Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Landscape Drawing and painting Weekend - Blackheath

I just wanted to let you know about a wonderful workshop I'll be conducting in the beautiful Blue Mountains. It'll be a weekend of painting, drawing, site seeing and art talk in and around my new home of Blackheath and the World Heritage Blue Mountains Area. Numbers are strictly limited to ten participants - non-participant partners are welcome.Gift Certificates available - Apply now! See for more details

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New work from the Studio Number Four

Image: Gabrielle Jones, Waft (Blackheath), 122 x 152cm oil on Canvas
This is the first really faithful painting I have made from my drawings. I enjoyed playing with all the edges. I found that there was a first pass through in which position and technical stuff had to be sorted - and it was- but the painting was "dead" in my eyes. So eventually I had to leave all that behind and really just get in and paint, lose the thing, and then bring it back. Much like any other painting, and my abstract work in particular!
Funnily enough, I started this with spray enamel and a roughness, but ended up with a smoother, ethereal and sensitive look, as dictated by the subject matter.
What do you think?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Studio Work Part 3

Image: Gabrielle Jones, Evening (Lumen Series), Charcoal, pastel and shellac on paper, 70 x 100cm
Number three in the larger "lumen" series in which I explore landscape and the effect of light  at different times of the day. I think that working in this series has made me understand what I am trying to produce in my paintings - a sensitivity (not always achieved!); a nod to the beauty of nature; a sense of "air" or ethereality; a discovery of surface pattern and the effects of light on this.
Do you work in series? What do you gain from it?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vale Steve Jobs - a parallel to art

I don't want to get on the band wagon regarding the death of this visionary man whose inventions literally changed my life (along with squillions of others. -I have been a Mac user since the early to mid 80's when they first came to Australia, as a member of the design industry). But I came across this quote in an article by Bianca Bosker in the Huffington Post, interviewing Jay Elliot who was a friend and worked with the young Steve Jobs.
"Steve challenged every part of me. I loved being challenged and I loved being exposed to that level of quality and accomplishment. It was a gift to be working with someone who had those smarts and vision. I was excited to go to work every day. Steve forces you to figure out who you are and who you are going to be."
I always wanted to work with a boss like him. I guess, in the end, that's why I chose "Art" (substitute for "Steve")

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Studio work Number Two

Image: Gabrielle Jones, Aperture (Lumen Series), Charcoal on paper, 70 x 100cm

The second new work in a series I have been working on since November last year. Getting the Tone down pat! Feedback welcome.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New work from the studio -Part 1

Image: Gabrielle Jones, Dapple (Lumen Series), Charcoal and Shellac on paper 70 x 100cm

I've decided to add new work as it is made and - hopefully - finished. I know a good editing process is all important for an artist, but I have been living with these for a few weeks now and they have survived the bin, the overdraw, and the touch up! I think they're cooked!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gallery discovery of the week

Ok - I have officially been living under a rock. It's no excuse that I lived in another major city in a rather large island for all of my life - I should have discovered this rather excellent Melbourne gallery before now.  So I'm sharing it here with my fellow rock dwellers and my overseas friends.
An exceptional (and well curated) collection of artists from Australia that should have wider renown.

Image: William McKinnon (details unknown - see website)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Try Try Again! How do judges decide?

Didn't make it into the Paddington Art Prize. :((
But as these things often happen, I received a newsletter (Blackheath Art Society Aug-Oct 2011) in the mail in which Anthony Bond, Director of Curatorial Services at the Art Gallery of NEw South Wales, was interviewed by Christine Townend regarding his choices in Art Prizes (among other things). He states that for him, "it is important to consider the context". In other words, if judging in an area where the "prevailing themes are landscape or configuration, you need to take that into account (and) encourage the best possible practice in that area, rather than automatically giving the prize to the most adventurous.....What interests me is the degree of honesty and observation that an artist brings to the work."
He later goes on to say that " in every case, I'm looking for an honesty, a directness and keenness of observation. Often the works that seek to be more contemporary end up being over technical or just plain flashy: they simply don't ring true".
Well, I don't consider mine flashy or technical, but then again, Tony Bond wasn't the judge. Perhaps he ought to have been!
Image: Gabrielle Jones, "Tree Movement (Blackheath)" 122 x 122cm Oil on Canvas. Perhaps  should have entered this one?

So...what do you think makes a worthy prize winner? What considerations would you take into account if you were the judge? How do you pick up and go on after "Art  Prize Failure"?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hopeful New painting

Image: Gabrielle Jones, "Rustle (Blackheath)" Oil on Canvas, 122 x 152cm

Here's the new painting I hope will beat the hex I seem to have upon me when it comes to Art prizes. I have entered it into the $20k Paddington Art Prize. Fingers triple crossed!

Monday, September 5, 2011

One Perfect day

 Rock Formations -the steep sides of the Grose Valley, Blue Mountains, Sydney

 The "Pulpit" as seen from above

Pulpit Rock extends into the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, above one of the three main valleys, the Grose Valley

 Descending the stairs that overhang the pulpit - a sense of scale

 The walk took the track along the horseshoe escarpment of the Grose Valley for about 90 minutes,, with continuous views and lookouts from this high standpoint 

Cloud Shadow over the Valley

 The Braeside walk is beside a meandering brook - lasting another 90 minutes after the Govett's Leap lookout.

