Saturday, August 17, 2019

Double Portrait

One of my favourite paintings is Dame Laura Knight's Self Portrait with Nude. It's such a rich and powerful painting and on the occasions I've be able to visit the National Portrait Gallery in London, it's this painting that I look forward to seeing the most. The composition is fabulous and the drawing monumental, and it's extraordinary that when it was shown during her lifetime it was met with such negative criticism. Though sexism was the cause of such criticism, since its obvious qualities as a painting shine out like the sun.

I've just completed a self portrait called Double Portrait inspired by Laura Knight's painting. For the last 3 years I've been doing profile portrait drawings of people in the arts and this has influenced my choice of composition.

On the easel is a work in progress, a portrait of Deborah Klein, which was taken from a brown oil paint wash drawing. Turning it into a pencil drawing has associations with my profile portrait series which features many pencil portraits. 

The painting is also about the act of drawing as well as a double portrait, so my aim was to capture the thought that precedes the mark making.




Double Portrait, 2019, oil on canvas, 107 x 84 cm




Self Portrait with Nude, 1913, oil on canvas, 152.4 x 127.6 cm

Monday, July 29, 2019

Goodbye to Abbotsford


Last week Deborah and I spent our final hours in our Abbotsford home of 21 years. What a lot of memories we take with us to our new home in Ballarat. So much art making and living was achieved in that two storey warehouse conversion but the the area has changed dramatically and it's obvious to us that it's time to go. We leave without regret and look forward to the next chapter in our life, whatever that will be. 

Deborah took these final interior shots and when we have the time to look at them, no doubt the memories will be vivid and poignant. 


Our neighbour, Kristen Tassone, took this shot of us 
outside the front of 147 Park Street, Abbotsford. 
















Friday, June 28, 2019

Radio Interview on Voice FM Ballarat


I was recently invited to be interviewed by Pauline O'Shannessy-Dowling and Lynden Nicholls on The Arts Program last Wednesday night in Ballarat. It was a very enjoyable evening and the time flew by. Mostly we talked about the nature of seeing and my approach to painting. Pauline is such a good presenter and having Lynden there added an extra something to the conversation. Pauline's comments and her short summary of the night are below.













Pauline O'Shannessy-Dowling, presenting The Arts Program (TAP), 99.9 Voice FM


Tonight on The Arts Program - TAP:
1. Judy Turner & Neil Adam, from The Robert Louis Stevenson Show
2. Fiona Sweet, Director, Ballarat International Foto Biennale
3. Shane Jones, Visual Artist
4.Noeleen McKeag, Photograpphy teacher from Oxygen College
5. Lisa Anderson, Guest Presenter, with her "Creativity half hour"

What a line up!

That's tonight, 6.00 - 8.00pm, 99.9 Voice FM. Hope you can join us :-)

It was quite a show tonight - srsly!
First in the studio Judy Turner & Neil Adam, musicians, storytellers, composers, writers, & lovers of all things Robert Louis Stevenson. They're off to the Edinburgh Fringe soon with their "Robert Louis Stevenson Show". Such a talented & interesting couple - we'll have them back in the studio soon. Our second guest was the effervescent, Fiona Sweet. Director of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. Only about 60 days til opening day here in Ballarat, 23 Aug - 20 Oct. A superb program - including Liu Bolin, Fiona Foley, Robbie Rowlands & so much more - check out the program online. Our third guest was Shane Jones, Visual Artist & terribly interesting person. Shane's most recent exhibition of paintings, "Glow", explores his fascination with the moon & the play of light on the landscape. Too late to see this show now, but check out Shane's work on the Charles Nodrum Gallery website. Shane has some interesting views on the importance of learning to really "see" before you can really make art. Next in the studio was Noeleen McKeag from Oxygen College, which operates from the George Farmer Building in Eureka St. The photography & visual arts students have their mid-year exhibition opening this Friday, 6.00-8.00pm at the George Farmer. Oxygen college run Certificate level photography & visual arts classes here in Ballarat, & hope to be running diploma Classes soon too. Check them out & make your way to the exhibition opening this Friday night - all welcome. Our final segment tonight was hosted by Guest Presenter, Lisa Anderson, who was in conversation with Michelle Smith, who is the Senior Curator & Manager at the Gold Museum. Michelle has had a very interesting & varied Curatorial career, working in Museums & Galleries in the Northern Territory, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, & as Senior Curator at the National Wool Museum in Geelong. Wonderful to have you in the studio Michelle. That's all for tonight - we'll be back next Wednesday - same bat time, same bat channel. Ciao <3
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https://www.facebook.com/The-Robert-Louis-Stevenson-Show-617613365404963/
https://www.facebook.com/Goldfields-Fiddlers-1215971338572970/
https://www.facebook.com/BallaratFoto/
https://www.facebook.com/CharlesNodrumGallery/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oxygen-College-Ballarat-Campus/1640594609600717
https://www.facebook.com/thegoldmuseum/

