Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Exquisite Palette Exhibition

Deborah and I have a fabulous kitten named Alice. A few months ago she was sitting on Deborah's knee just looking at me for awhile so I decided to have a sketchbook and biro ready the next day. There she sat again and looked on, long enough to be able to sketch her eyes and a bit around them. From then on I was able to add a bit here and there over time and ended with a complete sketch of her face. Since I had to hurry, the features are a bit out, but it didn't matter that much because I had enough information to be able to redo her face and make the necessary adjustments.

Sometimes I continue with tromp l'oeil painting when the occasion arises. A page from the sketchbook and sticky tape are painted but the grain is the real thing. I realised that the page would not fit nicely within the palette so I added a small piece of wood which allowed me to extend the painting beyond the edge. I also curved the wood so that it would look like the page is bent at its corner when I added a shadow.

The reason it's painted on an artist's palette is in connection to an exhibition called The Exquisite Palette. It's the fourth exhibition of its kind and is open to any artist who desires to participate. The exhibition is organised by David Coles and Louise Blyton, who are artists and have an arts supply shop called St Luke Artist Colourman, but this year the palettes will be shown at Tacit Galleries from 6 June until 1 July.

This is the second image I've done of Alice. I've already made a drypoint from the same biro sketch which will be posted soon.

Sketch of Alice, 2018, oil on wood

 Added wood on back 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Painting Louise

This is a painting of Louise Sartori. We had 8 sittings for this portrait, spread over about 6 months. It was commissioned by Jim Taylor, who I had as a drawing lecturer at art school (RMIT). Jim was always inspiring and encouraging as a teacher, so it was great to connect in this way. Louise also studied art, so she has a good eye. After I thought the portrait was finished, she suggested perhaps one final sitting was needed to bring out the eyes a little more, and she was right. After another sitting, the face had more focus than before. I always welcome feedback from the sitter, as finishing a painting is sometimes a doubtful decision. 

Portrait of Louise Sartori, 2018, oil on linen, 60 x 45cm

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Twilight Blue

Twilight Blue, 2018, oil on canvas, 30.5 x 30.5 cm

This painting is another addition in the series of paintings which have moonlight as the main subject matter. The time frame for this hour of the evening is barely 15 minutes, after which it's too dark to see the canvas, so it's painted from memory and imagination after a number of visits to the sight.

Sometimes it's a little tricky to balance detail and breadth of handling, as too much detail might transform a mood picture into a recognisable landmark, which is not my intention.