Streetscape and sunshine, Blackheath

The view from our side yard, across to the house

Awaiting the bursting blooms of our dogwood tree, as seen from the bedroom window. So nice to wake up to!

Spring announced itself with a magic day,  in my new home in the World heritage listed Blue Mountains, 1.5 hours north west of Sydney. The weather was sunny and crisp, perfect for a long bush walk, so we took up the invitation and walked from Pulpit Rock to Govett's Leap, and on through the Braeside walk back to our home  - 3 hours of one of the most beautiful bush walks I've ever been on. Although commuting to teach is wearing me down, it's times like this that I am so glad I made the change to live amongst the birds and trees that adorn the artists enclave up here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I was Interviewed by Method Press Magazine

Image: "Gabrielle Jones, Creative Space", Galia Alena, Method Press,  Issue 2

I just saw the digital version of Method Press Magazine Issue 2 ("Creative Space/Gabrielle Jones" page 25). There's a few double-page spreads of an interview with me and photos taken in my studio whilst painting. See it at: One page doesn't load, but you get the idea. Pretty happy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Creativity and Abstraction workshop, Sydney

Image: Gabrielle Jones, "Hillside, Whitegums" Oil on Canvas, 101 x 101cm 2011

I am conducting a Creativity and Abstraction Workshop on September 24th at Sydney's Balmain (easy, free parking) from 10am to 4pm. Using observation of real objects, I'll walk you through a number of exercises, thinking methods, tools and imagination games to develop your ability to make interesting abstract work, move your realistic paintings away from the predictable, or improve composition and subject ideas. Tuition is structured to ensure fast learning and early success and stimulate creativity and generate ideas for on-going work.  Suitable for those wishing to break out of their current painting rut, move from realism to abstraction, or who simply wish to explore abstraction and their creativity.
I held one a few weeks ago and the participants left with heaps of ideas for their work and the confidence to execute it when alone in their studios.

The cost will be $125 for the day. Morning and afternoon tea will be provided.
Further details (materials list, payment details etc) will sent upon inquiry. Contact me if interested:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Artist's Statement reviewed

Just uploaded one of the funniest spoofs on an artist's statement I have seen (see videos left). Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Discovery of the week - Rafael Karcz

Albert Wang, art curator, IAO PROJECTS, Salt Lake City, USA states that rafael, a Polish artist, "focuses both the artist's and viewers' attention on various iterations of human faces, one of the traditional genres of art history. Frequently de-populated and executed with the artist's characteristic somber palette of rather monochromatic colors, Karcz's faces create an evocative atmosphere that is simultaneously disquieting, banal, and even, on occasions, gloomy or sinister. His fleeting glimpses of these motives are often ambiguous - both artist and viewer participate in the viewing of the scene and yet are somehow also clearly excluded from belonging in them..."

I think that, although showing the strong influence of the work of Marlene Dumas, these works cannot be ignored, especially for the apparent darkness in their soul. The contrast between the "touch" of water colour thin paint, applied to such violent, political scenes in dark colours is conceptually masterful, whilst the blur and misplacement of facial features - a recipe for disaster in lesser hands - is handled with great skill. But, you know what, I just love them. They move me, and that doesn't happen often. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Taking time to walk

I just moved to Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains 1.5 hours North West of Sydney. Took the time out from teaching, moving, commuting and painting to take a walk in the memorial park, where I discovered a wonderful avenue of Rhododendrons. It soothed my soul and gave me energy for the rest of the day (another commute and a new class to teach). Here's the photos from my iPhone. Not bad for a winter's day, hey?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Artist discovery of the...well, a long time. Adrian Ghenie

Just had this artist pointed out to me - and I must say, I think I've been living under a rock. Romanian artist, Adrian Ghenie must be one of the Ghenie-uses of our time! Man, can this guy paint!
His works all speak of his wonderful touch, although their subjects change, and they are all imbued with a dark strangeness and almost erotic sense of story and paint. What is going on? and while you're musing on this.. How does he do it? At times lush and flowing with paint and shoulder movement, at others spare and elemental - and often, all in the one painting. A wonderful treat for the eyes.
Modern says "Richly and often hermetically allusive, Ghenie's work attempts to investigate memory and the unconscious against a backdrop of 20th-century European history.Frequently attaining a cinematic, film noir-esque quality, Ghenie's highly structured, dramatically lit tableaux justifiably make him one of the major art stars of the moment".


Sunday, July 24, 2011

New art Classes Thursday Evening, Friday daytime

Image: gabrielle Jones, "120kph Yass", Oil on Canvas, 122 x 182 cm

Students in the new space at Balmain

Students busy in the vibrant day classes, Balmain

I've started the Friday day classes at St John's Church, Balmain (corner Spring St and Birchgrove Roads). The parking is really easy, the space is large and light-filled, there are wall heaters, a new kitchen and toilets, lots of tables and chairs, and great students! The class has been going well, and the feedback from students is that it's a wonderful space. I can now easily accommodate some more students. Time is 10-2:30pm . Come join us! Cost is $75/class for 6 class bookings.
I've also mooted a Thursday night class, to accommodate some full time workers who want to join my classes, so let me know if that suits. Time is 6:30-9pm at the same venue, cost is $50/class for a term booking (6 classes $300). Classes commence on August 4th.
If you are interested, see and follow the workshops link for more information, or you can comment on this blog or email me through the contacts page on the website, and I'll get back to you ASAP.

