Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The following ads are some of the funniest things I have seen - worth the time. Perhaps they'll make you laugh when the painting gets too tough? Any excuse to watch them will do.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
How important is your studio space to the work you produce?
Very important, but less so as I gain more skills and confidence (apart from the fact that I need one to do the work- how it is set up and where it is becomes less important to me). It was important for me to invest in myself as an artist - I spent the first year or two after graduation painting from a garage - as many artists do. I went to Bundanon and had all this space. I still didn't think I could afford it, and one of the other artists quoted someone famous (de Kooning???) who said, "when you can't afford a studio, rent two!). It's a statement to the world that you are serious (but only good if you turn up to it! -there are many studios waiting for their owner day in and day out....). The financial commitment means you may be more likely to actually do the work - otherwise it's an expensive accoutrement!
As for the way it is set up - it's important to have ventilation, considerate neighbours, and a re-inforceable policy by the owners that protects the environment; and that, preferably, non-toxic chemicals or odourless solvents only be used. A dream, but worth fighting for! I can't work if people are splashing turps around (too many years of not worrying about the chemicals - it builds up!) A good studio complex is also worth it as the energy generated by happy, working, creative artists is palpable and contagious!
How important is your studio space? What do you think are important considerations when choosing a studio? Post your comments and ask any questions here
Image; Gabrielle Jones Stand 2009 Oil on Canvas 30 x 30cm
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
A lovely man called Cedric, an arts patron, invited me to the launch of the Alex Perry Designer Rugs collection last night. It was held in a groovy studio space in Alexandria and there were a number of celebrities, models and "all-round" beautiful people there - and then there was me!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Fred Cress, the iconic Australian Artist, was cremated yesterday after losing his long battle with cancer last Wednesday, 14th October. The celebration of Fred's seventy one years was attended by hundreds of friends and fellow artists whose lives had been made more interesting, if not better, by this generous entertainer, wonderful guitarist and music enthusiast. By all accounts, was a great friend who loved a secret and a beautiful woman (preferably blonde).
Sunday, October 18, 2009
“You have to reduce in order to be clear.” Luc Tuymans
“Art proves itself in the making…I don’t want to see the world in any personal way. I have no aesthetic problem and the technique of making is immaterial. There’s no distinction between paintings, and I would like to change my methods as often as appropriate.” Gerhard Richter
“The physicality of the painting is important, whereas I don’t think the depiction of psychological states can give the same impact, the same strangeness, the same directness – or indirectness”. Luc Tuymans
“Certainty is the less safe option” Gerhard Richter
“When you are in front of a painting, you’re in front of the place where whoever made that work was, and you see the process of the making…” Jenny Saville
“You realise that you can’t represent reality at all – that what you make represents nothing but itself, and therefore, is itself reality….I’m not trying to imitate a photograph, I’m trying to make one.” Gerhard Richter
Image: Gabrielle Jones, "Sofala" 2008 Oil on Canvas 110x 83cm
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Attended the very crowded opening of this, Guy's first exhibition since winning the Archibald Prize with a painting of blind Indigenous singer Geoffrey Garrumul Yunipingu. I must concur with the oft repeated comment of the night, "this guy's got balls!" Maestri has done a total about face from his commercially successful, colourist, lyrical gestural landscapes, reminiscent of Cy Twombly, to monotone, realist, photography-based art which almost belies the “touch of the hand”. What continues is the concern with ecology and the landscape, enhanced in this show by a theme of human folly.
The unkind (and probably jealous) have speculated that Guy won the Archibald by changing his style, then thought he would/should capitalise on that in his next show. Do the maths! The number of paintings and cohesive quality and theme suggests he was painting in this style well before he entered the Archibald. Even if they’re right, he’s still a prodigiously talented, thoughtful artist because he could whip up such a show in a painfully short seven months since the prize announcement.
It doesn’t matter. What matters is on the wall – and that an artist made a choice to risk his “Brand” and his sales from followers, and go where he needed/wanted to go, to keep his practice alive and mentally energizing. What authentic artist really wants to keep painting the same thing? And isn’t a refusal to “play it safe” one of the characteristics that History has taught us is essential for creativity and great art practice itself?
