Monday, December 28, 2009

Hole

Worm Hole

I finally got my drawing desk into some sort of order and started to work on finishing a few drawings – there is a pile of a about 30 to work through.

Hopefully soon, I will start to accelerate into my NASA series – the last one in the series maybe entitled, “NASA vs. Nolan” – but we will see – this idea might be a bit trite.

The commitment to complete a work, even after not working on it for many months or even a year, has it’s benefits. One is you can see the work with new eyes and two, the new investment invites extrapolation – new ideas are built upon old ideas which in turn leads to new work.

Freshness in a piece of art is quite important, and that spontaneity creates a spark and liveliness which is missing in overworked pieces. But in saying that, spontaneity, and subsequent life and freshness, are really a product of a state of mind and effort that is appropriately rendered.

The above work, possibly entitled “Worm Hole”, or “Portal de Femme” or some such thing, is almost finished – the figure needs some work and a 9B pencil will be used to tidy and enliven the surface overall.

The important thing is to stay committed and think about what you do, while minimising the distractions – whatever they may be.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Static

Nobby beach boy

Another old slide from the Gold Coast years – this would have been a reject from a slide show I put together with a song I wrote called “Pacific Fair” - a send up of the glitzy Gold Coast Pacific shopping complex from the late seventies. I like this photo because of the multiple planes of depth – that’s me sitting down to take this shot – the other David was to busy feeding his face.

Gold Coast ride

Another reject from the Pacific Fair slide show – I think this was a bright red, coin operated VW beetle – only 20 cents, what a bargain!

Big Nell

This wild face, was from a photo essay I did at High School – the whole thing was about this one guy that I new and his over the top antics – sort of like a character  from one of those American High School movies.

Well, the slide and negative scanner has certainly given me access to quite a few more static images to play and reminisce with – but it’s time to finish a few paintings and drawings that are well overdue – I need to do a bit of shifting myself.

 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ashby

Bike Boys Mermaid Waters

This is an interesting photo from the past – I just received a negative and slide scanner for Xmas – the prices have dropped considerably and now are in my price range – around $100.

I just scanned this slide: which I took on the Gold Coast around 1977 at  Mermaid Waters. I have always liked this photo: mainly because of the dynamic and interesting composition, plus the mystery of no faces.

The bike is an Ashby, which I eventually bought of the guy in shorts. I stripped the bike down and bought some new sporty parts for it, changed the colour scheme and kept it as my main bike for the next 25 years.

One day soon, I will revisit the whole Gold Coast scene thing and produce a series of paintings, photos and videos – this one is definitely in the mix – I love the V8 symbol that can just be seen on the Ford’s front guard.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eggs

Snake Catcher

We had the snake professionally relocated today – the above photo is a well known Sunshine Coast snake catcher, holding a clutch of snake eggs. It was a good decision to get experienced help, as I would have had a dilemma if I had moved  the timber myself – the snake was protecting the eggs and I would have had no way knowing what to do with her and no way of moving the timber – hopefully tonight she has been relocated with her eggs to a better nest in a quieter spot.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sections

Another day, more work done. Life goes on, step by step and section by section. Just finiNASA sectionshed putting up a fence today section by section and component by component .

Tomorrow, I will begin to pull down the old pool fence and stack all the good timbers and dump the rotten stuff – the snake from the last post, will no doubt be under one of the piles of timber.

This is all in preparation for Xmas day – lots of family members are converging on our house, so everything has to be in good order for maximum entertainment and comfort value.

Also, yesterday I erected another wall in the new studio and finally turned the old studio into an entertainment room – well a billiard room with a few chairs, a couch, and a few paintings.

Hopefully soon, I will make good of my promise and start painting again and get my head around this ART thingo.

Anyway, all of the photos are listed below.

This snippet above is a section of a NASA painting – maybe the next fence should be made of snippets of NASA paintings – like you see along highway sound and site barriers.

Fence SkeletonFence Skelton 

Fence Done

Fence Done

Old Studio

Old Studio

New Studio

New Studio – new wall behind paintings at back.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NeoAtelier

Just another progress report to the electronic ether.

