We are hitting the road for ten days on a spur of the moment road trip north. It’s my birthday tomorrow, and George came over early this morning with his Dad and little brother to wish us a good trip.
George had been busy on a birthday card drawing for me.
It’s a sophisticated piece for a five-year-old. My name is phonetically spelt on the top left, with Jimmy the poodle next to it. That’s me on the right. I’m six metres high and Jimmy is four metres long.
On the bottom left is a table with lots of birthday cards and a cake of course. Then there are kisses and hearts. George said he folded the corners of his ‘card’ so they wouldn’t be pointy.
This beautiful work did make me feel six metres tall. It’s occupying pride of place on the fridge gallery.
Although Open Studios is primarily about inviting people into your space to view your art and to see how you work, it’s always exciting when you sell a work.
It’s been really wonderful to have feedback on my art, to have conversations with art lovers and fellow artists, and to collaborate with the three local artists in my area to create the Marcus Mini Trail as part of Noosa Open Studios, 2021
A tree with the most extreme and precise trim to accommodate a power line that I have ever seen, caused me to pull over to take a photo.
It was part of an avenue along the Great Alpine Road in the Ovens Valley leading into the pretty town of Harrietville, a starting point for alpine hikes and the gateway to the ski fields of the Alpine National Park in North East Victoria.
I’ve converted my messy art room into a mini gallery that opens for business from tomorrow for the next two weekends (Friday to Sunday) and next Tuesday (Oct 5) Hours: 10.00 am to 4.00pm.
After seeing the workspace in the garage, visitors will be able to see what the paintings look like on the wall, and gain some insight into how they evolved.
I’m not prolific but I work with passion and give art my all. The hard work of getting everything ready behind me, I can now relax and enjoy the next couple fo weeks of art making and meeting other art lovers/artists who enjoy a having glimpse into the world of artists at work.
Talented Peregian Beach photographer Julie Hemsley did a publicity shoot at Marcus Creek of me when we exhibited at The Butter Factory Arts Centre in 2018. Apart from being successful in promoting our show, I knew that the photos had something that I wanted represent using paint – reflection in water.
The result? One subject, two abstract paintings using two different techniques to convey a sense of the red dress and yellow painting reflected on the surface of water.
Red Dress, Yellow Painting #1 evolved from an abstract work that that I had “retired” because I was unsatisfied with the result. On revisiting the canvas when mulling over ideas about reflection, it occurred to me that the shapes could be the basis for a work inspired by Julie’s photographic images.
The painting began to take on a new life; linear brushstrokes conveying the sense of distorted reflected shapes and disturbed water; thick opaque paint with no medium; textures from the underpainting adding subtle patterning and interest.
The process of painting the work evolved over five years. First, it was a purely abstract painting with no subject, then an abstract painting with a subject. Finally, in order to fully resolve this work, I had let go of the idea of a subject, and went back to seeing it as purely abstract. Full circle, quite a challenging process.
In Reflection – Red Dress Yellow Painting #2, I used the technique of glazing – building up the surface with successive layers of paint made translucent with medium so that the colours below show through, thereby alluding to something deeper than the surface.
I wanted to suggest a flat surface – water – at the same time as conveying movement on that surface, and the distortion that moving water gives to reflected shapes.
It was a technique I had used for the series of paintings exhibited at The Butter Factory, inspired by the sunlight shining through the tannin water of Marcus Creek, which, in the early morning light, has amazing reflective qualities.
I find that art is all the the richer when you discover something about the genesis of an artwork, the techniques that the artist used and the painting process. Perhaps that is because I paint myself. I’m curious to know whether others feel the same way or is viewing without knowing a rich enough experience.
Do either of these paintings resonate with you? If so, which one do you prefer and why?
My latest art acquisition, a print of a work by Susan Neuvonen, fellow Noosa Open Studios artist. Susan, along with Desley Roach, Trish Menzies and I, all Marcus Beach residents, joined together to form the Marcus Mini Art Trail. I visited Susan’s studio yesterday for a preview, and felt drawn to this image. The work is poignant. Like all good art, it comes from the heart. Out of grief and mourning emerges something very beautiful.
Is it art, decoration or an environmental statement?
My artist friend, Victoria Bradbury, who gives Jimmy the Poodle oodles of love while Col and I are away, also gave me a wonderful artistic homecoming gift. The rough stepping stones that are a short-cut from the veranda to the backyard had come alive with beautiful swirls in subtle earthy colours that seemed to emanate from the stone itself. Vicki used the surrounding sandstone pebbles as her “crayons” so the pigments did literally come from the stones.
I absolutely love using stones in garden design, hence my rustic steps, but the shape of the large flat paving stone leading from the veranda particularly draws me.
Years ago I used it at the background on which to photograph the coloured glow sticks used to attract fish to trawler nets. The sticks that wash up on our beaches, some of which still have coloured liquid in them, add to plastic pollution of the ocean and shoreline. Despite their negative impact on the environment, they did seem to have artistic possibilities. At the time I was doing a photo collage art project using rubbish collected from the beach.
This month I’m drawing a line in the sand. It’s down to work completing artworks for Noosa Open Studios. The garage (my workspace) and art room will be open for two long-weekends on October 1-3 and 8-10.