Musings aside, the exhibition has a powerful, yet dream-like quality that sees a 60’s Astronaut standing on a crashing wave; a deep sea diver floating in a human chest; and boxing kangaroos obliterated by a slash of muddy, angry paint. My favourite was “Untitled, 2009”, a beautifully rendered though flattened (tenderized??) calf floating in infinity, with the bright yellow meat tag attached to its ear optically jumping from the painting. This was closely rivaled, in my estimation, by Trophy I, the head of an antelope(?) mounted in space in a frontal view that evokes it’s death by hunter and starkly contrasts in its beauty with the ridiculousness of placing animal heads in loungerooms as a measure of gamesmanship, skill or machismo.
The work still shows elements of Guy’s previous exhibitions’ risky execution – much of the paint surface is attacked by solvent or mediums to blister the otherwise smooth, varnished finish. But somehow, corrupted surfaces and slashing paint included, the images display a cold, removed beauty that nevertheless enigmatically draws the viewer in, leaving an image to be ruminated upon, in its quiet acceptance of death and new worlds past, present and future.
Tim Olsen Gallery 63 Jersey Rd Woollahra 13th October - to November 1st
Images: Guy Maestri, Untitled, 2009 183 x 152cm
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This is the third show of Peter Godwin's I have had the pleasure of seeing. If you don't know his work, then you can't be anywhere in Sydney around artists, who seem to be all singing his praises.
Monday, October 12, 2009
"Lux" is the latest show by the artist's artist, Suey McEnally, an interestingly shy, "real-thing" artistic type who bangs away on paper stapled to her studio wall, with condoms filled with oil paint, dissolved in a double boiler using Sennelier Oil Pastels. The result is a series of remarkable, translucent landscapes which, in the words of another artist friend, Polly Joannou, are "quite magical". Somehow, they make themselves into a shimmer of marks, light and colour that dissolve into the heat of an Australian paddock or the frosty fronds of a pine tree on an icy morning.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Just came across this blog (press the title to access the blog) and thought the words were timely and interesting. We all gotta show up to make the work, and know how to get it out there!
" Making it in business is a tough thing too. It requires talent and hard work. The point of my book, The Affluent Artist was that if you’ve learned to dance, or paint, or write, you might not have had time to learn a lot of the money stuff. That “money stuff” is hard too, it’s stuff that talented people spend a career learning.
The fact is, in every human endeavor, some people have a natural talent, things come more easily to them. That’s not the thing that determines success, it turns out; what determines success has a lot more to do with putting in the time, getting REALLY good and being in the right place when opportunities present themselves. Talent is nice, but give me someone who will work hard with zeal and passion and I will take that person over the talented Diva every time.
It is a particularly bad idea to assume that someone else’s profession is something you can pick up with little training or effort. It’s a bad idea to assume that you can master a new business with no background in that field or knowledge of “how things work”. Everyone has good ideas, flashes of brilliance, but success in most endeavors is all about follow through, about getting the job right.
The sculpture who sees the face in the block of granite still has to have the talent, expertise, tools and discipline to finish the work. The entrepreneur who has a business idea still has to have the talent, expertise, business plan and capital to make his idea work. Artists and successful business people are really not that different, they simply work in different mediums.
Everyone of us brings a unique set of talents to the planet, some of us are lucky enough to figure out the best way to use them. If you are someone who has to learn the business stuff, or someone who has to learn the creative stuff, understand that there is a learning curve on both sides of the equation and that persistence and goals are really good attributes to help you get through the hard times.
So, it’s ok to wait tables, hire an advisor or take classes, whatever it takes to get it going. It’s ok to ask for help or keep your day job. Having a successful creative career involves a lot of disciplines. You not only have to create inspired work, you have to know something about marketing, sales and running a business".
Do you agree that inspiration comes from showing up? How important is marketing know how to your art production and sales? Post your comments here.
Image; Gabrielle Jones, Hillside II 2009 Oil on Ply 30 x 30cm
Is your choice of materials intuitive?
I have to say that I love making stuff with anything around! Sculpture was out as a long term practice - I have a bad back and hate depending on tools to get things done (wasn't taught to weld etc as a little girl) -painting seems more direct. That applies to print making - like to mess around in acid etc but not laboriously draw, etch etc first. Like drawing - but usually prefer the wet materials - so probably a painter at heart! I respond to colour and beauty (who doesn't) and it's important to me. My choice of colours is definitely intuitive.