What follows is a series of photos documenting my new studio construction. From an unpainted stage, to mostly painted and then filled with junk from the old studio. Only half the studio is constructed – the logistics of moving junk around in a confined space plus a few other deadlines all converging, has meant that the studio is built in halves – the last two photos show the other empty half, which is now ready for construction.

Unpainted L Unpainted R Paint L

Paint R

Half Studio R

Half Studio L

Otherside L

Otherside R

 

And finally, another snake just outside my back door – in a stack of wood that I have to move in the next week – fortunately it’s non-venomous and shy – but it still can bite – “doo,doo,doo”.

Snake

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Demolition

Well, I am out of work again – which is great for the moment – time to catch up with a million jobs – and plan for the next thing.

Currently, I have been preparing a few houses for sale and doing a bit of renovation/demolition at my own house. The photo below is under my house and shows the walls coming down.

demolition

This is from the opposite direction – the cross bars are house bracing – which I had concealed inside a wall.

demolition 2

This demolition is making way for a new studio space, which will be a bit larger than the previous studio but with a lower ceiling. The next photos show the new walls going up and a bit insulation paper to reduce and act as a secondary water barrier. The ceiling and walls will all be lined and painted white for maximum light – I also had an electrician in a few days ago to add a few lights and power points.

Construction

Construction 2

Construction 3

This week I will also begin working on the pool fencing – the old pool area is half demolished and the planning for the new improved area is under way – this time I will use very little second hand materials  - that’s for both projects.

 

It’s a bit hard to paint at the moment – I have stuff everywhere – but I will be keen to start again in the new year – especially in a new studio space.

You can see both my dogs in the above photos – just like my other reno. pictures from two years ago – the last time I was out of work.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

DAVID

david 1978

David 1978 

I Just started NASA #9 using the three colours in the photo below.

paint tubes 9 v2

It’s been a very long haul this year – not much time for art – but I managed to complete a few more works amongst all the mayhem.

Hopefully, next year will be a different year – the passing of my Father this year and all the subsequent issues involved were very taxing – physically, time wise and emotionally.

Below is the beginnings of NASA #9 – NASA in a Time of Drought. The latest paints were supplied via a gift voucher, for my 48th birthday from my son – six tubes – two blues, two reds, two yellows – perfect.

NASA 9 in progress

The fractured sky is already showing possibilities and the images forming are already suggesting relationships that I never planned. After NASA number 10, I will be a third of the way through the series – I am already thinking about how to show it.

I have a small hanging of pictures at an Arts and Community centre in February, but will just draw on old stuff – mostly decorative work to suit the area. But currently, I am still very busy with family issues until the end of the year – so blogging and art are in the last carriage.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grunge

Another experimental video – old film footage and my old guitar.

 

Actually this is my grandparents, doing a bit of acting for me in 1980 – they were keen to do a bit of experimenting with art now and then. This footage was originally shot on an old, second hand, standard 8 camera. I recently converted over three old film reels I had from around this time – projecting them onto a screen and then videoing them – the frame rates are out, but I like the effect anyway.

The music is my guitar distorted on a cheap amp with drums added, and then slowed right down – the whole final thing is very grungy.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Culterea

Just finished NASA #8 – The NASA Control of Culture – Acrylic on canvas – Cadmium Yellow, Phthalo Blue, Cadmium Red, Titanium White, and Carbon Black.

NASA 8

A bit of good and evil mixed up in #8 – just like culture. A cross on a boat on a mountain – a stream of sixes flowing – black bird like creatures flocking – snake like ropes and coils for breathing and support – yellow stars shining – astronauts crumpled and dragged.

I don’t believe in the notion that artists shouldn’t talk about their work: that the art should speak for itself. The art does speak and so can the artist, as long as they are articulate enough to communicate clearly.

Sometimes not speaking is a foil for not knowing anything and other times the speaking is so cryptic and meaningless that all sense is buried. It is important to think and talk about art, especially your own.

What is “culture” but the avoidance of fresh air. Below is a detail from my stagnant pond of blow hard NASA #8 stench. What the heck does it all mean?

