Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Artists Camp-Bega

Images: Gabrielle Jones: top Bithry's Inlet; Sunset from the camp; Euan Painting; Ann Painting; Euan, Ann and Idris talking about their work at Bega Regional Gallery

Just back from two days painting en plein air at Bithry's Inlet in the beautiful Bega Valley on the Far New South wales Coast. It was an artist's camp with Euan McLeod, Ann Thompson and Idris Murphy, organised by the Regional Gallery there.

I had a wonderful time- great to chin wag with like-minded people, see how differently everyone works and the varied resulting paintings from the one environment. One of the best things I learned was that we don't have to try to find "our thing" - if we let go of trying, maybe it will find us! Such varied paintings proved that we are all individuals and that will manifest in our work once we let the intuition have reign, listen to the voice within regarding the "what" to paint, ignore standard wisdoms ("realism" means "old fashioned" and no one will want what I paint, for example); stop trying to be someone else and work, work, work.
So...looking at these pics, are you jealous????

Friday, April 9, 2010

Peter Doig-Transcending emotions of Kitsch

Image: Peter Doig, White Canoe, Oil on Canvas
I just uploaded this well shot (thank Goodness) and extremely interesting interview with the contemporary landscape painter, Peter Doig at his exhibition in the Schirn Kusthalle (Title link). The artist talks about what to paint, why he paints ("it's the unknown; that's what makes it daunting, that's what makes it exciting") and some of the sources for his work. It includes informative close up shots of the artwork (no shakey cam -you can see all it's abstractions - like a modern day Impressionist painter); as well as posters he has designed for the Thursday night cinema - free to anyone who wants to attend- he holds in his warehouse studio in Trinidad. Wouldn't I want to go there!
For those of you unfamiliar with his work, here's a picture.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Authenticity in Art

Image: Gabrielle Jones, "Sapphire relief" 2010 Oil on canvas, 122 x 152cm

Reading the Sunday Life Magazine, published with the Sydney Sun Herald, I came across a line which struck me dumb (not easy to do!) because it so resonated with me, and the musings, of late, regarding my work.
"When you do something for the right reason, the mission is authentic, goals are reached and the world responds to this with recognition and affection. They buy it". Next question: What are my "right reasons" for painting?
So here goes: I need to paint (whether or not someone buys it in the literal or metaphoric sense).
I want to add beauty to the world - not fashionable, I know, but maybe it's time to talk about the benefits of this alone.
I want to add something "other", something which transports people to a memory, a place, an experience when they look at my work; something which enriches their lives on a daily basis.
I want to make people see the world in a different way.
I want to add to the methods of using paint to express experiences or vision.
I want to make new connections- with people, experiences, thoughts - that would not be made if there was no painting.
Next question: Is this enough?
Why do you paint? What are your authentic reasons for making art?

Friday, April 2, 2010

marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas, Figure in a Landscape, 2010. Oil on linen, 70 7/8 x 118 1/8 x 1 inches, 180 x 300 x 2.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York.

Came across this new exhibition by one of my all time favourite artists, Marlene Dumas at David Zwirner Gallery in New York. When I first saw the painting, I was disappointed as I am used to the full frontal, zoomed in nudes or portraits with an edge, which has, until now, been typical of her work. However, there's a great analysis in the Art Daily Blog which, when read, made me more uncomfortable with the often ostensibly decorative art that I am prone to produce. It's a rare case of reading about the work actually adding to its value and appreciability rather than standing in for the lack of visual communication of a painting.

To be so interesting visually, but have such thought provoking content that can move the viewer on many levels is what I would like to do, also. But I guess that's what makes Marlene Dumas the great international artist, much copied but never equalled, that she is.


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