Wednesday, September 29, 2010

a lifelong appreciation for the everyday....

Still life - Margaret Olley, 1986
Still life, 1986. Margaret Olley

The artist in 2007

This image of the artist comes with the transcript of a show Talking Heads on the ABC which you can read here. I was drawn to post a painting by this esteemed Australian painter whose work has been loved over decades now after being at a function last night at Customs House in Brisbane where her work graced the walls of a beautiful old room looking out over the river and twinkling lights. Olley spent some of her school years in Brisbane, coming and going over many years before settling finally in Sydney after a long era in Newcastle and OS.

I took a moment to look quietly at her paintings before coming home after an excellent forum I attended which you can read about here, presented by the Global Change Institute of Queensland University.

If you read the post on the forum you will see why the paintings of this artist are actually a poignant reminder of the numinosity of the everyday...and now is certainly the era to be more mindful of the offerings from nature that we have come to be so remiss about that so much is binned/trashed barely touched.
Read more on Margaret Olley here.

Margaret Olley, Brisbane River 1956. Ink and
watercolour on paper. Private collection
Brisbane River 1956

Margaret Olley
Woolloomooloo with bottlebrush 2000

Eucharist Lillies 1963

Still life with mandarins, 1975

her biography by Meg Stew               art is a good read.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

one for australian painters...

Did you know?

One of these beautiful frames stretched with primed linen comes with the cost of the entry in the Belle Arti - Chapman and Bailey Art Award 2010, a $5,000 aquisitive award.

My friend in Melbourne Janita had given me an entry form 2 weeks ago, so, in that relaxed sort of saturday morning ambience that one sometimes finds possible I ambled along to their Brisbane store in Newstead and gazed at the tubes of paint awhile thinking hard about some work I'm doing and looking for colours to speak to me! (it can happen - dont you find?)

Lisa was on hand to answer queries and we discussed the prize and I was especially drawn to enter the prize when I saw the wonderful stretcher frame that comes with the entry fee.

For some time I've been far too busy or preoccupied with other things to think about going in award shows... but this really appealed. Yes... it is close by so when it comes to dropping off the painting it will be easy. But there's more to it than that.
Later whilst drinking coffee at Chouquette in new Farm I read the entry form properly and realised these people have gone to the trouble of liaising with a dozen art stores
around Australia to make it easier for people to enter... and because they have a Melbourne store work left there by a certain date will be transported for free.

If you click here it will take you to the Chapman and Bailey website page where you can click on the red text to open an entry form. If 40 x 40 cm is a good size for you... and you can organise yourself to enter within the time frame... then perhaps I'll see your work at the Late Nov-Dec show at the Metro Arts gallery in the city.
I've been working on some canvases that size of late so it is not so hard to get my head around... and given this show will include a diversity of paintings from various parts of the country I think it will be quite intriguing.

Gallery and Workshop
350 Johnston Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
T +61 3 9415 8666
F +61 3 9415 8811
Chapman & Bailey Art Shop
420 Johnston Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
T +61 3 9417 7957
F +61 3 9417 3447
Chapman & Bailey Brisbane Workshop & Art Shop
14 Byres Street
Newstead, Queensland 4006
T +61 7 3666 0028
F +61 7 3666 0082

Found at the website - Gallery archive  was a show of work by Phillip Sayers from his exhibition "Renewal" - in february this year. In February 2009 fire swept through parts of regional Victoria (south-east Australia) and caught many unprepared for the scale of destruction, loss of life and awful suddenness of the event. This artist found a poignant way to commemorate what was for many a unforgettably devastating experience. 

Renewal captures the devastated landscape after the Black Saturday fires, and the first signs of renewal in a stunning range of artworks on mixed media.
For the past year Phillip Sayers has painted the renewal of the St Andrews bush. This includes paintings in oil on cigar boxes (and other found objects in the St Andrews area) and a dramatic 2m x 2m image on a canvas of a new water-tank surrounded by the burnt bush.
"My paintings start when I come across a wooden object with a previous life. The surface of the timber with nicks and marks tells its own story and I add a new layer. The end result is a respect for the objects history, overlaid with new life in the form of my painting.
There seems to be a harmony created, befitting the images of renewal from St Andrews. My paintings are about moving forward with a respect for what has passed", Phillip says.

