Friday, July 18, 2014

Winter in the Studio !

The sun streams in and the studio is bathed in light!!

Summer is quite another matter ... if its extremely hot I decamp to the State Library or somewhere sure to be cool and catch up online, writing or researching. Late afternoon and night-time then become the crucial time to be busy in the studio which catches the breezes quite well.

Today studio photographs taken by wonderful Elizabeth Santillan were posted at her site: Walking among the Homes which profiles interiors in Brisbane, the city where I live!

These are the images she has posted although I am thrilled to say she will be dropping off a CD full of photos.  Given that artwork is never easy to capture, especially the sensuality and texture of materials used I am very happy with the way she has managed to shoot some of the paintings. Great angles and viewpoints refresh my jaded viewing given I am here most days and its easy not to notice the familiar.

Seed collections are dotted around the studio.

Small paintings from 2002 - 2003

This photo of an early 2014 painting above was what impressed me about Elizabeths images. The paint is a dusty subdued palette in a chalky acrylic which in real life can appeal to someone interested in this more raw aesthetic. My photos have not delivered the subtle colour or feel of this work so I was early certainly pleased with this result.

The fabric below the artwork is an old fabric that I must have bought 10 years ago... interestingly Ive been returning to those blues and browns a lot over the last couple of years. 

I've gone through so many colour phases in my work over the years. When living in Melbourne I often painting in a bright palette as if missing the north where I grew up and have since returned to.

Red oxide has crept in since 2010, blue frequently and various browns and blue blacks.

The Biodiversity Plate series really ran with blue, blue black and browns.

Then there are the works which play with colours reflective of the dark shaded Wet Tropics Rainforests of the north ... like this seed capsule cross-section motif of the Cheery Beech. 

In the midst of the dark greens of shadowy dense forests there is always the sudden burst of colour from berries, fruits and seed vessels scattered amongst the lively growth.

Texture and collaged fabric on these works have features often not noticed unless one looks closely.  the cropping is interesting... perhaps makes one more curious to see the work.

Tucked into the photos was one of the artist at work. Usually I present the artwork or spaces I'm working in but remain camera shy... at 56 the 'selfie' phenomenon looks fun but I can live without it.

I've been doing OPEN STUDIOS again lately on Thursdays...  Friday this week as I was out yesterday. Since launching Seed.Art.Lab last November I opened each Thursday til Xmas and had a many visitors which was fantastic after the months of house hunting for a place with an ideal studio.

When I returned from my May Residency at Plantbank in NSW I decided to hold OPEN STUDIO afternoons once a week again as requests to visit come in and its such a lovely tradition.

Midday to 5 or by appointment works well as I can keep working and that way I am not concerned it some weeks are really busy and some quiet. I'm inspired to do a simple clean up and that NEVER hurts. When there's a special Studio event I will advertise more widely whereas I currently use my Homage to the Seed Facebook Page and  Instagram site at the moment as the interaction and frequency of posts is very lively.

Ive been painting quite flat out since late May so have many images to download. I'm really missing time spent blogging but painting calls and bookings to teach and be involved in other projects  makes it sometimes necessary to streamline online interactions even though I do have misgivings considering the fine exchanges Ive had here over recent years.

Best wishes to all!


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Blogging for me is an extension of keeping a journal which I have done in various forms over the decades. The difference being this is not a closed book! I like that it offers an opportunity to explore that which concerns me as an artist and as an individual about living and participating in this vastly complex, unquestionably exciting yet unnerving time in human history. Through the blog I hope to increase the possibilties for cross-pollination which I believe can strengthen the sense of being part of something both personal and universal that is vital, expansive and refreshing.