Australian Fine Artist

A Cautionary Note
(Without Prejudice)

I often pass on editorials from various outlets to help art students and emerging artists in their search for outlets and methods for their art. This one arrived today and although in the beginning it sounds very good, there is a cautionary note I wish to add in the latter part of the article.

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Third in a Series of Workshops with Artist David Chen

Green is a difficult colour to manage for many artists. It is a colour we see every day, but it can still become a problem when we are faced with using it in a painting. The familiarity in seeing it every day can be a part of the problem.

Some subjects can be a problem in certain tones, for example, dark green tones in seascapes. Added to that is what we perceive in photos that we may use as references. Colours can be flattened out in a photo and depth of the darker tones lost making interpretation more difficult. This makes the decision of which been to use harder as well. How to use photos needs to learnt just like many other skills in art. what do you use, what do you delete, what do you move, what colours do you alter, how do you transfer that image onto the canvas and create an artwork from it?

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Painting the Seated Nude

Painting Workshop with Artist David Chen

Today’s workshop was centred around painting the seated position. The main aim is to understand skin tones and how they include many more colours than the usual reds, yellows and white that many of us may initially use.

Of course there are issues of race to consider as well when thinking about the colour of skin. We humans come in a beautiful array of skin tones and colours. From the darkest black I have seen on one stunning lady walking around the city to the very palest I have also personally seen on an albino person years ago. So considering all these differences, we worked on the model in front of us, who was a lovely young lady with peaches and cream complexion.

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Stephen Eastaugh

Visiting Artist at Frankston Chisholm

Artist Talk and Short Movie Covering Antarctic Residency

Before any artist chat I like to get some information about the experience and qualifications of the person I am about to listen to. That little bit of research beforehand can set you up to listen with some understanding of where the person is coming from.

Stephen’s biography was extensive and impressive. He has a BFA from Melbourne University (VCA), a Diploma of Education from the University of Tasmania, and an Honorary Certificate of Achievement from the University of Oslo. He has also held over sixty solo exhibitions, several group exhibitions and is in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and several other prestigious galleries worldwide.

With a few decades of practical experience as a working artist and teacher it was a pleasure to listen to this entertaining and informative speaker.

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Sarah Faulkner

Visiting Artist Talk at Chisholm Frankston

Painter Sarah Faulkner gave and interesting talk about her career and her paintings today. Having start at RMIT and Prahran Institute around the 1980s Sarah now has an impressive career of over thirty years.

With a good amount of experience producing paintings and working in the arts, Sarah had a wide range of work to show us as well as stories of travel to such places as Italy, France, Central and South America and India. Always with her it seems, was her sketch book and gauche paints.

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Greg Ades

Visiting Artist at Chisholm TAFE
Artist Talk: Work and Experience as a Painter

(please note their is a small swear word in the last part of this article)

Greg Ades has years of experience as a painter starting with his education in art. His training began in 1977 in Frankston Technical School (now TAFE). He followed up with a Diploma of Art & Design – Fine Art at CIT, (later Chisholm and now part of Monash University) in Caulifeld.

Greg has been Artist in Residence at 45 Downstairs (Melbourne), in a few Victorian Primary Schools and Artist in the Community for Frankston City Council. He has held several solo exhibitions and has been included in many group ones as well. He has work in collections including the Warrnambool Art Gallery.

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Why I Paint What I Paint

Fashions come and go. Recently I attended a talk by a printmaker who has taken up a practice of printing that was nearly accepted as extinct only thirty or so years ago. It is now being taken up by enough artists to warrant a triennial overseas.

People still attend the NGV and other galleries for events such as Monet’s Garden or the Australian Impressionists so the interest in painting is still there. Why does it have to be about artists and movements that are thought of as in the past? Oil painting can be current, it can be in the spirit of the times without being dismissed as passé. There are walls to put a painting on and people to appreciate and see something in the paintings they may place on them. The human condition continues and painting, without being too contemporary or bleeding edge, I feel can still find a way of expressing it.

Alain de Botton in his book Art as Therapy talks about the emotional and human nature of art. He implies that by looking at art we can bring out the human condition, the emotions that we may be ignoring or trying to suppress in our busy lives. We can help people to feel better for example, by bringing some joy in a sorrowful day, some peace in a hectic life, some happy memories in the midst of sadness and a sense of beauty.

A story they want to revisit every time they look at my work.

Next in the series of Tonal Workshops with Artist David Chen

Subject: Floral Still Life. How to paint using reds as your dominant colour. 

Understanding of tonal values gives you the ability to look at your subject and translate it into a painting where all the colours work with each other – they relate and none will look out of place against the others.

Examples of this can be seen in Monet’s paintings of his garden. Admittedly, as he was losing his sight Monet lost his ability to see colours in the blue range for several years, but even so, if you went to the exhibition of his work recently at the NGV in Melbourne, you would have noticed the constant experimentation with colour themes. Rather than painting exactly what was in front of him, Monet panted with a dominant colour theme, some are in cool blues or mauves, others are in his collection of reds and purples. In his constant endeavour to master colour, Monet collected colours on his palette to see how they worked with each other, he came up with working ideas of colour theory that gave his paintings a unified look and atmosphere to reflect the time of day or season.

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Graeme Drendel

Visiting Artist Talk at Chisholm TAFE

Graeme Drendel was born in Ouyen in Victoria, a rural town with a large farming community. His family was what could be described as a typical farming family, with their interests based mainly around the farm and not so much in literature and art.

The rest of the family went in different directions for their livelihood to that of Graeme who when able, went to Ballarat to study. He then came to Melbourne to complete a Diploma of Teaching (Art and Craft).

During his twenties Graeme did little painting if any, he became a father and soon became a sole parent role. An interest in playing music in a band and keeping in touch with art gave him outlets during the years up to the age of thirty until he went back to teaching in his early thirties.

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Workshop Two in the Series with David Chen

Tonal Values

The object of the workshop today was working on our tonal values for our model’s skin. Modelling and proportions are of course very important as well, but we are concentrating on one thing at a time to make sure we understand the process.

The set up today had dark warm drapes in the background that would be reflected in the skin of the model. The lighting was warm as well which we had to take into consideration.

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