NASA 8 detail

Next is  - NASA in a Time of Drought – same actors, different costumes, different story.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yes

 

Yes, is the new No. This is another bit of snipping and stitching – a bit from here and a bit from there. The image is a portion of a drawing inverted in Irfranview, the guitar is just a quick bit of picking, the drums are a free sample from Magix music maker. The music was slapped together in Samplitude and then mixed with the image in Movie edit pro. All this was shunted up to Youtube and then posted up to blogger via Windows Live writer – our generation has problems.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Song

 

This is a song I wrote back in 1981 – it was scribbled in my college daze art journal – 20 years later I re-wrote the tune a bit – and now 8 years later I have just done a quick recording – two takes, very little editing and a spontaneous bit of guitar picking – with plenty of mistakes. The sound card used for the recording cost ten dollars and the software was free.

This is very much how I do things – the man with the ever present past – slowly moving along at the cheapest pace – maybe in ten years, I will make another if I can afford it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Draft

couple

 

The above drawing is a  negative version of a quick draft for the following painting. The painting was completed back in 2000 using acrylic paint on a 900x1200x3mm hardboard sheet. At the time I was thinking about doing a series on couples – not so much about boy/girl couples or marriages etc. , but two people together in some sort of setting. I eventually did a few in the couple series, but never really exhausted the possibilities or developed the potential.

In such a typical way I returned to an older form and produced a single portrait from the waist up, looking out and towards the viewer.  One day I may go back to the original idea – because the draft is quite different to the painting and seems to suggest another direction altogether.

 

Red Man green curtains 

I like the idea of going back and cannibalising older artworks and creating some new strain of art. I recently reworked some songs that I had written way back in the late seventies and early eighties and changed the lyrics, but in a parallel way. The Psalms of the Bible use a form of poetry called parallelism. An idea is stated then followed up by a second statement which is really the same idea expressed in a different way.  I think this could be done in painting: in the one painting: like an idea bouncing around inside a frame, or an idea being reflected back through a mirror.

I am sure this has been done before, but could it could be an interesting device for presenting ideas. Sort of reiterating and emphasizing by presenting a slightly different viewpoint each time. This is quite different to using opposites to create a synthesis. It is possibly a more sure and harmonious way of presenting ideas – possibly a pre-twentieth century concept based more on belief in absolute truth instead of  one based on moving goal posts.

I think I will do a series of drawing/paintings based on a black background, and maybe with two figures that express the same idea in a different way – reminds me of most relationships really.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Early

jugs

Some of my earlier drawings were very simple and quick – but at the time, that seemed to be enough – nothing more to say.

Typewriter

Some were more complex as I tried new things – like drawing with a rubber.

dice

Or the decorative abstract me, experimenting with photocopies and transparencies.

creek bed

Then, there was the photographer of the suburbs,

drawing on black and white 8x10’s.

chair

On the way I did a few landscapes – sort of stylised and on my terms.

 landscape

It’s all me, just different strands, little spurts – maybe all this stuff will one day come together and make an artist of me.

When I’m convinced and confident, maybe others will see this, and I will cross over – is that when your art starts to sell?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Artists

The artists I grew up with are either, very old, dying or dead. I found  an interesting list of Australian Artists  on Wikipedia while searching for one of these 70+ artists. It’s  sort of like the music I listen to – all out of date and 20+ years old – curling up at the edges and turning into golden oldies.

 

Andrew Sibley was the artist I was looking for – I am currently reading a book about him.  The funny thing is that he has been left off the above mentioned list.  I thought he was more well known, but maybe with so many artists too choose from, he was just left off.

 

But, in the book it explains that early in his career he was very successful and a darling of the art world, until he decided to do things in a different way. He was promptly dropped by the art fraternity, his sales plummeted dramatically, and he was left in the wilderness for at least ten years. I haven’t finished the book yet, so I don’t know if he fully recovers from this misfortune – but I get sense from the above list that things didn’t get any easier.

 

Looking over his work, my preference is for the earlier work – the very recent work seems too cartoonish and saccharine – along the lines of Robert Dickerson.

Check out some of his recent works here.

 

Is it better to be on the list or off the list?   - Whatever, who cares!

Snippet

Above, a portion of a David definitely of the list pencil and paint drawing – small portions are the best portions – one could do a series just based on cropped and blown up, repainted versions of past artworks. Maybe, when I get too saccharine in my old age I should just revert to  cropping and blowing up – I already have the cartoon thing going on. Maybe, I could be like a Naturopath and dilute my work down to nothing – just a faint echo of my youthful self – much like Lloyd Rees – who, although was honest and great to the very end.

