Australian Fine Artist

Art History May 22nd

Tutor: David Salter

Today’s session started off with a little help from Student Learning Skills Unit after which we got stuck into the sometimes tricky subject of CHANGE.

How do you facilitate it in your life and how do you experience and cope with it?

As we each drew up charts ranging areas of our lives from 1-10 I noticed a trend in my life. David gave us eight areas to rate and I quickly saw that as far as working and changing my art career and studies my life is worked out fairly well. My personal life with my spouse equally very good. I now have a handle on my health and recreation due to help by doctor and husband which left home environment (poor – living in a bungalow and no home of our own) and money (very poor – literally). It seems I am living on love of my art and a loving relationship. Oh well some people don’t even have that.

We broke up into groups and discussed our individual experiences in these areas and it was interesting that many common themes came out with people of different age groups.

David left us with a couple of good ideas to think about.

1. Set priorities, goals and action plans

2. Get started – use the 7 minute plan if necessary

He also noted how we can create career opportunities by creative letter writing and following up personally, to open doors career-wise.

Showing initiative and persistence is very important for creating new networks and opportunities.

We have been given a few questions to think about and answer as homework which I am going on to now.

  1. To what extent should your art reflect changes in the art world and or society?
    I don’t know if it does other than the fact that I am lucky to live in a time when women of any age can if they apply themselves, succeed and be recognised as professional artists. With this in mind, my art can be anything I want it to be. I can try any style and can aim my business in any direction that I think will be a success.
    My art sometimes calls on my graphics background, it sometimes uses materials that I was given from the sign company I worked for and the more modern “wall art” styles that are popular. I also use the computer and digital camera as aid to my art so they reflect the growth of technology. I blog and have a web site and use any method of advertising or producing artworks that is now available and will work in with my plans. I don’t tend to make my artworks based on social commentary or issues. They have more to do with bringing out positive emotions and taking people to a peaceful or beautiful place in their minds which they may not have in their lives. I hope they leave enough room for people to also create their own narrative or story.
  2. Where does your personal honesty/authenticity, your uniqueness as an individual come into this question?
    Technology has little to do with integrity or authenticity for me. They are merely aids to an end. I try to have my own way of running my art business which is being personable and having a consultative relationship with my clients. I like to think that I am building up a good reputation as an artist of integrity and talent who is working very hard to keep improving. I am very glad that I have the opportunities of living now. It leaves me free to experiment and to keep learning and get out to network and build up relationships with other artists and members of the arts community. I create artworks with my own story and hopefully leave enough room for people to either enjoy that or create their own story in them.
  3. To help you respond to these questions, what is your personal reason for making art?
    I am going to answer this question first.
    There are probably several reason why I create art. One is that I have been drawing since I can remember. I don’t recall ever not drawing. I sat with my neighbour (a commercial artist) watching him work when I was less than five years of age. He gave me some paints and a brush and I just started painting. I have loved doing it ever since.
    When I was at school I excelled at art. It was never considered that I would not be doing something in the arts for the rest of my life. My parents built me a little studio in which to study my art and produce artworks and my mother was always encouraging of my work.
    I drifted away from fine art to work in the graphic arts field for over thirty years due to the need to pay rent after moving out. I never seemed to have a space to set up to draw and paint in an area that would not interfere with flatmates. The advertising and print industry gradually wore me down as the business changed to one of a “sausage factory” where work was pushed out fast, cheap and under a lot of pressure. I had not been in touch with my fine art to a great degree other than doodling for many years and was miserable. My husband got me into an art guild and has built me a studio to work in, he is the rock behind me and I have never been more content than when I am in my studio creating artworks.
    I love researching material for artworks, I love planning them, I love producing them, I love exhibiting and selling. I really like meeting my new clients and sharing the experience of creating the work. I became qualified to teach last year and discovered to my surprise that I love teaching people to enjoy drawing and improving their skills! I love attending workshops, going to art demonstrations and networking with other artists. I also love learning.
    Over the years I have done several tests to see what type of employment I am suitable for (sales, technical, etc etc). Every time I got back the same result. You are 100% artist!
    Why fight fate and my nature, plus I LOVE IT and it makes me happy.

Video: Robert Motherwell and the New York School “Storming the citadel”

Robert Motherwell and his colleagues making up a group of eighteen artists were the foundation of the Abstract Expressionist movement in the United States.  All based in the same small area of the city and working on a totally new style of art that they hoped would become uniquely American, these artists worked for over twenty years with little recognition and few sales before they were taken seriously by leading galleries and the public in general. Even though they worked on individual styles, the general theme of taking away the traditional approach to creating an artwork and representing emotion and truth with line, colour and stripping away form to it’s most basic representation was something worked on by these artists. Rather than working as a skilled craftsman they looked for a deeper meaning of truth in art and more creativity in their works.

Robert’s journey which was a long one of over forty years to be the successful artist seen in galleries around the world, has been one to inspire us to keep working. If you believe in what you are doing, keep refining your skills, keep networking and keep your passion.

Question: Identify the factors that contributed to New York becoming the major centre for the art world.

  1. The influx of European artist and immigrants
  2. The Work Progress Association (paid public works by artists set up by FDR)
  3. New Money. The growth of industrial wealth.

To a lesser extent: the depression, the psychological state of people living through the depression and the war, desire for a uniquely new art movement.

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