Happy Days at the Royal Canberra Show

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Thrilled to win first place for miniatures at the Royal Canberra Show this year.

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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.