Oil on wood boxes

East through the trees - oil on wood panel

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

India comes to Brisbane

Recently I posted an invitation for you to attend this fabulous late afternoon show on Saturday, September 18th...

india flint 

botanical alchemist  : author of ECO COLOUR

marianne hall + roz hawker
for one night only... 
exhibition in conjunction with a

bio regional dyeing workshop led by India 

I arrived on dark

and walked up the path through a wonderful garden

to find these veils of colour

gently floating  in the breeze



dreams of colour on silk, organza, wool and more

in person

on the line

wrapped around shoulders

It was all so captivating! As was India... who engaged with one and all, at length ... all the time sharing stories, processes, tips on how to treat all manner of materials, dyes, the chemistry, biology, and botanical knowledge ... the best Op Shop in San Francisco, how to recycle a man's shirt. Wordsmith India speaks as beautifully and mindfully as she writes.

This incomparable experience has stayed with me... I shall have to make sure to do this workshop nest time I can see an opportunity! Thank you India for so generously sharing with us!

You can read much more here at India Flint's website
and at her blog

Beautiful enalled copper bowls by Marianne Hall

Enamelled work by Marianne well suited showing along with India's work. As did the very fine work on cloth and also jewellery made By Roz Hawker.

Hand sewn work on cloth by Roz Hawker

Roz Hawker

Thank you to the Hawkers for gracious hospitality and a wonderful evening! The natural garden setting was just perfect.

Monday, September 20, 2010

sending a thank you south!

Aha! More downloaded photos ... the drought has well and truly broken! These are from Melbourne last week... feels like yesterday!

Jesse with portrait

You may well ask who this is? 

His name is Jesse and he came along to the Alumni Show last week as my friend CC had hung her portrait of him in the show and thought to invite him along. The very charming Jesse was spotted by CC and a photo led to the portrait... and his subsequent attendance. The crowd enjoyed placing him as the subject of the drawing and so he became a celebrity for a night.

Jesse with the artist CC
CC or Carolyn Cardinet is a lovely friend from VU whom I studied with back in 2000. Spirited and full of life the Visual Arts Alumni was born out of her enthusiasm and nurtured along with her consistent effort. Now I'm wishing I took photos when visiting her studio as this photo of the portrait does not do it justice... (apologies CC!)

Painting by Janita Ryan
Also in the show was this work above (I've misplaced the catalogue to check the title). As I said in an earlier post my days in Melbourne were so relaxed I forgot to photograph my friends in their wonderful studios. As I bid farewell I suddenly remembered the images I wished to take with me... So a rather hurried shot of Janita was taken (below)

More of Janita's work can be viewed here.

Thank you to kind friends for excellent hospitality and good company, to the People at VU for hosting a wonderful night and to the delightful friends I also managed to connect with. 

what's happening in the studio....

Recent work

from a session in the studio today

These journal pages are from a longer post you can read here! Today was the perfect day for the and a little rainy as the evening closed in.
Hope you had a most pleasant weekend.I have photos from a special event on the weekend... will post soon!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

rewalking old steps...

Its great to discover that on one's return from a decent break a few things that were being a bit annoying before the break have righted themselves...magically! The photo downloading facility at this blog decided to play up before I took off to Melbourne last week.
Electing to forget about it... I was pleased to check it on my return and find it working again.... hence I have downloaded some pics from my time away. I must admit that I so relaxed I only took snaps on my last couple of days. I was simply too busy at first drinking everything in....and travelling light... not concerning myself with tasks!

One sunny day - waiting for the tram overlooking St Kilda Beach

on the tram... an unusual quiet time - sometimes trams seem to attract theatrical goings on!

visiting Victoria Market - where I used to once regularly shop!

NB - kangaroo salami?

