth for about three more weeks then back to Armidale. I am looking forward to the change. I haven't painted since the last rush to get my work to the Walcha Gallery. I now have a body of work ready so couldl put on an exhibition with very little preparation necessary. This is a great position to be in. I am putting here a photo of a painting. It is really a "painting in progress" as I think it needs changing and who knows how much it will change. This can be small additions or it can become unrecognisable as being from the some work. Usually it is the latter as the last stage can often be a quick and gestural attempt to convey the essence of what originally caught my eye. This work also is from the West MacDonnell Ranges and is 50 x 70cm. It is acrylic and gouache on paper.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Photos of the MacDonnell Ranges

I just thought I'd put up a few photos of the areas that my paintings have been inspired by. Such a range of beautiful spots I think it will be a long series.

Painting the West MacDonnell Ranges

The Chrismas group show at the Walcha Gallery of Art opened on Friday. Walcha is about an hours drive from Tamworth where I am working at the moment. It was a busy day as at work there were meetings that were pretty heavy going. Sometimes it is hard to achieve the work-life balance necessary to paint with a calm mind. It often seems to be that the house and garden go to pot if I am working towards a show. One day I will be able to "do it all". The exhibition included paintings by Ross Laurie, Angus Nivison, Barbara McKay. There were also sculptures by Stephen King and Myfanwy Gullifer among others. Ross taught me a long time ago and his paintings are about the land he lives on, or is it "in" and are in cheerful colours. When he taught me and he preferred greys and browns. I remember us doing colour charts in which we mixed the different blues and the different greys. We added white to each combination. What resulted was, in the case of the colours that were predominantly blue a beautiful range of subtle silvers. I have put here an example of the other artists work in that show.
Ross Laurie

Angus Nivison

Barbara McKay

Stephen King

Rosalie Rigby

Myfanwy Gullifer

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Roma Gorge, Northern Territory. Mixed media on paper

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am just about finished working on some some works on paper based on my Outback trip. These are larger paintings and are in acrylic and gouache. I have rediscovered gouache and love its matte finish and the clarity of its colours. I'm hoping to be able to find somewhere that I can purchase large tubes of paint. The medium used for a painting really does influence the whole look of the work especially the markmaking. The subject matter matter demands its own unique treatment. I usually work in an impasto style where the brushmark is evident. I prefer to use oils but do also work in acrylic. Gouache, however, is a flat, flowing paint so results in flat, uniform areas of colour. I am using gouache with oilstick and charcoal.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Green Hills Oil on canvas 30cm x 30cm
Help! Does anyone know why I getting a different language appear on my posts?

Friday, November 19, 2010


I'm not sure why but the beginnings of some blogs and the ends seem to come out in an Arabic-looking script. Some words are and some not. The mysteries of the magic machine on my lap.
I have a busy weekend ahead finishing off three works on paper based on the Northern Territory trip that I took a while ago. They are to go in a group exhibition that opens at Walcha Gallery next Friday evening. Walcha is a small artistic town. The town itself has many public sculptures by local sculptors. Above are some of the sculptures.There are also some well known painters in the area. The Gallery has opened quite recently.
I am also putting here a link to a friend's original jewellery site. Here are a few of her beautiful pieces. She makes silver and found object art. She is a sculptor and in her jewellery she uses beaten silver, beads and stones.www.madeit.com.au/misstrinket

Monday, November 15, 2010

I have had to put in a new water pump this morning. All of a sudden yesterday there was no water. Luckily I wasn't in the shower at the time. As I live out of town the house water all comes from my two tanks. Bore water is used to water the garden but is too high in calcium to use in the house. We have had such a lot of rain that the tanks are full. This is so different to a few years ago when I had to buy a couple of truckloads of water. Then it was a case of choosing which plants to keep alive by watering with buckets. Now it is raining every few days and last Wednesday we had 60ml overnight and the causeway at the bottom of my road was too full to drive through. I have lived here for about eight years now and have never seen our road cut. La Nina? I have a tin roof on my house and at the moment I am listening to the rain on it and looking out to the range of hills across the valley. My house has a wide veranday looking towards the hills and I seem to spend a lot of time out there and have painted it a number of times. I have moved all my potplants to the corner of the verandah to catch the rain. I have some herbs, some Jasmine, an ornamental grape vines and pots of native plants. The birds are loving the rain too. Three of my potplants are in coconute-fibre lined hanging baskets. The birds have used this to build their nests. I have made it very easy for them. We have finches, cockatoos, galahs and sometimes King Parrots. Every evening about four to five kangaroos come down beside the house. We also have magpies - two of them are on the verandah railing looking at me now. The young squark constantly for food.These are some images of paintings I did from my verandah a few years ago.
The paintings here were done when we were in a drought period "the worst draught in 100 years" it was said.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Glen Helen Gorge, Northern Territory
Oil on canvas 30cm x 30cm
This is one of the paintings that came from my trip to the outback. I have started a series of these. I have completed a couple of small canvases and am now working on some larger works on paper

Friday 5 November.
It was announced today at the Art Gallery of New South Wales that Suzanne Archer is the winner of the 2010 Dobell Prize for Drawing for her work Derangement.
Suzanne Archer was awarded $25,000 for winning Australia’s most important prize for drawing. This year there were 635 entries, of which 45 are included in the exhibition.

The subject of the winning drawing is a self-portrait of the artist in her studio. At either side of the central form of her face are some of the objects she has gathered there: a desiccated kangaroo and a sculpture of a horse’s head the artist made from wood found in the nearby bush. It is part of a larger body of work that has arisen from drawings Archer made of animals at the Veterinary Science laboratories at Sydney University in 2004, as well as of skulls and bones collected near her bush studio, and from a developing awareness arising out of her relationship with these animal remains, of her own mortality.

Suzanne Archer is a senior painter, sculptor, printmaker and teacher who has lived and worked at Wedderburn in the south-west Sydney region since the late 1980s. Born in 1945 in Surrey, England, she studied at Sutton School of Art prior to migrating to Australia in 1965. She has exhibited widely since the mid ’60s, was granted residencies in New York and Paris in 1978-79 and has won numerous awards, including a fellowship from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council in 1993 and the Wynne Prize in 1994. She has been a Dobell Prize finalist three times (in 2000, 2002 and 2009).

The Dobell Prize for Drawing, initiated by the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, is an acquisitive prize, first awarded in 1993.

This year’s judge was Alun Leach-Jones. Alun is a Sydney painter, draughtsman, sculptor and printmaker.

Alun Leach-Jones comments: the work is expressive, darkly poetic and full of drama. There is an ambiguous narrative, alive with vivid and sinister images that are depictive, symbolic and metaphoric. The subject of drawing is drawing itself. Suzanne Archer’s winning work clearly shows her awareness of this profound aspect of the art of drawing – regardless of its apparent subject matter.