Australian Fine Artist

Archive for May, 2014

Bendigo Art Galllery

Genius and Ambition Exhibition May 2014

This exhibition had been advertised for several months and I had been especially keen to attend as soon as I read the names included. The Bendigo Art Gallery for me had been a place that I had sent one or two artworks to for art competitions in the past few years, but not been able to see for myself. Now that such famous and brilliant artists from the Royal Academy of Arts in London were there I felt I just had to get there one way or another. This was an opportunity to see artists that greatly influence many Australian painters in the past and present.


Castlemaine Art Galllery

Gallery Visit May 2014

As an emerging artist it is a good idea to learn about the galleries that operate in your area and country. It is good to know what sort of art they collect and exhibit, how they exhibit the work and how visitors experience the gallery.

There is a lot of information to gather when assessing how art is collected or acquired as well as how it is displayed, advertised and even stored by galleries. It isn’t enough to have someone just set up a store front or old industrial space and call it a gallery. Where it is located, how it presents itself, the people behind the running, its history, the way the building is presented, how it cares for the work in it, how it caters for viewing and how they treat artists are only some of the concerns I have when looking at any gallery or sales outlet for art. This includes the annual or seasonal exhibitions held by charity groups, shires, arts societies and gallery sales outlets/shops.


Brett Colquhoun

Visiting Artist at Frankston Chisholm

Brett completed a Diploma of Graphic Design. Swinburne College of Technology in 1978 which puts him roughly in the same age bracket as me. Sometimes it is good to hear from a practising artist that is close to your own age to help make some comparisons. Also with a good amount of experience and a broad range of work to show, it is interesting to see the development of an artist’s career and style over time.

As he started in the graphics area, as I did and several artists that I know, I didn’t find it unusual that Brett began his journey there. A lot of artists have to make the choice of working in the graphics field to bring in the regular money so they can continue to do what is their passion (often painting or sculpting etc). Being a full time fine artist usually means very irregular income, which landlord and supermarkets don’t really like. So if you want to be independent and eat, compromise is often called for.


Still Life Workshop – 4

More About Colour

Fourth in a Semester of Five Still Life Workshops with David Chen

Colour, rather than that we find straight out of the tube of paint, is something that needs to be modified to suit the mode, atmosphere and tonal ranges in the painting we are doing. Its nice that we have such a huge range of colours to choose from in the art shop, but unless you are in a desperate hurry, it is a good idea to learn to use a basic collection of colours and mix the colour, tone and temperature that you need. With that in mind today we looked at some definitions we use when applying colour.


Aztecs at the Melbourne Museum

Drawing Session for Advanced Diploma Students

We were treated to a visit in the Melbourne Museum this week, where we are allowed to spend time drawing the exhibits on display from the Aztec empire. I have been very interested in archeology and history since I was very young, reading encyclopaedias and any books I could get my hands on. My mother in particular encouraged my interest and by the time I was in high school I had read two encyclopaedias and was also watching programs about my favourite subjects.

The Aztec empire lasted for only around 200 years and spread from Mexico to parts of Central South America. It is a culture that had great strengths and some very, what we would call, cruel or even savage customs. Their art is beautiful, sophisticated and intricate and the Aztecs built some amazing pyramids and cities. Unfortunately for surrounding tribes they also practised human sacrifice of captured enemy warriors and even had ritual sacrifices of their own people. Some of the images in the exhibition are confronting in this regard so you need to be aware of this.



“Cream” and “Waves and Water”

Exhibiting at McClelland Gallery and Sculpture park

Forty Years of Australian Art History from the Rockhampton Art Gallery in Queensland

McClelland Gallery held the opening for both the “CREAM” exhibition and “Waves and Water“, the photographic exhibition in the adjacent gallery space on Saturday May 10th.

The Curator of the Rockhampton Gallery gave a brief talk about the exhibition before the opening and gave some insight into the development of the gallery in Rockhampton and the initial acquisition of major artworks during the 1970s.

Because of the foresight of the committee in charge of purchasing for the new gallery, this collection has some of the best examples from some of Australia’s iconic artists starting with Grace Cossington-Smith in 1940 through to a drawing by Brett Whitely and a beautiful landscape by Arthur Boyd which I had never seen before.

Because of the generosity and grants from various groups and government departments such as the Australian Arts Council the Rockhampton Gallery has been able to grow its collection of Australian artworks purchased in the most part directly from the artists, thus putting money back to enable them to keep producing the works that we now hold so dear in other galleries around the country and overseas.

I very much admire any gallery or collector that is willing to invest in living Australian artists so that we can keep our “industry” producing, growing and developing creatively both here and overseas.

The exhibition is a travelling one and will move on to other venues after McClelland which holds the honour of being the first place this collection of paintings is being shown. I went around the exhibition at least three times to check out the paintings and drawings. Some are just stunning and a few are ones that I have only seen in books, so to be able to stand so close the them is amazing.

Speaking of standing very close to iconic works, I was able to stand within a metre of the iconic Max Dupain print “Sunbaker”. It would have to be one of the most famous and iconic photos of the last century and is amongst a group of beautiful prints of photos taken by Max. The theme of the beach and Australiana of the 1940s to today in this photographic exhibition goes nicely with the paintings in the other gallery space. There is a very large black and white print on one of the other walls by a more recent photographer taken from under the water looking up at swimmers which is breath-taking – and HUGE!

There  is something here for any person interested in art or photography. The paintings and the prints are all beautifully presented and very interesting, especially if you want to look into the development of art and photography in Australia over the past seventy years or so.

I am looking forward to a revisit soon with my classmates and tutors from TAFE, as I was told that an excursion to this event has been looked into. My thanks to the staff and management at McCellland for getting together such great event.

Speaking of great events, to finish off, after our art chat on Saturday, the official opening was held for both exhibitions. Some wine and very tasty nibbles were on offer as well as very entertaining speakers. I am so glad I took the time to visit and participate and as always I was given a warm welcome which makes volunteering and being in the arts community all that more enjoyable.

Cameron Robbins

Visiting Artist Chat at Chisholm Frankston

Cameron had me scratching my head wondering where I had seen him before. I knew that I had been in an auditorium listening to him talk about his weather driven machinery but couldn’t place him! Fortunately I have a husband who enjoys coming to talks with me when time permits. He reminded me that it was at a City of Kingston Arts event last year that we saw a video presentation and talk by Cameron. Then it all fell into place. To Cameron’s credit he gave a good talk that I remembered well, I just couldn’t remember where!



Little Landscapes Exhibition

Bright Space Gallery St Kilda

May 7th 2014

The annual TAFE exhibition for visual arts students was a friendly if not hugely attended affair. The quality of work I feel was up from last year with several exceptional works. 9 inches x 5 inches on board is a challenge to paint and not everyone has done plein air (on site) painting. This exhibition by the students is a challenge for them and is in recognition of the Australian Impressionist painters who initiated this size and style of painting.



Tales of Things Lost or Forgotten

Solo Exhibition at Oakhill Gallery

May 3rd to May 29th 2014

Oakhill Gallery went above and beyond the call of duty when curating my first solo exhibition for my emerging fine art career. As the winner of the Oakhill Award in 2013 I have been very privileged to be able to have my work for the past several months displayed and for sale at the gallery.

Expecting Gallery 2 as we had arranged I was very happy and honoured to find that I had been allocated both the front galleries and the end of the hallway for my work. Oakhill has the 9×5 Cigar Box Exhibition on at the same time, which I had been offered space in as well, and it was amazing to see all my work, large and small with its own dedicated space.