Time will tell.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Negatori

Did a bit more work on the old artwork today, give me self a pat on the back I did.

DSCF0032

The above is a snippet of a Squarescape: the sky looks like its burning paint.

 

Nude Negative

This is a nude sketch from way back: oh, I love the way software changes things.

 

Nude Negative 4

Bubble, bobble and the mystery of flight: a recent drawing in the key of yes.

 

Nude Negative 3 This would be be the black nude in the orange room, scratching her head.

 

squarescape detail 3

Another detail from the Squarescape: I did the blobs today and a few dark lines.

I think the computer is telling me I need more contrast in my work.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Faces

Pencil effect

In some way art maybe a reflection of our relationship with the universe, or maybe our relationship with God. Some art seems quite deep and frustrated while other art can be light and frivolous. I have seen art that is so flakey, just being a mere imitation of another's work. Or art that tries to be profound, but really is a clanging gong of nonsense – I have seen a lot of that. But then again I have stood in front of art that is uncanny and insightful, almost powerful enough to separate bone from sinew.

In all of these expressions, I can’t help but think about the artist who created them. What did they know, what was their motive and how do they live? I have a book at home called  ‘1000 Faces of God’ by Rebecca Hind – it’s not a religious book, in the sense that it promotes a particular religion, but a book of images from many religions.  It’s art through history, but focusing on God, the gods or that sense of other.

One tree

Sometimes, if not at all times, it’s a good idea to read art in a different light – different to the handed down version of the critics, historians and ‘experts’. Step away from the crowd and put what you know to the test, recoil from the mainstream texts and have a closer look – put yourself in the frame.

 

You may ask yourself – “What on earth is going on, why are people so obsessed, are they stupid, why do they waste so much time on art, what’s in it for them, what are they trying to say to others or to themselves?” Are artists just vain, seeking attention or chasing money? – not much of that, for most of us. Or are they trying to make the intangible,  tangible? This maybe  the problem I have with Warhol and some  POP art – they try to make the tangible, intangible. Trying to suggest meaning where there is none – but then again this is a message in itself and reflects a certain philosophical viewpoint – or could it be me who is clueless?

 

july 2 015e

 

Maybe, it’s just me,  my ridiculous notions and diehard stubborn nature or maybe my art is dead after all –  am I flogging a dead horse in a world of over competitive people – maybe money, art or any other thing taken to idol level are just God substitutes.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

ART

 

Scott's Room art

This is a photo I took on my Dad’s SLR camera back in 1980. This was my first year at Art college and so I needed a better camera than my collection of old cameras that I had scavenged from various second hand joints.

The camera was a Miranda Sensomat RE which my Dad had bought in the early seventies at a Belgrave camera shop in Victoria. At the time it was comparable to a Pentax or an Olympus SLR – it had a pretty good lens and a sensitive light meter.

The above photo was taken without a flash, at my first student house on Vulture St. South Brisbane – this is one of the other tenants rooms, who was also an artist. In my third year of art college I did a small oil painting of this photo – I thought the composition and color tones were great – I still do.

 

This is a photo of my Dad as a young man – most likely taken with a Box Brownie camera  - the original negatives still survive. Back in art college I used a few to create interesting photo collages in the college darkrooms. Even in High School I used a few a few on a friends enlarger which I set up in our bathroom at home – using the bath to rinse the developed paper.

Father young man

This is a favorite photo of my Dad, taken in the mid seventies on our farm at Yeepoon. This was a good crop of cucumbers, just freshly picked and about to be boxed and sent to the market.

Cucumber

Sadly, my Dad passed away on the 27th of May 2009 after a very short battle with cancer. Over the last 5 months or so, I have had very little time to be a blogger but I will labor on, trying not to miss any opportunities as life is short and yet full of surprises. My Dad had become a keen blogger himself. In the last few years we created together a private family blog, which he was very passionate about.

He always checked in on my Bird Proofer blog – not always understanding my art stuff, but always supportive and learning all the time. So from black and white Brownie to 35mm SLR and all the way to Digital imaging, it’s important to keep on learning and moving forward. Utilising new and old tools to communicate, illustrate, express and explain the diversity of life as we see it.

He will be missed.

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