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Archive for February, 2009

shadows

It’s a very exciting thing when a new perspective presents itself.

I have been struggling for a few months to be honest.  Working on themes and series that are meaningful but disparate, and exploring working in more detail which is time-consuming in the nicest possible way, but perhaps not helpful when deadlines are looming.

And then Ping!

bearshadow-detail

A section of this recent work on reflection because the idea for a larger work.

Which was challenging in the most rewarding way.  Opening the idea of seeing positive spaces as negative ones, and making the two interchangeable.

The idea of shadow.  Pure shadow has gripped me.

fromtheretheycouldseethewor

from there they could see the world.  Oil on linen, 2009

I am exploring further, what you have seen countless times in my work.  Shadows.  And the ability a shadow has to tell a story of its own, or to lead the viewer to a conclusion of their own.  I’m also continuing to thrill in the gift that a title is.  In what it gives to interpretation of an image, and the tension words can build.

trust

Trust/tryst, oil on linen, 2009

The fact that these paintings can be read as abstract is hugely appealing to me.  They are in fact painstakingly composed and painted with great care and attention.  I think it is important in preparing them for exhibition to include more literal images to explain in part the shadows at this point, but I can see a time when that will feel less important to me and in the meantime I am walking with my head down looking at light and dark and pattern, which is everywhere and fantastically interesting.

I’d chat more but I need to go and paint or perhaps wander….

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company and inspiration

ithoughthewouldbegoodcompan

I thought he would be good company… Oil on board, 50cm x 50cm, 2009

My solo show is creeping up quickly, and I am painting as often as I can.  Squeezing in hours in the evening, grabbing the brushes as soon as the kids are dropped off at school.  For the most part it’s going well.  There have been hectic weeks where I have panicked about work being ready, and about the body of work hanging together as a whole.

So I havn’t been taking out quite enough time to recharge with the things that feed the creative soul, which is necessary to kick start the process.  It’s so easy to get  bound up and chase ones own tail isn’t it…

The last week has been mind-blowingly awesome though, with a pivotal change of mindset and a great idea for a new series that has been progressing slowly in the background.  I’ll blog that evolution soon, but in the meantime, as that has been growing I have been out and about.

A wander down a gallery-filled street with an artist friend that was very inspiring in terms of seeing works, and galleries, which helped to cement more than a few things about my work, process and professional aspirations.

A catch up with another friend at the Roslie Gascoigne retrospective, which was special not just for the chance to see the beautiful works, but to talk about the aftermath of the bushfires which have affected every Victorian in one way or another.

And the kindness of friends in helping me to work a bit longer in the daytime by entertaining my little ones.  We are all so blessed to have community and to engage and trust and let life in.  Everyone grows through living gently, giving a little more, and being gracious in accepting help. It feels like everyone is blossoming to me at the moment, and that’s a beautiful thing.

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Pathways

pathways

The destination is never as important as the journey.  And the journey never ends.

How cool is that.

It frequently amazes me that I am here, instead of the hundreds and thousands of other life alternatives that were possible.  That the choices I have made in my life – on a daily basis have led me to this spot.

Some of them have seemed inconsequential.  Others have felt mammoth and the decisions have been laboured over for fear of finding myself at a destination with a dead-end.  But you know I think that this doesn’t exist.  Because, although you can never go back, there is always something new to discover inside or out that will change you if not the destination.

Today was one of those marvellous days where another corner was turned and everything seems rosy again.  New eyes, new point of view, new possibilities.

New work emerging.  New confidence, new possibilities.  And an important reminder to engage and let life in.  And I’m LOVING that. 🙂

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andtheytoldstoriesinthemoon2

And they told stories in the moonlight. oil on linen, 61cm x 61cm, 2009

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and the bear went everywhere

andthebearwenteverywhere-fi1

and the bear went everywhere, oil on board, 50cm x 50cm

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realignment

Those of us who paint – at whatever skill level will remember those early days when there was something inside that needed to get out.

Somehow.

The impotent frustration of not being able to make the marks in a satisfying way, and not quite knowing how to get there.

I still struggle, but have found myself in the curious position of being too smooth a conduit lately.  Whatever is in, must out.

thegreat-beyond

The great beyond, 50cm sq, oil on  board, 2009.

The bushfires have affected all Victorians.  I imagine the feeling has spread further, but the horror of the whole thing has scarred me and I am having a little trouble pulling myself out of that state of shock.  It’s been compounded by the loss of my Grandmother late last year, and the stresses of daily life and childrearing.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m doing Ok.  I’m not about to keel over and go nutso, it’s just that there is a corner of sadness there at the moment that I am finding hard to shake completely, and it’s showing in my work.  I am day to day and very happy and cheerful soul, so it’s kind of a surprise to me to see it coming through, and I hope when it’s purged I will find happy and kooky and pure joy in my work again.

funnyhats2

Everybody likes cake.  Dont they?,50cm x 50cm,  oil on board, 2009.

In the meantime I’ll be doing more of this kind of silliness to get my mojo back for real.

I think it’s starting to work already 🙂

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domestic alchemy

Since seeing this (about 2 minutes in to be specific) magnificent film years ago, I have been furtively interested in making my own paint.

pigmentjar

Langridge Artist pigment is available at art stores.  You may have to hunt to find it, but the domestic alchemy of mixing and preparing is mystical and marvellous.

masked

It comes with bold directions to avoid breathing in the dust.  Which spooked me a bit, but I proceeded with palette knife, pestle, and a flat tile.  The dusty titanium white was ground into walnut oil to make a thick luscious paint, which has been sampled and is excellent.

pigmentgrounds

It did take quite a while to make it smooth, and I’m not sure that it’s any cheaper than buying mixed paint, but it’s a delicious process and very, rewarding.  And according to their website you can use it to make oil, watercolour, acrylic or tempera paint (which I’ve always wanted to try painting with).

In the past week it has been used with  delight to complete two paintings, which I’ll show another day. 😉

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