Monday, 29 June 2009

Opening Night was great.

The opening of the group show at Edwina Corlette Gallery was all I hoped. Lovely friendly faces, gentle atmosphere and sales! Lots of lovely red dots. I am very happy.

Here are some of the paintings. I showed with a very talented young artist, Erin Smith. I found her work fascinating. She makes drawings from her journal entries. Unfortunately her website doesn't seem to be fully functioning, so you have to go to her under Edwina's artists, here

I wanted to post one of her paintings, but I can't do it. So I posted one of my that sold instead.

It felt great to be back in my studio today.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Group Show in Brisbane

I am in my first group show at the Edwina Corlette Gallery in Brisbane opening this Friday night. I am very excited (and of course uncomfortably nervous). Fingers crossed that there is a lot of interest in my paintings.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Changing Direction

When I don't like a journal page, it is fun to change direction. Take a chance. Risk trouble,tee hee. That is what my art journal is for. Even if the page ends up worse, I don't really mind  (maybe a little, but I get over it.)

Maybe some day I will be able to do that in the studio with my 'real work' as well.
Here are a couple of pages that have been languishing in my journal. I like the child silouhettes, but I have been feeling that another layer of colour would give it more punch. Something warm to contrast with the cool green and teal.
I mixed up an orange red with cadmium light and warm cadmium yellow and pounced it on with a sea sponge. Fun. 
As I had the acrylics out, and was procrastinating about my new oil paintings (which are kinda scaring me) I thought I would attack some other art journal pages.

The page on the left is a wish page. I took a rejection letter from a gallery and reformed it into an acceptance page. That was a while ago and I am kind of over it. I want to jazz the page up and prepare it for some collage. 
The page on the right is one we did in class, drawing what is in your bag. I was imagining a delicate watercolour and pen page, but I lost interest. This is one that could easily get worse, but I am attacking anyway. Take that!
I went in with the red acrylic. I am not thinking this out. The poor little drawing has gone completely blah next to that red.
So impulsively I get out the black gesso and paint around the drawing. I don't know where this is going, but I feel like working on these pages again now. I don't know what I am doing, but they have come back to life for me. Go figure.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Thank you page to the Artist Child within

Here is a simple collage page done on a background of layers of acrylic paint. I did the doodling and writing with gel and paint pens.

I wrote this journal page before I read what Julia Cameron in the book the Artist's Way says about our inner artist being a child (my childhood name was DD). I am considering and experimenting with the idea. The more I think about it, the more I realise that it is probably true. 

It is a very compassionate idea. Instead of giving yourself a hard time when you feel upset that your painting was rejected by that art prize, imagine comforting your self (or your artist-self) with an icecream cone and more play. Sounds good to me.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Would you let me Paint You?

For anyone who hasn't visited my artist's website, I paint mostly figurative paintings. I paint naturalistically and quite beautifully (well, I think so.) Because I am good at getting a likeness, and because I am interested in beauty, I thought most people would be flattered if I asked them to pose. 

I haven't had anyone turn me down, but sometimes a certain trepidation seems to enter later in the piece. First let me explain that it usually takes quite a bit of courage on my part to ask someone to pose. I feel very vulnerable and self-conscious. A model is an important part of a painting. They become a kind of muse. Most people aren't used to modeling and think I am taking their picture. It isn't actually a picture of 'them'. It is more like acting, where you hold a certain energy or feeling for the painting.

One woman I painted became uncomfortable after I sent her the images. She thought they were unflattering. It was upsetting for both of us. Later, much to her credit, she realised that the paintings weren't of 'her', that I was using her as a kind of character in the painting. (Other people thought she looked beautiful in the paintings.)

I am not unsympathetic. I have been in a similar situation. My friend and mentor, James Guppy, asked if I would pose for him. I was flattered and excited to be part of his work. It became a little more challenging as I discovered I would need to pose nude. I worked as an artist model in my 20's, but approaching 50 I was reluctant. I have a lot of respect for James' work, but he doesn't flatter his models. Unflattering emphasis is often important to his artistic vision. 

What would you be willing to do in the service of art? I had my natural vanity as a middle-aged woman competing with my love of art. Of course by the time I saw the paintings it was too late to change my mind, so it was fortunate that my artist won the battle. I think in the end my woman benefited from the experience as well - taking myself less seriously.

It was interesting to see which paintings I had trouble with. There is one of my face looking very unflattering that I love. It is the ones that show me nude that I hope disappear. But it isn't me, I must remember. It is a vision of James' that I helped to embody.

To see the paintings I modelled for go here. I couldn't link directly to each painting, so you will have to guess which ones I like and which are confronting.

Would you pose?