Deborah Klein

Website: http://www.deborahklein.net/
Art blog: http://deborahklein.blogspot.com/
Book blog: http://mothwomanpress.blogspot.com/


Friday, June 7, 2019

Cats Come to Creswick

Alice, 2018, drypoint, 41.5 x 37.5 cm

Cats Come to Creswick is an exhibition presented by Sandy Campbell with the theme of the cat. The John Curtain Aged Care at Creswick is the venue where this exhibition may be viewed. It's a fund-raising endeavour so let's hope many works will not be returning to the artists.

Above is my drypoint print of Alice, a member of our family for over a year and a half. There is a variety of mediums, with three dimensional work as well, so the cat has inspired artists to explore the theme with experimentation and enthusiasm.

Cats Come to Creswick is on from 7-10 June


Monday, June 3, 2019

Exhibition Opening

Last Saturday afternoon was the official opening to my exhibition titled GLOW. It was a great occasion with lots of people mingling and talking and relaxing with a drink. It's the people who make the occasion so I really appreciated those who made it a memorable afternoon.









 An early shot by Jill Kellett. from left - Rona Green, me and Deborah Klein


Chatting to Kate Nodrum, the gallery manager. 


from left of me, Tim Gresham, Rona Green and Gaye Britt

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Becoming Modern


from left - Deborah Klein, Shane Jones and Julie McLaren


The Art Gallery of Ballarat is presenting an exhibition focussing on Australian women artists from 1920 - 1950. Titled, BECOMING MODERN AUSTRALIAN WOMEN ARTISTS 1920 - 1950, this is an exhibition celebrating the achievements of women artists whose work has not been seen for many years. Ranging from paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures, it shows the diversity of talented artists who often spent many years overseas to study and practice their art.

Julie McLaren is the gallery curator, and as usual, she has achieved a wonderful selection, but also, as she pointed out, over ninety percent of the works are from the gallery's collection.

It was a special opening night because the attendees were invited to dress for the period, and so many people did just that. There was delicious food and drinks, something the Art Gallery of Ballarat does so well to celebrate their openings. 


To read more about the exhibition, click HERE

Glow



My moonlight series has been finally collected together in an exhibition at Charles Nodrum Gallery.

The gallery manager, Kate Nodrum, wrote a short introduction to the exhibition  -

When I first saw these new paintings by Shane Jones, Elioth Gruner immediately sprang to mind. It was something about the expansive sky, strong sense of light source, and the odd but definitely placed tree that drew the connection. But, on second thoughts, you don't see many nocturnes by Gruner - nor by many other Australian painters. Both Gruner and Tom Roberts are important influences on Jones, whose precise but impressionistic brushwork in oil, painted en plein air and finished from memory in the studio, testify to the manner and process of these 19th century masters.

Full moons, star-filled skies, white horses and boats sailing towards the horizon are pregnant with symbolism, but rather than feeling cliché here, they add an edge of intrigue to a group of works that are not, in fact, otherwise just pleasant landscapes. Twilight is the time when we transition our senses in preparation for the night. The night is when we must depend on our senses and instincts most heavily, bringing us closest to our primal and ancient selves. Moonlight is rarely experienced by city dwellers - repelled as it is by street lights and black-out blinds - but, in its own special way, it's as effective in its illumination as sunlight, producing more of a glow than a light. A landscape drenched in the glow of a full moon is a silent and enchanting scene to behold, infused with eeriness and foreboding; an entirely natural yet supernatural mood that is essentially what Jones captures here.