Do you return to painting for any specific reason? I guess, to be honest, in this day and age it's important to brand yourself to some degree. I started as a painter (it was easier to concentrate on one thing - and I wanted to get really good at it - still trying) so am known as one. I return to it in part because it's "what I do". It's only recently that I am more sure of being an artist first - so I will continue a varied practice. I enjoy the variety more than just painting. My regional gallery show (Goulburn, 2010) will hopefully contain drawings, sculpture, photography and paintings.
How do you choose materials? Why do you do what you do? Post your answers or ask questions here
Image: Gabrielle Jones Reflection 2 Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30cm
Thursday, October 8, 2009
More on professional Practice
How do you begin a new work? I usually try to start 3-4 in a day so I have a problem to start on when I come into the studio the next day, and so I don't get stuck on one painting. Usually working with a different pic allows me suddenly to see the solution I was searching for in the first.
Do you ever face artist’s block? Not often, because of my process - it's meant to keep me working! Having a problem to solve and keeping a few on the go at any one time means there is usually something to do.
If so, what do you do to deal with this? I recently had the first in my career - after ten years. I think I was bored with my own work, had no money to afford the size canvases I prefer, hadn't been in the landscape for a while, changed studios- always an adjustment period -and had already painted enough for my solo show but felt guilty about taking time off (talk about a work ethic!) So I changed mediums - drawing and sculpture. No pressure! Found I was enjoying myself, which renewed the love of what I do - and then found I wanted to paint again (rather than just turning up and going through the motions).
How do you handle painter's block? How do you face a blank Canvas? Post your comments and questions here
Image: Gabrielle Jones, Trees Wollombi 2009 Oil on Canvas 40 x 30cm
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
What is your artistic process? (Do you sketch, work outside, take photos, write etc)?
I do all of these. I find a camera seems to help me focus on seeing - frames the view, assists composition etc. It provides a record of the experience only - I print the best photos, but rarely refer to them when starting a painting other than to flick through the collection - it gets me into the "Right brain" and fills me with a sense of the landscape. If I use pics, It will usually be after drawing from them and drawing from he drawing etc.
I need to periodically get into the landscape to refill - even if not a stretch at a time. And then I like to look a lot - no talk in the car! Every two years or so, I need to spend time there to internalise the structures and refill the soul.
How do you work? Do you have a routine? Post your comments or any questions you have here.
Image: Gabrielle Jones, Billabong 2009 Oil on Canvas 40 x 30 cm
Sunday, October 4, 2009
The next instalment in commonly asked Professional Practice Questions.
Do you practice as an artist full-time?
Yes - I am in the studio about 4-6 days per week (nearly exhausted!) However, I have had jobs in between- one was 4 days per week- so I was in studio 3: and the other was 5 days per week (in studio 2 days).
Now I have a number of casual/contract jobs - this week two days teaching, one day making presentation to corporates next week two days presenting to corporates. But this isn't always the case - you need to take the paying work when you can whilst still maintaining the studio practice and your sanity! (Protect the studio practice at all costs, or you end up NOT being a practicing artist!)
Do you see this as something you would like to continue doing long term?
I am determined to - when you focus on what you want, it's more likely to happen (in my experience, the Universe does find a way - mostly a way I would never have thought of!) I feel I am on the brink of something better in my art and my career, so will hang in there until I can't pay my bills.
Is it better to practice full or part time? How do you juggle income earning with artistic practice? Post your comments or Ask any questions you would like to see answered here.
Image: Gabrielle Jones, Crossover 2009, Oil on canvas, 40 x 30cm
Friday, October 2, 2009
You often paint landscapes. Would you say that your work is about the Australian landscape specifically? Is your work about your personal response to a landscape or memory of a landscape?
Because I am Australian, I understand the landscape here better than other places. Tahiti, where I had a residency, was too beautiful for me. I found it hard - but could have done something unusual, but was not given the time to explore. (It was like being a performing monkey for two weeks, on show to the guests!) I am applying for one in Spain - I am sure that will be great - and I want to see if I can respond to a different landscape.
Definitely my painting is about personal response and experience - not so interested about it objectively - I would use a camera for that!
Why do you paint? Do you paint from Life? Are there any questions you would like answered? Post comments and ask questions here.
Image: Gabrielle Jones, Underbrush 2009, oil on canvas 65 x 50cm