In the mid 90's I spent over 4 years running a shop-front studio on this busy intersection in Collingwood. Now a restaurant - when I was there it still had old fashioned shop windows with a central doorway. I had a 3 bedroom dwelling attached to this shop-front it was quite spacious... but in the end I really missed the garden I had left to move here. In many ways it was a brilliant hub to live in... being the heart of a lively art scene with cafes everywhere.

below: 5 mins walk to Brunswick St from the studio - this lively pocket houses lots of creative people and there's an excellent art supply shop just 3 doors along through the greenery.

across the road is this abundantly stocked flower shop - 'Flowers Vasette'

below: into the city on this same sunny day for a viewing at the Ian Potter Gallery at Federation Square - love the side entrance I left by where the distinctive architectural geometry is replicated in the plastic attachment added to the permanent structure...presumably for winter's sake ... to create more shelter than is usual at this entrance?

Loved the effect looking through these fragmented shapes.

Below: outside - another angle of federation square!

Its late.... thats what happens when you download photos and start photo-shopping! Not to worry - its the weekend... have a good one everyone!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

the pleasures of the table....

this is a very snappy post...

... just home from Melbourne where I was delighted to be able to once again share conversations at this table...  much thanks to my delightful hosts. No...I have not downloaded photos tonight after arriving in at 10 pm!!!

I had this lovely image from a previous time... the doors were not wide open as in this image above taken on a VERY hot evening. I was wrapped up in coat and scarf this past week due to the lingering wintery weather... and had a wonderful time. My bag was so heavy to lug around tonight... filled as it was with art supplies scoured from about 6 stores. Today, after intricate packing, I found yet another store and decided ... yes...  I could fit those extra things in.

Home again... I really relaxed so much! Only started taking photos yesterday ... no camera, computer, work for the best part of a week....just enjoying the company of friends, walking around and catching trams here and there!

Home to read some lovely comments from visitors...
...bye for now!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Today I looked into the coming week's plans... and found this flyer for the biennial Alumni exhibition at Victoria University  on their website...  I was wondering who was in this show...then realised its the one I'll have artwork in along with a whole lot of other ex-students.
I think you'll agree this makes a fabulous change from seedpods... but... actually the paintings I sent in are seed capsules! Not to worry...I think this will be fun... and no doubt very eclectic!

Visual Art Alimni - This biennial exhibition presents individual and diverse artworks by VU Visual Art alumni, from 1976 to
2009, who are now practising artists.

level17 artspace

The artwork 'Shame and Horror I' is by Sue Wyers and can be better viewed at the Victoria University website here.

Its a rather bitter-sweet story ... my tale about studying at Vic Uni. In 2000 I commenced a painting diploma here and started to really settle in and realise my good fortune in finding both wonderful staff and students in the one place. Good conversation and the tuition on some important aspects of painting I'd missed out on years before in a degree course in the late 70's when it was all about colour-field painting and going to the pub...lecturers that is! Some never made it back...virtually there went the tuition. So ... to be learning essentials about mediums and materials... nd such critical things ... slowly adding to the knowledge I'd gleaned to date through personal effort or other's advice... this was the place to be!

... and then my house had to go and burn down didn't it? And I finally decided ... after 12 long years in this city I loved ... to pack up and go north. I was a little bit heart-broken - not so much about the house which Id just moved into and didn't own. Luck was on my side...I pulled out almost everything I owned intact! Despite the house being completely uninhabitable! I make light of it... it was not a light time as you can appreciate... but having one's self intact and one's goods and chattels... That was amazing!  
What I was heart broken about was leaving this beloved Art Course and the people I met there. It had just felt right.

Which is why the Alumni launch 2 years ago was such a pleasure to attend. Friendships renewed and a door re-opening. The timing was great and even led to a residency for a month in January last year.
So... now I'm off to Melbourne for nearly a week with plenty to catch up on down there.

It will be a bit quiet here for a bit... but back soon enough with a very busy few months remaining at the Botanic Gardens and much happening in general. I should have packed by now... found all the warmest clothes I own - with winds blowing up from Antartica which Melbourne is quite close to compared to here where I live! (OK...those of you good at geography will know I exaggerate a bit there... but you get my drift I'm sure.)

Have a good week everyone...
    see you soon!

St Kilda Pier

and icon of St Kilda for sweet-tooths

Botanic Gardens, Melbourne