Australian Fine Artist

Archive for February, 2014

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.


Martin Hill and Philippa Jones

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.



Janice’s Blog Site

Janice’s Blog Site

New followers most welcome!

I will be posting stories about the workshops I attend during 2014 and some of the exhibitions I am entering.

Still Life Workshop 1

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

“Apple Theory”

The topic for this first workshop covers basic modelling. The observation of light, mid tone and shadow and how we can see the planes of a three dimensional object and use these to create a painting that has depth with the use of tonal values. We also looked at how we can translate these values or tones into colour to produce a three dimensional object on the canvas in colour.

From the title, you can see that what we were initially working from was in fact a peeled apple. David made the start very easy by cutting the apple so that we could see the planes of tonal changes around the object as the light touched one side and the other side was in shadow.

This “modern” method of rendering an object came to China from Russia during the 1950s. Rather than trying to draw or paint all curved lines and directly copy like a photograph, the method of using many short straight lines nearly reflects how a vector image is built on a computer.


Success – An Observation

Similarities and Contrasts of the Successful

Contrasting and comparing a famous artist with an entrepreneur like Sir Richard Branson may seem a stretch, as you may wonder what do these seemingly very different types of people have in common?

During the past two years as I have been studying to complete my Diploma of Visual Art, I decided that to enhance my learning for my career as a fine artist I needed to find out not only the technical details of what made a particular artist so revered and admired – and what made their art “work” but also what drives a person to keep on their chosen road to success. Be this a very long road that takes a lifetime or a relatively speedy one that brings success at an earlier age. (more…)

The Continual Struggle

Frustration and insecurity in the artistic mind.

Over the past year I have read biographies about several famous artists. I am still reading one about Cézanne. Other artists in the list include McCubbin, Heyson, Monet, Turner, many of the other well known Australian Impressionists of the 19th and early 20th Century including female artists that I had not encountered before and some others from overseas that were also new to me.

As I was reading about Cézanne this week a thought started. It happened as I started to identify with the internal struggles of this incredibly gifted artist and those around him. I then started thinking about fellow students and conversations we had over coffee about their internal voices, and also those with fellow artists at meetings and workshops.

Even though intellectually we may know that our art, be it painting, drawing, sculpture or whatever, is going to be a lifelong learning experience, we still struggle with those internal voices that drag us down from time to time. If you are an artist of any type you may know exactly what I am talking about. The voice that when you are struggling with a particular work, or having a slow day without a lot of “ah ha” moments, puts doubt into your head about if you have any talent for what you are trying to do and if it will ever get you anywhere.