Australian Fine Artist

Archive for August, 2014

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.


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.

Tonal Painting with Red as Dominant

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.


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.


Painting the Reclining Nude

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.


Richard Stringer

Visiting Artist Talk
Chisholm TAFE Frankston

Sculptor, Painter, Archeologist

Richard has a huge string of accomplishments, so big in fact that I suggest you go to his web site to see his achievements (link at the bottom of this editorial). I will just say here that he has been a 2012 PhD candidate at Monash University, studied Middle Eastern Studies at Melbourne University in 1989 and received his Degree in Fine Art (sculpture) at Victorian College of the Arts in 1981. He has also taught at Frankston Chisholm in the past so was able to catch up with colleagues during his visit.

Richard has artworks in major collections around Australia including the outside of St Kilda Town Hall and at the Eureka Tower, Melbourne. During his career he has been able to acquire grants and funding to travel overseas to many places that I have long wanted to see, his interest in archeology is something that I share with him. For Richard, the travel meant being able to not only see and be inspired by things he expected, but also to be exposed to the surprises and unexpected that can come when you are willing to explore and be open minded about learning.


Fran Victor

Art Teacher at Frankston Chisholm

A Little About Fran

Fran is a very generous teacher. She has lent me a book out of her personal collection and spent probably more time than I should expect talking with me about art in general and what I can do with mine. Teachers like those we are lucky enough to have at TAFE are precious, they work longer hours than they are paid for, they are always approachable, always interested and endlessly patient.

They are also practising artists with a wealth of experience and education behind them. I am constantly amazed and enthralled by the wealth of knowledge that can come from one single conversation with any of our tutors.

This morning we had the privilege of hearing more about how Fran got into the teaching and art career she now has. Knowing more about our teacher gives us more respect for their opinions. If you know something is coming from an informed source, you tend to give it more of your attention.