Creating a series is a good way of focusing your ideas and also extending your ideas. Often one idea leads to another and a series enables you to experiment, plan, play and create around these themes.
My last few Lino print have all been based around Austria as it holds a very special place for me. I also believe it is important to create art about something you care about or are interested in, as the end results are always better than if you are just creating for financial reward. Mind you, you do end up with a cupboard full of art but that’s ok too as you can see the journey that has happened with your art along the way.
This is view number two. It is one of a number of apple trees that stand behind the family home in Austria. In times gone by the washing line was strung between the trees and the deer also came to feed there. The view is again looking out toward Traunsee, a little bit of artist licence because in actual fact the view is towards the mountains around Salzburg. I would like to hang them up at home, it’s just finding space. I’ll need to do some rearranging!
I hope to hang one at The Firestation print studio at the end of July when we have open days and there will also be an exhibition by Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis at the same time. So if you are in the area then please come and visit.
Usually when you finish an artwork you think, I could have done something differently, better, more carefully, but this time I am really rather pleased with this work. The Lino print features Traunkirchen on Traunsee. In the Salzkammergut region of Upper Austria. The work is about 45cm by 65cm the most detailed piece I have completed. I like the detail rather than just lines but I guess different designs require different techniques. Still needs a little clean up here and there but basically finished.
Quick note, at the end of July, Firestation Print Studio will be open for Open House Melbourne, so come along and have a look how printing making happens.
The National Gallery of Victoria currently has a lovely exhibition of Van Gogh’s work. It was wonderful to see these beautiful works, especially seeing some that are not so well recognised. We all know; Sunflowers, Starry Night and his Yellow House but to see his lovely pen and ink drawings with the detailed line work which later becomes his busy brush strokes, it was great to see the progression.
Some will argue ‘what is so special about VanGogh’s work?’ I love them. I love the colour. What often comes across as simplicity is actually full of detail, colour, emotion and warmth. It just makes you think what might have been. It was wonderful to look at the work and think he was once standing infront of those paintings too.
It is a pity that he was not appreciated when he was alive. It can take a long time for an artist’s work to be understood, appreciated and accepted. Maybe we should take more care of our artists. Sometimes they are trying to convey a message and at other times looking at an artwork is just about enjoying the moment and it makes you feel good.
Thanks to the NGV for bringing this beautiful work to us.
I have been having a play with watercolour painting after doing the class with a Mark Dober. It really is enjoyable and relaxing, especially after a day teaching art. I like the idea of trying to loosen up the painting and not worry too much about everything having to be perfect. It is a much more painterly approach, giving an impression of the scene rather than an exact rendering. I can’t help myself though and do feel the need to add layers of pattern detail. I also know I need give more strength to my colours as often everthing seems to have the same intensity so that is something definitely to work on.
Three of these are local scenes from walks around the area, the fourth is supposed to be Litzlberg Island in Attersee.
Each piece is about learning and trialling the technique, you can’t be to precious about your art when learning as it is very rare that the final piece will live up to the scene you have in you head but it is all good practise.
Walking at the local lake and wetlands provides lovely landscapes for future artworks. Australia’s landscape is often messy, full of undergrowth, birds and animal habitats. It is common to sea black swans, parrots, galahs, cockatoos, swamp hens, blue wrens, magpies and even the odd pelican down at the lake.
I’m hoping to use these scenes to practise the watercolour skills I’m trying to develop. It is interesting, when you create art, how you look at things differently. That’s a great scene for a painting, lovely colours, shades, lights and darks, textures, all leading to a new art project.
The stunning grounds of Rippon Lea in Elsternwick, Victoria was the setting for a wonderful watercolour workshop with the very talented artist, Mark Dober.
We tried to have the class two weeks ago but pouring ran prevented us from attending and what a stroke of luck that turned out to be because today was glorious.
We set up our site by the edge of the lake and watched Mark as he demonstrated the different aspects of mapping out our watercolour paintings. Mark was great at showing us the different steps and then letting us go for it but he also provided enough guidance and feed back to make sure we stayed on track.
As you can see, the day was stunning and we even had a visit from a very friendly duck that managed to walk over my painting, what a critic!
Rippon Lea began in 1868 when the Sargood family bought 11 hectares and built this wonderful mansion. It makes a beautiful venue for painting, picnics, weddings and even filming shows, which apparently they were doing inside when we were there.
So if you are in the area, stop in for a visit and perhaps try your hand at some painting.
It has been a magnificent Autumn day. You know those great days when the sky is blue with just a few fluffy white clouds, certainly too nice to be inside. So I spent the morning walking and the afternoon in the Yarra Valley trying to get some new ideas for print making and painting.
I am currently working on some bird Lino prints (I have a thing for birds and building) and would quite like to make a collection of them. Each bird would have a different scene inside it. The idea started with two collagraph pieces I did earlier on. I have kept the designs quite stylised but would like to add some colour. Two real options, first to hand colour and the other is to cut a second block which I think might be the best option. Perhaps a vineyard scene might work in the next bird.
The Yarra Valley really is a lovely area of Victoria and well worth a visit if you are here. There are plenty of tours that take you around the wineries and you can enjoy lunch and perhaps sample some of the wine.
These two Lino prints were recently completed ready for an exhibition at Firestation Print Studio called ‘Built’.
The main focus of the exhibition is for talented artist Angela Cavalieri to display her work based on the Firestation. I finally decided on the colours for the 4 level houses, I think of them as 1,2,3,4 bedroom units as there has been a lot of apartments being built in the local suburbs, something we never really had here. Where I am, next to the Yarra Valley, we don’t have much in the way of apartments yet.
The other Lino print is Assisi, not that I have been, it is on the wish list to do one day but I made it for mum. She visited Assisi as a young woman, in her twenties and she is in her eighties now. I think it would be lovely to spend sometime over there working on my art! That’s on the wish list too!
Visiting Geelong yesterday it was great to see the bollards that decorate the foreshore area. It is lovely to see councils spending money on good art to make their communities more appealing to visitors and locals alike.
Often we see sculptures along highways, in town centres and public gardens. I enjoyed these local art works while in Austria on a previous trip. The lion sits on the street of Bad Ischl and the straw people are created yearly to celebrate harvest time in Zell am See.
If you think about it, the beautiful Bernini fountain in Rome’s Piazza Navona is an art work that the community has been able to enjoy for a long time!
So the more good art work we see in our communities the more often we will see a smile on our neighbour’s faces. And that can only be a good thing!