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 It’s  sort of like the music I listen to – all out of date and 20+ years old – curling up at the edges and turning into golden oldies.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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