Friday, 9 June 2017

tie dye samples

my fun loving students did these textile samples using Rit dye RED, and Procion dyes in Turquoise, dark blue and yellow.

beginning to refine the painted image

making progress.... this is the bogged down point....must refine the underpainting now

fresh canvas

I couldn't wait to work this canvas inspired by the perspective of the image of a road through regional new South Wales.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Art Coaching my way

Some have discussed the progress of their kids’ artworks with me. We have addressed the issue of how close to reality their images can get and I have said that the aim of their art should not be limited to them being able to reproduce what they and we see. Deciding that we like art is often about our willingness to be free from expecting everything to look familiar. (If that were a rule there would be no singing, buildings or fireworks.)
 I do not believe that art is only about recreating what the eye can see. We call that Realism and it is the basis of many beautiful artworks. But it is a learned skill with many visual tricks and devices to satisfy a goal and entertain the viewer. It requires a lot of practice and takes years to perfect. Drawing is the foundation of all art. For realistic works, an artist must train their mind to use drawing skills to create the illusion of reality where it is not. The realistic qualities of a work are on a spectrum from that which mimics the actual subject to that which only hints at some characteristic of it. It can be as simple as shape and colour e.g. a red circle means a bowl of strawberries. I attend to my students’ drawing skills with devotion and teach them the tricks required to make things look as they do, but I will not judge them against it being just another way to use materials.

I do believe that art is to show what the artist has discovered about the world or themselves. Sometimes that is about what things look like, what they feel like or how they stimulate the imagination. Then using the elements of point, line, shape, tone, colour, form and texture an artwork is born. Skills such as colour competency, an understanding of materials like plaster, paper-mache, watercolour, pastel, charcoal, printing inks and modelling materials are what is appropriate for the middle school aged art students.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Down by the Murrumbidgee River ....

A true 'artist date' with yourself.
By the Murrumbidgee today near Narrandera, these lovely works are waiting for the crowds to come.
The river provides a sense of the scale and
grace of these works.

The light was filtered through the clouds but there was a strong shadowing that lent intensity and drama to the setting.

What's not to love here? My congratulations and thanks to everyone involved.

Do yourself a favour people, and look this up.
Promise yourself to spend more time viewing such events.

A wonderful art event

This morning I drove the half hour to Narrandera Common to experience the delightful site specific works that were produced for On Common Ground. The link  CADFACTORY.COM.AU will give you more information.
A sparkling spring morning and the unobtrusive river could only enhance the positive effect of time spent with these people and their work.
An informative guided tour and introductions by my friend of many years, conceptual (and other creative disciplines) artist Natalie, enabled me to indulge my passion for talking about the dyes, textiles and patterns on display.
Several weeks ago, Natalie had invited me to observe the work of a group of women at Narrandera Railway Station who were dying, stitching and assembling a range of materials for the exhibition.

Monday, 31 August 2015

'Rabbits' by John Marsden and Shaun Tan. A clever visual text about rabbits as an introduced species. It brings up the question of what dominating that which is uncomplicated and innocent can lead to. I am today thinking of this in relation to powerplay and energy ping-pong games.
My question is; who is the predator and who is the victim in the classroom?