Recycle re-use

On experiencing creativity

 

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I am feeling particularly energised after an afternoon workshop at QAGOMA (Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art) with Brisbane artist John Honeywill. John had us wielding large sticks dipped in black paint across paper laid the on the floor, followed by collaging, pencil scribbling and rubber drawing. All done in the name of creativity.

Collage number 2, now nothing more than an image on my hand-me-down iPhone, is the collage design I liked best of the three I did. We had just 15 minutes. The exercise aimed to combine the intuitive with the thinking part of the brain. Instinctively, I approached this as a colour and tonal piece. Intuition and experience drew me to the particular colours.

My first collage had been a happy accident that resulted primarily from plonking the bits of paper on the backing page. As a consequence, for Collage Number 2, I decided to work within the ‘confines’ of the materials, that is to use their own particular qualities rather than manipulate or change them.

What spoke to me were the beautiful ragged edges of two of the bits of paper, something I had not particularly focused on when choosing them. They became the heroes in my design and, being heroes, needed top billing, with a good supporting structure. This is where the black strips came in handy.

The whole design came together in minutes, with no repositioning or conscious thinking. Even the conscious thoughts, requiring many words to describe here, came in seconds. Not surprisingly this exercise felt like a powerful burst of energy! For me, collage making, or any artistic endeavour, too frequently becomes laboured rather than fluid. A drawn out bid for the right composition, colour, texture or shape can degenerate into exhausting, fruitless fiddle rather than a creative act.

At the outset of the workshop John had briefly explained the connection between unconscious process and the the thinking brain in creativity. Good teachers provide experiences, not just words and that is exactly what John orchestrated. We had the experience of combining intuitive thinking with analytical thinking. Doing art using these different aspects of our brain makes magic happens. Oh to find that place each time I set to work!!

Thank you John. Click to visit John Honeywill

Why blog if you are a visual artist?

One of my favourite photos of street art in Paddington Sydney that reminds me of a fun long weekend with a dear friend from Melbourne

It is difficult to be a painter alone in your studio, no matter how much time you spend there. You have to show your work and engage with an audience, for it is social contact that energises and renews us.

Christopher Allen, Arts Writer, The Australian 

Christopher Allen goes on to say that perhaps artists were luckier in earlier times when they were commissioned to paint significant subjects for public places such as churches. Their works had a shared meaning that people understood and that was relevant to the time and place. Artists therefore had a responsive wide audience. 

Now, perhaps with the exception of graffiti, art is not so imbedded in the fabric of society. It has become rarified being ‘held’ by esteemed institutions. In contemporary western society at least, you can see fads in art and ‘trending’ artists. There is fierce competition to get a gig at a commercial gallery, or to be part of a prestigious gallery ‘stable.” We speak of ‘the art world’ as if it is quite seperate from the real world.

That leaves an outsider artist like myself, who hasn’t been to art school. but who is serious about her practice, wondering how they can find a way to escape from what Allen calls “the quicksands of solipsism”.

Being an artist is about creating works to be viewed

Blogging is a partial answer to this question. Never before has it been easier to publish your creative work, be it literary or visual. But you still need to find your audience and that, to a degree, is what this journey in P2 is about.

In the next blog, I will discuss why blogging is only a partial answer for visual artists. I am sure that many people will beg to differ on this, so I’m looking forward to hearing other’s views.

2021: The artist emerges

Hi WordPress World. For those who don’t know me I’m Jude Tulloch. For those who do, welcome to what I hope will be an exciting year of blogging. I’m an artist who travels, loves photography and caring for the bushland that surrounds my home in Australia on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

That’s me on September 11, 2019 in Times Square. Who could have imagined how much the world would change since that 7/11 Memorial Day in New York which I shared with dear friends?

Feeling extraordinarily thankful to be in a Covid-free zone, I am eager to rethink both my site and my blog which currently are completely separate. 

 My website is about Jude the artist, but most of my blogs are on travel, so those who follow me tend to be travellers. This divide now feels unnatural. I want to integrate my blog and website.

I’m up for the challenge, and would value any tips, thoughts, ideas, inspiration from anyone out there in the WordPress community. Tell me about what you are creating, because after all, a blog is an act of creation in itself.

Birth and Death: an abstract painting

Birth and Death, acrylic on canvas, 90x60cm

Birth and death are inextricably linked. As one life passes, new life springs forth. This is an intensely personal abstract painting that was selected for the 2018 Taste of Art exhibition at the Noosa Regional Gallery. Somehow it resonates again in the wider context of the pandemic we are facing. I am letting it go, despite its meaning to me, to someone who appreciates the work.

Mixed media – abstract animals

Alternative Universe, mixed media, 46×61 cm (18×24”)

It could have been in storage; A mixed media canvas, propped on the workbench, waiting to be put away before I opened up for Noosa Open Studios. But two of my Marcus Artisan buddies called by and persuaded me to put it on display. Thanks to Julie and Kris, this work got a showing.

I was pleased as a surprising number of people during Open Studios found it intriguing and seemed drawn to it.

Though it is completely abstract, some viewers discovered animals in the forms. I see the heads of the animals on the Australian coat of arms – emus and kangaroos kissing.

Sunset ahoy Airlie Beach

There’s nothing quite like the ocean colour in Tropical North Queensland. It must be a combination of the bright sunlight and the shallow waters that lie within the Great Barrier Reef. Even as the sun sinks, the water still has the vestiges of that intense turquoise.

Many years ago when I lived in Melbourne, I decided to paint a seascape inspired by a trip to Brampton Island. None of the blues in my paint box came anywhere near the colour of the tropical water, and I failed dismally in trying to blend the right colour. It was then that I discovered Cobalt Turquoise, a blue green that is impossibly bright for the oceans and light of the southern Australia where I lived, but perfect for the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

I recalled this as the colours faded, and I sipped champagne on the Provendence V, looking over the ocean towards Airlie Beach. In true Slow OZ Travel style we chose the beautiful schooner, with its magnifiicant sails and fluid lines, over the noisy party boat for our Airlie Beach Sunset Cruise. This classic gaff-rigged schooner is a replica of the Grand Banks fishing boats that plied the waters around Newfoundland.

As we stood bare-footed on the deck watching the light change, the engine cut and the sails went up. Up until then I’d been taking photos. It was only later looking through my shots that I noticed something interesting about the rigging. Pareidolia, the tendency of the human brain to see patterns in random things, at play. Our brains seem programmed to see human faces and figures, even where they don’t exist.

It’s amazing what a difference exposure makes in photography. Playing around with different exposures gave the ship’s rigging an uncanny likeness to a person watching the sunset, more accidental than intentional. The top photo is 1/400th sec at f/10 and the bottom one is 1/250th sec at f/5. I’ve converted the top photo to black and white to further emphasise the silhouette effect.

Sun strikes in the Rainforest: Paluma Range National Park

By the side of the Andree Griffin Rainforest Walk at Paluma township, the sunlight caught this elegantly twisted buttress of a massive, strangler fig carcass bought to life by its velvet green coat of moss.

The tropical rainforest of the Paluma Range feels lusher, and more encompassing than the subtropical littoral rainforest remnants close to my home on the Sunshine Coast. An hour and a half drive inland from the arid seaboard city of Townsville, this verdant forest must be haven for locals.

From the photo it is difficult to gauge the size of the buttresses. Look closely at the next photo for the tiny red way marker on a sapling behind the fig. To the right, barely discernible are Colin’s black hat and his shoulders.