Monday, August 31, 2009

Art Supplies

My father used to spend hours in hardware stores and I have inherited this tendency except that like all artists I love to browse in art supply shops. Nothing is better than having some new materials to play with.
In the States I love to visit Dick Blick and Pearl Paints, in Sydney, Oxford Art Supplies and there are several dens of temptation in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
Since moving to the country I have been a bit apprehensive about how I will source supplies. I can tell you that Dick Blick DOES ship to Australia and Melbourne Etching Supplies send parcels very efficiently and now I can recommend a new supplier. Art Materials Online is a Mornington Peninsula art supply company providing a fast and efficient mail order service and they stock my favourite Matisse Flow Acrylics. Check out their website.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jacinta Howard

Jacinta Howard. when Beatrix discovers her love for Peter is unrequited. 2008. Oil on Paper.1500mm x 1050mm.

This is the first of a series of occasional posts about artists who are friends and, whose work I admire.

Jacinta Howard is a visual artist living and working in South East Queensland, Australia.

I met Jacinta when I was attending Dr Irene Amos’s inspirational workshops in 2003 and I have exhibited with her at Art Sydney and recently at Doggett Street Studios in Brisbane.

Jacinta has been exhibiting regularly since 1998 and has been awarded prizes for painting, watercolour and works on paper.

Jacinta is a wonderful painter. She produces beautiful large-scale works with glowing colour and a luminescence that belies the darker side of some of her subject matter. For me her paintings are windows to her spirit as well as documentations of the trials and joys of her life.

Louise Martin-Chew described Jacinta’s work.

“Jacinta Howard’s paintings unfold like an operatic tableau. Within them is a variously pathos-filled, organically developed and personal journey. This may relate to a mood, a moment, or the inexplicable and wonderful acts she draws from in the natural world. Luscious painting in oil explores the sensuality and fecundity of life, from the figure to surreal-influenced seascapes.”

Blog Envy

Lesson 5 of my Blog Triage course deals with blog envy and how to use it to your advantage. We were asked to choose a blog we love and to analyze it to see what it is that we like and to make a plan to use the features in our own blog.

Here's the list of the things I love about her blog -

1. The look of the blog.
2.We like similar artists and share a common aesthetic.
3. The way she includes political events and opinion in the right hand column of her blog. I like to know what she thinks.
4. She reports on exhibitions I can't visit and introduces me to new artists.
5. Her use of language when describing art.
6. She mentions so many other artists.
7. The sharing of so much information must bring visitors to her site.
8. She constantly reports on what she is doing.
9. She uses the voice of artist reporter not art critic.
10. She manages to show visitors what she sees.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Gamble of Exhibiting.

100 Bluebells is That Enough, 2009, Acrylic and Pigmented Ink on Watercolour Paper. 76cm x 56.5cm.

Going back to Brisbane to show my work last week, so soon after leaving, turned out to be a really positive experience.

I would really encourage any other artists to get together and share the expenses of a group show at an Artist Run Gallery.

Sales have not been fabulous and I haven’t covered my expenses but there were so many positive outcomes from the experience.

The group show in a familiar space was non-threatening and encouraged me to experiment with the way I showed my new work.

I really enjoy showing again with Lyndal Hargrave and Jacinta Howard because they are both fantastic artists and we have heaps of fun together.

Lots of other artists and friends came to the show and it was great to get their feedback about the new work.

The exhibition gave me the opportunity to consolidate the experience of my residency at Ragdale.

Images of my work are finally on my website and the exhibition at Doggett Street Studios, 85 Doggett Street, Newstead, Brisbane 4006, continues until 5 September.

I have rewritten this post which previously appeared on 18 August as an exercise for the Blogging Workshop I am currently doing. After I reread the original post I thought that my voice was too distant as I had written for old friends, the members of BAD Co-op, the artists group I was a member of when I lived in Brisbane.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Egg Saga or You can take a Girl out of the City.....

You are probably wondering how this little brown egg became newsworthy enough to appear on my blog.
Since moving from the city several weeks ago we have dreamt about having chooks (chickens for those of you in the US).
Last weekend we went to the Goulburn Poultry Fanciers Spring Show to research chook breeds as we decided that we had to have beautiful hens. We came to the conclusion that Wellsomers were beautiful enough and swapped numbers with one of the champion breeders there.
On Friday morning Jenny, the Wellsomer breeder, rang to say she had two pullets available for collection on Saturday. In a totally irrational moment I agreed to pick them up at 10 am the following morning.
Now there was a little problem as we didn't have a chook house. What followed was a frantic search for suitable accommodation. I remembered that on our walk we had noticed that our neighbours, Pat and Peter, had an aviary. When Faye arrived home she went to see if we could use it. Pat said we were welcome to use the enclosure which was not an aviary but a structure Peter had built to keep birds off the fig tree. Oops!
We asked if they knew any handymen and Peter, who has his finger on the pulse of activities in the local community, decided the only way to find one was to call the village pub aka the local labour exchange. The call went through to the bar at peak hour, 5 pm Friday, and they put on Martin, a local landscaper, who is now in the back yard building a deluxe chook house.
The two hens, Sapphire and Emerald, are currently living in the garage at night and going to day care in the fig tree enclosure. So far they have produced one beautiful egg which hasn't been cooked because I like my eggs runny and Faye likes them well cooked.
Things move quickly in the country.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Towards a Better Blog

After blogging for about two years I have decided to do a Blog Triage Course with Cynthia Morris and Alyson Stanfield in the hope that I can inject some freshness and excitement into my blog.
Today is the first day of the course and my assignment is to describe the people I would like to visit my blog and what I hope to get from blogging.
I started writing this in sentence form but it seemed to be getting out of hand (rambly and boring ....everything I don't want my blog to be) so here are the lists:

People I would like to visit my blog.

Other Artists not only visual but from other disciplines.
Museum and Gallery Directors
Arts Writers
Those interested in Contemporary Art
Those who share my love of gardening, and life in general.
All age groups.
All nationalities, races, religions.
I would really like comments and the chance for dialogue with others in the blogosphere.

What I hope to achieve with my blog.

A record of my day to day arts practice and the joys of life.
A platform for my work which might lead to other opportunities for collaborating with other artists, exhibiting and marketing my work.
Links, dialogue and friendships with other artists.
Becoming part of an international community.
Maintaing links already established and informing those interested of what's happening in my life.
Entertaining and amusing visitors, sharing my amusement and observations.
A minimum of navel gazing.
I would like to express my opinions more freely. Going into print is often terrifying.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Joys of Exhibiting

Last week I travelled back to Brisbane, seven weeks after leaving, to exhibit my work in a group show with Lyndal Hargrave and Jacinta Howard.
Madness you might think, especially as I have yet to cover my expenses, but it was a really great experience.
Firstly, I just love showing with Lyndal and Jacinta who are not only very good artists but are also great to hang out with.
The exhibition gave me the opportunity to look objectively at the new work I had produced while at Ragdale and since I have moved to New South Wales. I also got some feedback from peers whose opinions I value.
I will soon post images of the new work on my website but in the meantime here are some hanging shots of our work.
The exhibition at Doggett Street Studios, 85 Doggett St Brisbane 4005 continues until 5 September

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Exhibitions, Bower Birds and Country Life

It's been a full and lovely day. I spent a lot of time sending out email invitations to my upcoming exhibition, gardening and making strawberry jam. And here are two images of the bower bird nests in the garden. I took a blue milk bottle top (not the ring) into the garden for them and it was gone before I could turn around to walk back. I am now on the look out for more blue items.