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.

Up cycling

I love gathering bits and pieces to make small creative compositions. The act of gathering and arranging various objects is like a reverie that reminds me of people, places and moments.

A nature loving women who bought an artwork at my recent exhibition, gifted me this delicate little nest, found on the the ground in her beautiful tree-filled native garden.

The enterprising little nest maker had gathered polyester fibre, from who knows where, to fashion her nest. I decided to give it a new home in wood, as I imagined that the nest once belonged in a tree or twiggy shrub.

This little collection is a homage to up cycling and recycling. I made the small mosaic ball from an old plastic ball found on the beach, and the oblong wooden bowl was made by a Zimbabwean artisan from an old Rhodesian railway sleeper. Of course the nest in the centre is the the most innovative piece of up cycling.

Gathering and placing objects is a special way of remembering.

They don’t make them like they used to

I love motel rooms that have original bathroom features. These days hotels and motels have fixtures that will fall apart in less than a decade. The Aneth Lodge in Cortez Colarado has a bath, sink and toilet built to last.

I’m not sure how old the motel is, but the bathroom has a Deco feel. One thing is certain, while it’s unlikely to be of deco vintage, the motel predates the “built-in obsolescence” era.

I feel sad that these days the decor changes are so rapidly that beautiful functional designs can all but vanish as people devalue them because they are deemed unfashionable.

Marcus Creek Interpreted

GCS Entry

These paintings are to be hung as a group representing the changes in the tannin-stained creek at Marcus Beach. In the dry season the creek flows gently then eventually dries so that it no longer meets the sea. Storms come in from the ocean in the wet season pushing surging waves up the creek against the natural flow.

Tree shapes, Mt Timbertop

Mt Timbertop dead tree

On the ridge of Mt Timbertop in the Howqua Hills, Victoria, there stands the skeleton of a venerable snowgum. I paid homage to its life by photographing the ‘sky patterns’ where once a solid limb branched, and bringing to life a grey ghoul, a Halloween mask, perhaps even a human face.

Coffee art

The intense look of concentration commanded my attention, despite the distracting din of the mid-morning coffee crowd at Coffee Chakra in Myrtleford. I became engrossed in witnessing the coffee making process. There was care and precision in each slowly angled movement of the coffee jug, as if the maker had an artist’s brush in his hand. With three beautiful coffees already served at our table, I knew the fourth would be the masterpiece.

How nice to re-connect with the folks at Coffee Shakra and to introduce our coffee loving friends.

Tree shapes, Mt Timbertop

Mt Timbertop dead tree

On the ridge of Mt Timbertop in the Howqua Hills, Victoria, there stands the skeleton of a venerable snowgum. I paid homage to its life by photographing the ‘sky patterns’ where once a solid limb branched, and bringing to life a grey ghoul, a Halloween mask, perhaps even a human face.