Australian Fine Artist

Art and News

The Philosophy of Life and News and Art

Alain De Botton is a new find for me. I watched a new program today where he gave a very interesting talk about how he sees the presentation and publishing of news to the world and how we react to it.

As an artist you may think, what does this have to do with me? I wondered that in the first few seconds and then quickly changed my mind. It was not only from the parallels he drew with the church and the Renaissance, or even the use of art as political messengers through history so much as it was the dissection of how the news is gathered, how so much of it is discarded as uninteresting or irrelevant for the sensational and the “if it bleeds it leeds” mentality.


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Excursion by TAFE Students to the MPRG

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery has three separate exhibitions running at present and students studying Art from Chisholm Frankston went to a talk about one of the larger of the three and to look around the others.

On display are:

  • Jimmy Pike’s Artlines – contemporary art (drawings).
  • Signature Style – a group exhibition of contemporary jewellery.
  • Behind the Lines – 2013s “best” political cartoons.

I had a quick look through the jewellery, but to be honest there wasn’t anything there to keep my attention for long. The cartoons were refreshing because for once I saw a balanced view of our nations and its politics. Rather than a huge leaning to the left, the cartoonists had an equal opportunity dig at all sides of politics. I found a lot of the work very well drawn or painted and some a little gross with the imaginative altering of some well known faces and bodies. Quite funny and some very thought provoking and to my thinking well worth a visit even if art isn’t your thing.

The main objective of the visit was the Jimmy Pike exhibition. These drawings mostly done in text pen on sketch pad paper were presented beautifully which showed up the bright use of colour and mis of traditional cultural themes with the modern contemporary.

Still not my thing really, and I had the feeling that your average pre teen could have come up with a similar body of work. I was more interested in the lighting and the control of air flow into the room. Great care is being taken to keep direct light off the works so they don’t fade, and to keep the temperature and moisture contact in the room constant. Proof that MPRG takes care for their exhibitions very seriously.

If you like abstract-like imagery with some cultural references this still may be something you would like to look at. The work is divided into categories such as desert flora, various spirits and direction finding.

If you have time left over, the Oakhill Gallery on the highway near MPRG is having a photographic exhibition at present (April 2014) which I have four photo prints in and for sale. During May I will have Gallery 2 in Oakhill full of my work for the month. The “Lost” series will include paintings, pastel, bronzes and a high relief paster triptych sculpted and in shadow box frames. All will be for sale.

The roses are still out in the rose garden nearby as well, for a nice walk.

Depression and the Artistic Mind
A Personal Observation

Understand from the beginning that I am writing this from a personal point of view. Having been an artist of one sort or another for most of my life, I understand when the demon in my personal life is raising its ugly head again. Adding to that is the amount of similarity I see in colleagues and artists in history.

Art is a very subjective subject and a risky career choice. Many people who do not understand the amount of actual work and research involved in creating an artwork think that you are born with the ability and just sit in front of a canvas or whatever and easily churn out paintings, drawings etc.


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Graduation 2013

Diploma of Visual Art Graduation Ceremony
Robert Blackwood Hall Monash University

Say what you may about ceremonies, marking the milestones in your life for me is a good thing. We can go through life and at times all we remember are the bad and the sad. The things we have lost and the things we would rather not remember. People we have lost, jobs we have lost, all the sad stressers in our lives.

How many of us keep a “balance” so that the good evens up with the sad and the bad? For my life in recent years there were too many of the sorrowful, stressful and horrible and not enough of the good, the successful and the triumphant.

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Excursion by the Visual Art Students at Chisholm Frankston

As art students it is an enjoyable diversion to go to a gallery to look at what professional and experienced artists are displaying in public spaces. McClelland is a great gallery, entry is via gold coin donation, there is a lovely little café for lunch and snacks and the sculpture park as a relaxing walk via natural bush trails with carefully placed sculptures along the way.

For those with mobility problems the gallery has a little car to take you around with volunteer guides to explain the artworks and talk about the history of the park and gallery.

As a volunteer in the Educational Department of McClelland, I can attest to the interesting workshops and events for schools and groups during the holidays and through the year. The small studio, originally used by the original artist and owner of the property is still in use for the art workshops.

