Friday, October 29, 2010

On Colour Part Two

Image: Ken Kewley, Hot Chocolate with Apricot, 2000, Oil on Panel, 8 x 10 inches

Second Instalment from Painting Perceptions from an interview with Ken Kewley

Love colors as writers love words. It is the love that comes through when the mind gets out of the way. Don’t think too much. Trust your instincts.

Each color plays their part. Less is more. Each element is made to do more.

To restart dead paintings reshape whole by large actions. Colors (alternating colors) create steps that move around, into, and back out of, paintings. Paint instinctively with joy.

Values are more important than color. Strong Fauve paintings reproduced in black and white retain much of their force. Force sometimes comes by supplying little choice. Black and white can be use to reshape the painting into larger forms. Black and white can be used as extremes. Be aware of the lightest and dark part of a painting.

Matisse said to start with the most intense color then add another and adjust the first if need be and then add another keeping always in mind the overall effect and what you want to be the subject. This should be what you are most interested in and so this should be natural and easily done. You may sometimes find that your interest lies elsewhere. Then go with that. Relax and the right answer will come to you. Relax and the right color will be found. Relax and any discord will show themselves.

Turn up the Volume and Make your day!

Sculpture by the Sea winner

Danish artist Keld Moseholm was announced on 28th October as the recipient of The Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Prize of $60,000, the main prize at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010 and the most generous sculpture prize in NSW

The prize was awarded to Moseholm for his work mirroring 1995 at the launch of the 14th annual Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi in Mark's Park today by Hamish Balnaves, General Manager of The Balnaves Foundation. Moseholm is the second recipient of The Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Prize, after 91-year old artist May Barrie won the inaugural award at last year's Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.

"A worthy winner" said Hamish Balnaves. "It is obvious that the quality in this year's exhibition is very high. We are happy to fund this prize and be part of this great exhibition".

Keld Moseholm was delighted with the win. Still in shock from the news he said "This is a complete surprise to me. I am very honoured, very privileged with the award and very honoured to be part of a public collection in Sydney. Our relationship to Australia is really good and this will build the connection between us even more."

I'll post an image once I find one or after I have seen the works.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Paint & Colour

Image: Ken Kewley ,"Olympia" (after Monet)

Thanks to Undercover Painter who alerted me to this fabulous article from Painting Perceptions (title link) - an interview with an artist previously unknown to me, named Ken Kewley (images above). It's his musings on the process of painting and seems to encapsulate all the things I have been telling my students, and his theories are backed up by his wonderful paintings, which makes him worth listening to.
I have reassembled the article into what I feel is a more logical flow (it was a conversation, not an essay, after all) and broken it into bite size pieces for those of you who don't have the inclination or the time to look at the article as posted on Painting Perceptions blog. I think it also helps to digest his words and to think about how this stuff may apply to you.'s the first instalment

On Colour:

Color is used to create steps to direct the eye around the painting parallel to the vision of the artist.

Each color needs to be chosen in consideration of the whole. Color does not become itself until the whole work is completed. A painting that earlier in its making resembled a poem, as it gets filled in, cluttered with too much color that changes or dilutes what was there, loses its poetry. If a painting isn’t working I find it is not because something is missing but that there is something that is not needed and therefore hurtful.

Put down the one color that excites you the most, then the next, relating it to the first. This is the relationship that excites you the most. Then the third color, relating it always to the whole. You are emphasizing what interest you and minimizing other things by putting them in the service of your true passion and leaving out altogether what distracts. Keep it simple.

Each color plays their part. Less is more. Each element is made to do more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

St George Art Awards-Finally a Finalist!

Image: G Jones, "Enfold" 2010, Oil on Canvas, 122 x 152cm

I am a finalist in the St George Art Awards. The theme for the Exhibition is: "Relationships", to be interpreted however the artist wants (ie to land, to each other etc). Luckily, I already had this piece, entitled "Enfold" which seemed to fit the bill - and the judges thought so too! Other finalists include Simon Collins and Irene Wellm who obviuosly have a better chance of winning than me ! Glad to be in such company.

Bill Viola - will you marry me???

Just spent 5 minutes viewing an interview with Bill Viola broadcast on ABC's "Art Nation". BV is presenting at the Melbourne Art Festival. I love this man, love his videos and I really love his brain (title Link)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Please don't actually use paint!

I went on a gallery dash last week, excited by my release from the necessity of being in my studio by the fact that I may actually have finished my paintings for Goulburn Regional Gallery!!! However, I was so disappointed with what was on offer, I had to ring a friend and have an early evening drink to bemoan the state of painting in Sydney. And I can only just bear revisiting the disappointment by writing about it now, a week later.
Have you noticed how much of the current work being lauded as "the new big thing" actually is boring as batsh*t and shies away from using paint to the point that you'd think there was a world shortage of mediums and pigment?
Excepting the wonderful show by John R Walker at Utopia Art Gallery (actually, now that I think of it, his paint was uncharacteristically thin, too) every show I went to was exhibiting repetitive, -and I mean the same image actually repeated- flat, with poorly considered colour or the same tube colours slightly mixed. In one set of paintings in an exhibition, the entry painting promised a good, painterly show - until rounding a corner and I saw every other painting in the gallery,except for one, was the same image, different scale, of a Chinese mountain with clouds at the peak and light shining through, using Raw Umber, Cerulean, white and perhaps, Van Dyke Brown. And after reading the gallery spiel, I learnt that these paintings "flowed from his Newcastle studio in a short space of time", in anticipation of his trip to China". Do tell!! I can only assume the mountain itself must have been copied, as it appeared to have been, from a Chinese ink painting (since he'd not actually been to China at this stage).
And, sad to say, this was the best of the rest of the offerings I saw on the day, because at least I could admire his brushwork (even if it was the exact same wrist wriggle = rock surface in every painting). One of the worst exhibitions saw every painting of two rocks parted with sky between (think Stanley Chasm) in flat, dirty brown with darker outlines, and sky blue paint. The amount of sky included in the picture varied between paintings. That's it.I kid you not!
Another had the same, large photographic image (itself quite beautiful) repeated three times and displayed together, with the (unknown) photographer's marker notes in the margins regarding how she would change it. Clever!
So...have you noticed this trend towards boredom? Is it the new post-post modernist intellectual stand - a comment on lack of real choice in our consumer society?? A test on our level of discernment and detail mindedness?? A sad example of Art today??Or am I just being an old modernist...
What do you think??


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