Australian Fine Artist

Archive for the ‘Context and Culture’ Category

Public and Regional Galleries

How Important Are They? Why do they deserve your suppport?

There may be a lot of people who wonder why we have public and regional galleries. Surely they are just for people who love art or who are in the arts professions? What is not always explained about visual art in particular, is that even if you are not an artist or even in an accepted creative profession, or learning one, the methods of creative thinking and problem solving that artists do, is also useful in science, engineering and other professions.

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A Brief Comparison of Texts Regarding Artist Jane Sutherland

A Commentary Comparing Views and Comments
(Written without Prejudice)

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

Edmund Burke

“How can you tell the story of a culture when you don’t include all the voices within the culture?”

Khalo (Gorilla Girls)

While it could be said that since the beginnings of the Australian Feminist movement women have made inroads into professional acceptance, this may not be the case for generations of women artists. Depending on the sources that the general public may read, a vastly different view of a particular artist may be perceived, and resulting impressions swayed by the research position, personal biases, or emotive rhetoric by the writer. Although I believe it isn’t possible to completely omit a personal interpretive lens, as far as possible, I will endeavor to critically analyse the comments and conclusions made about artist Jane Sutherland in the texts reviewed in this commentary.

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Painting Workshops – Ethics and Copyright

Many of us who are training to be professional artists, or are keen amateurs attend regular workshops with professional art teachers.

Learning from established artists is a long tradition going back to prior to the Renaissance. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance it was common for artists to take on apprentices who over years learnt about the materials as well as methods and techniques to painting and drawing. Later in their training, they were allowed to participate in completed works with their ‘master’. Leonardo da Vinci is a prime example, whose marks are clearly seen in a couple of paintings done by his tutor.

The difference between then and now, is that copyright and intellectual property are more strictly enforced now than they were then, and because of social media and the growth of on-line sales what is done at a workshop, and touched by your tutor may not be yours to sell without their permission, or to say is your own creation.

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Views of the Universe from Van Gogh to the Hubble Telescope: A Comparative Study of Sublime Beauty

Essay for Bachelor of Fine Art and Visual Culture Curtin University 2017

The sublime fascination with the night sky began very early in human history, evidenced by early records of the movement of the stars, moon and sun in stone monuments. The dwelling place of the gods in ceilings of the tombs in Egypt later became the firmament of heaven for Christianity, and with the advent of the telescope, the night sky increasingly became a place of investigation into our place in the universe. During the 19th century, the paintings of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) revealed his fascination with the night sky inspired by literature, religious beliefs, and prominent artists like Rembrandt (1606-1669) and Whistler (1834-1903). An examination of van Gogh’s three most prominent night scenes contrasted with contemporary 19th-century paintings, historic and contemporary sources, and current views of deep space will argue that the Sublime beauty of the universe is clearly evident in his paintings and that they are forerunners to the images viewed by the Hubble telescope. It will provide evidence of how visions of the night sky have expanded from ideas based on myth or religion to a broader interpretation of the Sublime, and comprehension of a universe in which the earth is but a tiny spec.

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Advanced Seascape Painting

Final in the Series of Five Monthly Workshops with David Chen

Loosening up Versus Painting Against the Contour

If you are like me, and admire the work of the Impressionist painters, you may look atyour work and think that it looks too ‘tight’ and wish you could ‘loosen up’ your method of painting.

Like me, you may also be confused as to how you go about doing this. This is where the concept of loosening up is usually confused with the method of painting against contours.

In this final workshop for the semester, this very portant method, that will help your paintings to gain some of that more immediacy and freshness, so often seen in the finest impressionist artworks, can begin to be understood and applied.
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Advanced Seascape Painting

Fourth in the Series of Monthly Workshops with David Chen

Relating Objects in the Background to Those in the Rest of Your Composition

Most of us are aware of the concept of the foreground, middle and background divisions in compositions. These planes help the artists to create depth in a scene so that the viewer gets the impression of looking into a painting, not just at a two dimensional flat surface.

When creating these planes, however, we need to think about the relationships between items and objects in each of these areas. without a flow, or reltaitonship in a painting, we end up with a load of disjointed and unrelated objects that have no ‘conversations’ going on between them.
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Advanced Landscape Painting

Painting Workshop with David Chen

Understanding the Use of Intense Colour and Grey Tones

I sat in on an extra workshop this weekend, and this extra session was very helpful in pushing my use of colour. As a mainly tonal painter, my paintings tend to not push colour to extremes, I paint in a manner that uses a realist/impressionist crossover so my application of the paint can be conservative in a lot of areas.

The reason why I, and other artists, attend workshops like this one, is that they give you a new perspective and challenge you to go outside of your comfort zone. For me it means using more paint, lashing it on with broad strokes, and looking at my subject with new eyes. It means taking reality and bending it to my will, and creating a new vision. This may mean replacing one colour with another one, or several others. It may mean adding or deleting things from what I am looking at. It pushes me to be a creative painter and not just a copier of the real world around me.
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Advanced Seascape Painting

Third in the Series of Monthly Workshops with David Chen

Creating Emphasis – Edges and Lines

There are several ways to create emphasis or direct the eye to a focal point in a painting. The variety of edges in your painting is one of these methods. Soft edges allow the eye to move on to another area whereas sharp edges automatically attract the eye and this is where you want your focal point. Another way of describing this method is ‘lost and found edges’.
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Life Drawing with Ink

Life drawing doesn’t have to only consist of using one medium, like charcoal or pencils. The nice thing about drawing the human form is trying it out with a variety of materials. Pastels and coloured papers are a great way of getting tonal values into your drawings, and can add colours to liven up a pose.

Inks, which can also come in a variety of colours, are another way of portraying the human form whilst creating some soft and flowing lines and highlights and shadows. Inks can be thinned out with water, if they are water-based, allowing a huge range of mid-tones that give the body depth and form.

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Glen Eira Art Collection

A Visit to the Old Caulfield Town Hall

The main entrance to the old Town Hall now leads to a dedicated art space. I haven’t been in the building for over thirty years, so after discovering that art is now within its walls, I had to visit.

Of main interest were the paintings by the Boyd family (or at least parts of it). Only a few paintings on view, but worth the trip. The ceramics were a bonus and a nice addition to the lovely water colours by Arthur Merric and Emma Minnie.

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