Thursday, May 27, 2010

And then there was Jason...

Image: Jason Benjamin, Shelter" 2010, Oil on Linen, 120 x 120cm

Jason Benjamin at
Michael Reid Gallery in Elizabeth Bay.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Landscape painting - the next version

Image: Peter Daverington, "Arcadia' 153 x 213cm Oil and Enamel on Canvas

Peter Daverington at Boutwell Draper Gallery in Redfern was the "stand out" visit on my quest to find interesting landscape painting (it's not an oxymoron to me! I do it, too)
Although emotionally extremely cool - well, what do you expect from an exhibition entitled "Cool Mountain" - the execution was of such quality it was gobsmacking. There is an institutional sized work (330cm x 440cm) on wood that I figure must have required a hydraulic lift to paint. Yet the precision of painted floating platforms, reflecting back into an invisible glass layer cutting through the picture plane at a 90degree angle, was amazing. Not a nervous line to be seen anywhere.
These works explore (according to the online information) "the cultural shift in perception of our natural landscape from the 19th century Romantic point of view to the resource hungry era of 21st century global economics". The artist uses digital manipulation of photographic material and renders the result in the old fashioned media of paint. The pictures incorporate architectural forms in an otherwise Romantic aesthetic, which is most often subsequently coated in an apparently resin-like finish reminiscent of a surfboard. That's quite a lot of fusing of genres and some heavy use of art history and strong conceptual ideas - all still pretty accessible to the slightly informed and interested viewer.
Whilst admiring the skill and conceptual elements of this exhibition, and easily able to envisage his work hung in the Museum of Contemporary Art let alone the 2011 Wynne Prize, I was still feeling unsatisfied in my quest for replenishment.
On the one hand, I feel like a dinosaur working in a painterly, intuitive mode, making very human mistakes and taking (often unproductive) risks; whilst on the other, I think this is what "ART" is about. The "human-ness" of the act, the investment of time and energy without knowing or controlling the outcome, and the willingness to find "the other" that cannot come from the logical application of media, the understanding between artist and viewer of the individual viewpoint that results - creativity without explanation or manifesto...
But I'm raving now. Go see it - let me know what you think. Is this the way of the future? Are expressionist painters dinosaurs??

Friday, May 14, 2010

Creative Routine - an Oxymoron???

I have been referred to this site and I thought it actually, really, said "something worth reading", on the need to think "inside the box" -the studio! the ipod! the routine!- not in the "HR-speak" way that seems to be popular around the corporate traps (but which most artists may not have heard of, being in the studio box all day!)

Here's the link:

Essentially, I have found the following to be true for me, so I guess it's something for the dear reader/artist to consider
"Real creativity involves spontaneity and surprise, whether a simple “Aha!” moment or the lightning bolt of inspiration. Paradoxically, the harder you work at routines and systems, the more likely you are to experience that bolt from the blue."
There are other gems in the whole site (not just the article I referred to) like the interviews with creative artist on what works for them at:
So visit it, even if just to give yourself a pat on the back to say "I told you so!"!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


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

Image: Gabrielle Jones, "Dry Bounty" 2010; Oil on Canvas; 122 x 152cm

For those of you who have followed my recent angst (and who care!) I have finally submitted - by default- an image to the Goulburn Regional Gallery - well, two actually.
It's default because circumstances prevailed that I didn't make it into the studio today to make the impossible, possible, so I just sent the best of what I had (as promised). And the two I sent are above. It is the same one that three of my trusted artist-friends and one partner said was the best - so I guess I just have to listen to that.
Guess which one they chose???

Monday, May 3, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder???

Image: Gabrielle Jones, "Bondi" 2010, 1oocm x 100cm, Oil on canvas

Hola! - Apologies for not blogging sooner. Have begun my Spanish lessons, in prep for my residency (still undated!) and am back to learning the guitar after almost slicing my finger off catering for a momentous birthday party in the family. The Spanish is, of course, confusing and stretching my brain further than it seems to want to go at the moment, and the guitar is frustratingly, haltingly, finger callously ear screeching!

Just to add to the current turmoil, I am pushing an image deadline for my exhibition, at the end of the year, at Goulburn Regional Gallery. I have the last show for the year, but need to provide an image for the 6 monthly publication booklet that advertises the program of exhibitions and "Funding stretched" Gallery.
In realty, were there no deadline, I'd be happily following my own path to creative genius (I wish!) as I feel that there is something tying the six different paths I seem to want to trek at the moment. Professionalism requires, perhaps, that I bite the bullet and choose a path for this show - but I am a contrary beast, and not willing to compromise, or put a breakthrough on hold, for the sake of one exhibition. I will provide the best image (due last week!) of work I have to date, but still tread the path that beckons - in the hope that it will all be worth it in the end. The alternative? A mish mash of a show - I'll have to live with that. If you don't get an invitation to the exhibition at the end of the year, you'll know I am keeping quiet for a good reason - its a schmozzle!
Ah, but I will have shown creative integrity, as well as professional suicide! What would you do?


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