The current exhibitions in the gallery building were the aim of today’s visit by TAFE. I had already been to an artist talk by Martin Hill, who talked about his introduction into the world of art and his projects which he and his partner are endeavouring to spread in a line right around the planet! See my blog in the site about Martin Hill for more information.

The other two exhibitions were very different from each other. Lord of the Canopy by Julian Ford and Sensory Overload, a group video and installation exhibit by Karen Casey, George Khut, Roass Manning and Kit Webster.

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Still Life Workshop 2

This is the second of five workshops that I will be attending for the first half of 2014 with esteemed artist David Chen.

Learning More About Colour

Why do we mix paint when there are so many colours already made up in tubes at the art store? A fair question when you are learning to colour mix. One answer is that we as humans can se millions of colours. Some people see more of the colour spectrum than others, and it has been said that women can see more colours than men do. After that, we all probably see the same colour in nature differently. We all don’t see a blue sky as the same blue, or a lovely red dress as the exact same red. This is why in the graphics and arts professions people who colour match are so unique, as they are relied on to be able to match a colour sample exactly for reproduction.

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Louise Paramor

Artist Talk at Chisholm Frankston

Louise Paramor was born in Sydney in 1964. She received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting from Curtin University, Perth, in 1985. In 1988 she completed a Post-graduate Diploma in Sculpture at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. Since 1988 Louise has actively exhibited in Australia and overseas and has held twenty-four solo exhibitions.

For her talk today Louise took us through a video presentation of her work from the 1980s through to the winning sculpture at the McClelland Sculpture Park Survey in 2010.

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Art Camp 2014

The Art Camp for all visual art students at Chisholm Frankston was again held at Stony Point in Victoria. The numbers were lower than last year, but the quality of the work I have seen to date has been very encouraging.

The atmosphere has been productive and friendly, with students exchanging not only ideas and encouragement but also contact details for networking and new friendships.

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Melbourne Now 2014

Exhibition of the Arts by the NGV

Sublime to the Rediculous
(A personal opinion – without prejudice)

The Melbourne Now Exhibition this year was held over the two galleries of the NGV in the city. As part of our training for Visual Arts at Chisholm, we spent the day at both venues to look at, discuss and evaluate the works on display and how we relate to them as emerging artists.

Since the students from the Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses range in age from late teens through to quite mature adults, the variety of material was bound to have something in there for nearly everyone. The trick is of course, getting around the two galleries in enough time to see everything  as well as taking time to stop and appreciate any particular item that might capture our attention. After all the idea is for us not to just browse or skip past, but to analyse and think about our reactions.

Having tutors with a good grounding in the arts scene in Australia is a bonus when doing this. At the Potter centre we were introduced to the exhibition by Philip Faulks. Philip has a creative and current arts practice, keeps up to date on what’s happening in the arts and also has a solid education in the arts. He gave us tips on various artists to look out for and why, making the process in that building easier.

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Art Chat at McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park

February 2014

Watershed Exhibition

Martin Hill was born in the UK and studied art at a small art college just outside of London. HIs broad artistic training led him into a thirty year career as a graphic designer in countries such as England, South Africa and New Zealand. His weekend love of the wilderness and climbing over the years led him to start looking at his career and what he really wanted to achieve in his life. At work in England he found that his passions and interests were not well understood by colleagues and his interest in climbing was seen as risky.

During 1967 Martin hitch hiked his way through India and Nepal to Mt Everest. His growing awareness of what humans were doing in the environment and the impact of the changing landscape started a chain of thinking that was to change his life. Later travels through Africa added to his thinking that the impact of humans on both animals and the landscape had to be addressed. His “new world view” and a desire to live elsewhere, led him to New Zealand where he was offered employment still in the graphics field, but closer to some of the natural environment that he wanted to visit and climb through.

Martin looked at artists such as Sydney Nolan and Richard Long, still not realising the statements they were conveying in their work that coincided with his own views. He also started reading the work by Buckmaster Fuller who wrote about working without impacting on others and how doing what you love can be done along side not impacting on the natural world, in fact working with the natural order to the point where if you are following your true path the universe will provide the way.

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