Kate Nodrum


You can view the online catalogue HERE



Friday, May 17, 2019

The Sweeping Plains

 The Sweeping Plains, 2018, oil on linen, 92 x 92 cm


This painting is the second one I've done from Mount Warenheip. It took about 15 sittings over many months to complete. It was fascinating to watch how much the landscape changed from the first sitting. Fields that were brown became green, the water in the dams almost disappeared and even where it was always green, the greens themselves looked so different with each painting session. The dead trees in the foreground made an interesting contrast to the fertile plains. There were many more trees clustered together but I selected the odd one here and there to make a composition. The title came from a line from Dorothea Mackellar's poem My Country.






Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Drawing Loris

Loris Button, 2019, pencil, 50.5 x 38 cm


Loris sat twice for this drawing, the first sitting was for the face and the second one I added the hands. Loris is an excellent draughtswoman and just as good a sitter. I always hope to do everything in one sitting but if time is running out I don't push it. Instead, I like to ask the sitter for a second session and they always oblige with enthusiasm.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Full Moon Rising

Full Moon Rising, 2019, oil on linen, 71 x 87 cm

This painting took awhile to paint as I kept retouching it. Sometimes I get works documented but touch them up later on, and that means getting the same paintings documented a number of times. It might not seem much, but small touches make a difference. I was going to add a busy cloud formation across the pink sky, but when I painted the thin blue-grey cloud I thought it was enough. 

It's difficult to paint a large flat area like a field or a lake because what you are really painting is the space across the area rather than a body of earth or water. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Canary

Canary, 2018, drypoint, 19.75 x 13.75 cm

This is a drypoint of an image based on a detail from one of my paintings. In the painting the canary was done from a taxidermied model. Much of the ink was left on the plate, with the middle section wiped in the parts I wanted. The dark sections have been deeply inscribed to hold the ink, even though it remained untouched during the wiping process.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

New Moon

New Moon, 2018, oil on linen, 66 x 71.5 cm


This painting is a variation on the moonlight series in that it has the moon appearing faintly in the sky rather than having the full luminosity of moonlight within the darkness. It's fascinating to see the changing light colours, of day into night, and that's what makes dusk so magical. The problem is that it lasts but a short time!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Moonlight and the Wind

Moonlight and the Wind, 2018, oil on linen, 56 x 46 cm


I've always liked paintings that capture the wind, especially in the work of Winslow Homer, and the watercolour of his, below, certainly captures a gale force wind. Hopefully there is some wind in my painting. Throughout this series I've tried to express the natural forces but perhaps Romanticism has been an influence too and yet I don't know for certain because sometimes your influences can be subliminal.
Palm Tree, Nassau, 1898, watercolour and graphite, 54.3 x 37.8 cm. 
Collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York









Monday, January 28, 2019

Drawing Ken




This portrait took about three hours to draw. I've completed 22 portrait in this series so far, and Ken is the only artist who wanted to draw me too. Ken is a fantastic artist and some of his work can be found HERE, on the website of Flinders Lane Gallery. As usual I like to leave the drawing unfinished, or should I say, finished up to a certain point. I find that an image develops in waves, and that when you add something to the work, it often follows that more details are needed to complete the next wave. Although this is not a complete drawing in regard to putting everything in, for me this is a finished stage of a drawing because the wave is complete.


Ken Smith, 2018, pencil, 52,25 x 42 cm





















Thursday, January 24, 2019

Drawing Aaron


Aaron sat under a skylight for this portrait. It's good to change the lighting, the medium and the direction of the sitter from time to time, or else everything seems formulaic. It become a little tedious as well if every approach to a portrait drawing is repetitious. Sometimes I add touches to a drawing when the sitter has left, but I only added a couple of small strokes to the bottom hand. The rest is how it looked when Aaron left.

Aaron teaches animation at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne. He also makes films, and has a very inquisitive mind



Aaron McLoughlin, 2018, charcoal, conte and white pastel 
on fawn paper, 53.25 x 38 cm