Saturday, January 30, 2010

This Should be It

I'd only intended to finish 'The Conversation' and tidy up the ballon and the lakes on these previously 'finished' pieces, and then start playing with ideas for the Alice Prize Exhibition work (due Mid March), but things don't tend to go according to plan . . .

I kept eyeing the boards in the corner yesterday when doing the final touches to the portraits, and then today, instead of doing all the administrative things I need to get done by tomorrow for the exhibition, I had an urge to do 'just a couple more'.  I'd been extolling the wonders of painting on small boards to a friend who has a show in a few months as a great way of going fast and furious and reminded myself of how liberating they are. 

Now I just need to find a way of varnishing them that doesn't seem to take for ever to dry.  (I've even taken off a couple of layers of Damar Varnish on a couple of the stickier boards that simply didnt seem to be hardening up . . . which puts me in mind of the Bowie song with the line about a 'crib on which the paint wont dry'.)  Ok. Here they are and now it's back to putting together the price list and writing the artists' statement (you'd think as an English teacher this would be easy . . .)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Last Dash

That's it really now, as I'm back to school tomorrow and also learning to do the two job juggle (exciting but a bit of learning to do I think).  Been quite productive the last couple of days, finishing some pieces as well a doing all the housekeeping stuff like varnishing, naming, pricing, putting the schedule together for the catalogue.  Portraits still take me longer that other stuff, but I've enjoyed the change of pace the last few days. Finished this one:
Finshed this one:

Fixed the clouds in this one:
Did a last blast landscape on boards:

And finished the faces on this one, which means I should be able to get the feet and background completed next weekend (a bit of a bonus really)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And Again

Portrait week this week . . . some finished, some in progress.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More Portraits

Did some seriously satisfying finishing today:  Frames II (Curtains) which didn't need much doing but could have so easily become overworked, Tree Climber which I knew needed something else, but I wasnt sure what, and (although it still needs a last little bit tomorrow) the portrait of Hugh in the tree, which was hard to get right.  Spent most of this afternoon and early evening on this one, and it (and I) went through some awful moments, but it's almost resolved.  Good good.

Ah yes, the still life on boards . . . tried it yesterday, didn't work . . . did a dog (completed) and a ferris wheel (started) instead.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Portrait Time

Two of these I began last year, and one (red balloon girl) that's been knocking around the studio for what seems like ever. It seems to take me longer to paint on canvas than on board, and of course bigger pics take more time to cover (duh) so I've been pretty pleased to have completed two of these and nearly done the other.  Think I'm starting to see some wall space upstairs now.  Though I missed doing the boards today, I've set up a couple of still life ideas for tomorrow that I can have a play with on my little flat friends.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some Melbourne pics

Never did get around to sketching in Fed Square, but did spend some time at the beach at St Kilda.  I particularly enjoyed playing with two very different ways of putting on paint in these two.  The two ladies are very impasto-ish, big globs of white in the morning sunlight against the darks.  The beach scene is thinned almost to watercolour consistency and then wiped off to get the whites.  It was really hot and I wanted the narrow tonal range to get that sense of the afternoon heat.

This next one is from Hermansberg (about an hour west of Alice), one I've been meaning to paint for a while.  The solar array catching the last of the evening's light.  Not too sure about the sunset in this one.  Wonder if it's just a bit too brash.  But then I always am a bit iffy when it comes to sunsets.  Clouds, yes, orange light and clouds . . . um.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Had a very productive couple of days after returning from Melbourne's heat: 6 small ones on tuesday, including a couple of 'people framed in windows' ones that I've been wanting to try for a while.  More of these to come I hope.  Yesterday I finally got to a point I'm happy with on the portrait commission and am finishing the red balloon one that I've had hanging around for ages (Louise Hearman was showing at the Ian Potter Gallery on Fed Square and her 'scary child against black ground' pics inspired me to have another go at this . . . not exactly sure what I'm going to do with the right had side of the balloon and the hands at this stage; might loosen it up a bit more and blend it into the background.  Fun to play with though now I've finished the face).  Amazing the benefits of this exhibition lark.  New things, finishing things, the works.  Really exhilirating.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Few More Before Melbourne

Though I'm hoping to get some people drawings done on Southbank or around Federation Square . . .

Some of these are finished, some not, some think they are but may be returned to.  The first one below, Ormiston, is an example of this; it has had various layers over the last 18 months.  This last incarnation is because the Studio 12 changeover is happening next Saturday and I hadn't anything new really that wasn't due for the exhibition.  So this, while not new, had not been exhibited before (mainly because I wasn't completely happy with the tonal range, which just seemed to lack something).  So I got some white and orange out yesterday and had a bit of a go. Needless to say it was an interesting journey in with it today, as white, especially if its put on a bit thickly, takes the longest of all colours to dry . . . and it looked like rain too, so I had to wrap it in a tarp (at 90 by 120cm its a bit big for behind the seats) before putting it in the tray.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hit the Ground Running . . .

 . . . or whatever the painterly version is.  As well as glueing and gessoing what seems like an endless stream of boards I've done some finishing and some starting of paintings as well as quite a bit of drawing (tho I'm not sure anything I'd like to frame yet, although that could be more to do with getting my head around exhibiting drawings).  So here's what's happening in the last three days since my return from Blighty.