What my students say:
Gabrielle is able to clearly understand the
preferences and strengths of every pupil. She
is therefore able to help them maximise their
potential through individual attention within her
friendly and supportive group classes. She gives
both practical instruction in colour appreciation,
composition, etc… and thoughtful ideas to
stimulate creativity. She also provides honest
and constructive feedback to her pupils. Above
all, Gabrielle exhibits a passion and enthusiasm
for her subject that is transmitted to everybody
around her.
Susan, Avalon
Thank you Gabrielle for all your fabulous
workshops, I look forward to learning more under
your generous guidance. Gabrielle’s workshops
are always full of both inspiration and knowledge
as well as constructive critique and direction for
your own work.
Galia, Ryde
I have been to a number of Gabrielle’s private art
classes and I hope to go to many more. I originally
came to learn about painting with acrylics but
I have learnt so much more. Gabrielle has an
immense amount of knowledge about art in
her head and can hardly wait to impart as much
of it as possible to you (in a good way!). I have
just learnt so much, ranging from landscape to
abstract to still life and everything in between.
I have also learnt about the importance of tone,
mixing from a limited palette, warm and cool
colours and how they can change depending on
their relationship to each other and that’s just for
starters! Gabrielle is also very generous with her
knowledge and always encouraging which is so
important to any artist.
Carolyn, Annandale

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Handing in my homework incredibly late!

Last Night In Fronteira de la Vejer - the walled city
Clouds at Sunset - Ronda
The Precarously poised bridge at Ronda

Even here, student protests are growing. In Spain 41% of 18-30year olds are unemployed

Buildings in Ronda - as viewed from Juan Bosco

Gratzelema - another of the white Pueblos

View from the Cathedral Piazza at Arcos

The beach near Trafalgar Point

Sunrise from our bedroom at Vejer de la Frontiera
And looking out the window.....

The town at night - Vejer de la Frontiera

Plaza de Espana, Vejer de la Frontiera

From the rooftop - looking at the other side of Vejer de la Frontiera. It runs across two ridges of the mountain.

OOPs! There was a perfectly reasonable explanation....

I've been back from my trip for almost three weeks - I've moved into a unit, started back teaching, found a house in the mountains to move to permanently, ramped up marketing for Bali Art Retreats and my private art classes, started said art classes in a new hall, am hanging a new exhibition on Tuesday....and not finished my blog about my trip. So here goes for the next leg (apologies for the delay).
We left Seville to drive to the far south coast of Spain and took a route via Puerta Santa Maria, a small coastal town. We stopped for lunch (very ordinary) after hiring a car which turned out to be upgraded to a brand new Volvo. First time on the "wrong" side of the road, with a big car and reduced visibility of where the car's extremities started and stopped, resulting in a five hour wait after lunch for the tow truck to remove us from the low "balls" that unpredictably marked the edge of the wrong way to the exit... 'nuff said (partner driving!)
The day was saved by arrival at the beautiful town of Vejer de la Frontier, a "white pueblo" perched on top of a mountain with the most beautiful view to the horizon. Sunset was spectacular, and sun -rise from our bedroom window, even better. Our room was an ice-blue with a deep red trim which altered my taste for white walls forever...and we ate the best Moroccan food on my tour to date at Caliph's, where it fused with Lebanese and African to delight the palate. The best white wine of the trip to date was also discovered earlier, at a bar in the Plaza de Espana which had groovy lights standing next to every outdoor table, so we could watch the parade of locals go about their business in outstanding comfort. The walk around the Jewish quarter and back to the other side takes about 10 minutes from view to view...a wonderful discovery of a town which we want to return to some day -one we wished we had more time to explore.
After breakfast in the hostal and greeting all the German tourists - a really cultured lot - we drove south to the beaches of Trafalgar point (where he defeated the French and Spanish Armadas) on Costa de Luz, travelling through an ex hippy town, and on to Arcos. We walked the steep hill to the Cathedral Square to take in the view, and had lunch at the Parrador with the most wonderful view across Andalucia from a full length and width picture window.
We hit the road again and got lost with our small and detail -less maps, but saw Gratzelema - another pretty white Pueblo in an unbelievably precarious position - and found our way to our destination at Ronda. We stayed in a seriously old house in Riad (Moroccan) style with a pretty garden overlooking the Rio (River)... and had drinks at sunset in Hotel Juan Bosco. The skies were truly magnificent, the valleys with olives, the bridge at Rondo hilariously perched.....
We then took Lonely Planet's suggestion and went out of our way to find the Bar San Francisco (named after the plaza it's in, not the city) and realised that LP is not a reliable judge of food, let alone tapas. Oh well - we ate well last night...


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