Progression

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‘Osprey Island’ mixed media coloured pencil painting. 71cm square

Sometimes I come to the end of the process and I wonder how on earth I got here. It is a little like the pictures themselves. Long long walks up hills, down valleys and jumping on flat stones to cross streams. A variety of music playing in my head. Stories of happiness and tragedy in the news and hearing about peoples lives on the radio. Thoughts about my life and of those I love. Then, I look up and there before me, is the destination. But when to stop and enjoy the view. I have to decide when to sit down and do no more.

I’ll turn this one around so I can’t see it for a week before deciding whether the journey is complete.

A few weeks on: I entered this piece in this year’s Hunters Hill Art Exhibition and Prize and it was chosen as a finalist to hang in this year’s exhibition. How happy am I 😀👏🏻💃. For details about this exhibition please go to the news section of this blog.

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Adventures in pen and ink

All of a sudden I needed to work on a larger scale. To do this using the techniques I use in coloured pencil would be difficult,  probably wouldn’t result in a nice smooth finish and be very very time consuming. I was creatively stuck and I was worried. Maybe that’s it. Maybe my creative mojo had gone away – maybe forever.

Then I started drawing with lead pencils of various hardness and lead thicknesses. It was fabulous. So then I went to my ink pens and found my creative mojo along with a whole bag of fantastical ideas had returned from its holiday somewhere in the great world of trees, islands in the bay and magical worlds.

Not an everyday Monday in July

There I was driving my son to pick up his car which had been serviced when, dring dring – the phone rang.

The voice on the other end said that it was the S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney. Now this is a pretty unusual call to get on a Monday afternoon. I knew immediately what it meant – and it was a bit hard to keep the car steady on the road. It was a – mixture of shock, amazed excitment, blinking back tears while trying to be professional moment.

The selection panel for the 2016 Salon des Refusés would like to include your work “Fragile”entered in the Wynne Prize (the landscape section which runs in conjunction with the Archibald Prize for portraiture) in the exhibition at the S.H. Ervin Gallery. Following the Sydney exhibition, works in the Salon des Refusés will travel to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in Victoria.

Fragile 3 (2)

‘Fragile’ 45cm square mixed media coloured pencil, watercolour and ink.

You may ask – But what is the Salon Des Refuses? Here is the explanation from the S.H. Ervin Gallery Website:  http://www.shervingallery.com.au/whats-on/calendar/item/133-salon-2015

“Each year the Salon panel goes behind the scenes of the judging process, to select an ‘alternative’ exhibition from the many works not chosen as finalists for the official exhibition.  The criteria for works selected are quality, diversity, humour and experimentation.  This year’s selectors include Catherine Benz, curator, Delmar Gallery, Kon Gouriotis OAM, curator & editor, Art Profile & Jane Watters, S.H. Ervin Gallery Director.  

Our panel viewed the unselected entries from the 830 Archibald Prize and 710 Wynne Prize entered at the Art Gallery of New South Wales to select the 64 works for this alternative exhibition. 

The Salon des Refusés exhibition at the S.H. Ervin Gallery has established an excellent reputation that rivals the selections of the ‘official’ exhibition with works which examine contemporary art practices, different approaches to portraiture and responses to the landscape.

In 2016, 40 works were selected for the ‘alternative’ Archibald Prize & 24 from the Wynne Prize.

The Salon des Refusés follows the tradition made famous by Napoleon lll in Paris. He insisted that the huge number of works which had been rejected by the Academy for that year’s Salon, be displayed for the public to view and judge.  The very first Salon des Refusés included works by Manet and Pissarro. 

Visitors to the annual Salon des Refusés exhibition can vote for their favourite artwork in the Holding Redlich People’s Choice Award, the winner of this much anticipated award will be announced on 15 September 2016. ”             

So – I am delighted, incredibly excited and humbled to be one of the 24 Wynne works to be exhibited. And can’t help jumping up alla Toyota style and crying out – Yippe Yahouzzie.

 

From this to that – again.

Fragile 3 (2)

June 2016 seems to have rolled around very quickly. It feels like only last month that I was busy working on a large piece to enter into the 2015 Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW (see several posts ago). But here we are.

I usually work on a very small scale – in fact I love to work on a very small scale. So it is a huge challenge to scale up into large. Mind you, the winner of the 2015 Wynne was a beautiful miniature work by Natasha Bieniek titled ‘Biophilia’. For this exhibition there is only a limit on how large you can work – not how small.

2015 Wynne Prize

I give myself a challenge to work larger and not too far into it I start ranting and raving inside my head about how stupid I am doing this. Some mornings, it is with heavy feet that I walk up to the studio to begin another day’s work on my challenge. I have to force myself to work through the trials and feelings which can be very overwhelming and tiring. But the joy of coming out the other side makes the process, the hours and hours of patient scribbling and layering all worthwhile. I, like many others before me when their work is finished, sit back and think how on earth did that happen. I’m not sure that I could tell you what happened and if I could do it the same again. The process happens and you just have to work hard in the zone and let it wash over you. The minutes and hours roll on and sometimes I look up at the clock and see that several hours have floated by. The creative process is pretty incredible and almost magical.

Here is the documentation of the process behind my 2016 entry to the Wynne Prize. ‘Fragile’ – a comment on our beautiful world and how it needs to be cared for each and every day.

This work was created using Arches, smooth watercolour board, coloured pencils from Derwent, Faber-Castell and Prisma (I use them all as they each have their own special characteristics), watercolour/gouche and pigment ink. It is 45cm square.

Greeting Cards

Greeting Card Display

For some time now I have been procrastinating about making greeting cards from the mixed media pieces I have been creating. Many people have asked me if I could – and I have hummed and harred. From past experience the photgraphing – and then the printing (which has it’s own big bag of challenges), was a huge hurdle for me. I am very patient creating my trees and skies- but photography, well that’s a different story. I have no patience with it and I just want to point and shoot. A bit like computers, I just want to turn it on and get going.

I fiddled around with scanning the work. Then photographing it in various light situations and using different settings in my camera. Then recently, I started using the camera in my phone. The trouble seemed to be that all the layers of my scribbles didn’t translate very well to pixels etc. But guess what – the phone won out. Who would have guessed!

So with images sorted, printing settings experimented with, I am ready to release my greeting card range. There will images added to the range every month. Pop over to the shop page for more details.

 

A Visit to Shirley

I just love Australia’s Open Garden Scheme. When we lived in Sydney our cottage garden “Allways” was part of the scheme. When ever I visit another garden I remember just how much hard work and passion has gone into creating a week-end visit which visitors will enjoy. It is wonderful to meet the visitors and to see your garden full of enthusiastic gardeners lovers.

So on Saturday we got up early and travelled to Nimmitabel which is about one and half hours away from us, to visit “Shirley”. This house and garden is approximately 80 years old – so you know that there will be some beautiful large trees which will frame the garden space. I knew it would be a special garden. It has been in the same family for all those years. In 2006 the present owners, John and Sally-Ann Cottle approached garden designer Paul Bangay, http://www.paulbangay.com to help renovate the garden and to give them a master plan to gradually work through. The garden is expansive, very peaceful and incredibly beautiful and we came away with ideas for our garden here at “Wren’s Nest”. It was a lovely morning.

Here are some pictures of our visit.

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You can go and stay at “Shirley” in the original overseers cottage. http://www.shirleygardenretreat.com.au