It’s Monday (3pm Adelaide time) and “Mindset”? … I’m not sure I’ve got one.
Even so, I’ve decided that I have to force some evolution in my artworks … I’m a bit bored with my oil abstractish landscapes (extended post-exhibition blues), so I’m trying to move slightly away from them.
On the weekend, I finished a sort of “Modernist” ish painted sketch on ‘canvas paper’ of people in a gallery with a redhead in the focus area –
(I’ve always had this “thing” for redheads with glasses – 45 or so years ago I even married one … she’s a “keeper”). ….. But I digress.
I purchased an A4 pad of Yupo paper on Friday. I’d read about it but never seen the stuff.
After breakfast and before coffee, I sketched some stones on half a sheet (ie A5) using ink and pencil – lovely smooth free surface.
This afternoon I have spent a short (very short) time splodging on it with diluted oils (Prussian Blue, Australian Red-Gold, Raw Umber with AS Medium No 1).
This has been a really quick exercise – a very, very different painting surface that has sparked at least a large fragment of my imagination. I’m not sure how resilient the painted surface will be once fully dry, but the potential seems great.
This is not a great artwork by any stretch of over active imagination, nor is it meant to be – simply a mini review and potential gathering exercise.
See – I told you I don’t really have a Mindset as such.
Morning light on my wall – 7.30am. Sky pale blue … grass white … dog unnaturally enthusiastic (and hungry, he claims). Wooly slippers – fingerless gloves … New Guinea mission beanie. Last night meeting hangover – worse than alcohol. A study to write. Hospital to contact. Meet with my colleagues. Pretend to be not confused. Breakfast. Darjeeling in a cup.
I’m bored with my landscape impressions, expressions, and abstractions. My oil paints and canvasses don’t have that tempting siren call they should have. No need to bind me to a mast with my ears plugged with wax to stop me answering the call to spend my precious time doodling and splurging in my studio. My brushes and knives sit idle. My turps evaporates alone.
It’s a post-mid-life-crisis… surely that’s what it is – introspective ennui.
The last exhibition was praised by a good number of people, both in words and by a few sales.
Yes, but for me, seeing my paintings hanging together was something of a let-down – it’s not that they were poor paintings – people assure me that they are good, some “very good”. It’s just that they made me feel a bit 😑 (flat, bored, disappointed, unsatisfied.)
An experienced artist friend tells me that this is normal. It’s the usual feeling experienced by artists after an exhibition, and it’s good news.
This certainly has been my experience after the few exhibitions in which I have participated. But “good news”? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps this let-down is the thing that keeps the creative juices flowing. I hope so.
Really, I want to get on with painting new works, but I just can’t get my mojo working. The blues are all very well, but I should use the yellows and reds too.
I’m thinking I should explore semi-figurative abstractions more like this one from 2016.
… or even like this (but better, of course 🙂 )
Or am I whining about nothing? Just wasting my time?
It was high noon. He turned to face me and snarled, “OK stranger” “Draw” … So I did!
I’m taking a brief holiday from oils, canvas, turpentine, wax and all that jazz. I’m thinking back through the years, through the decades, to the time when I first started the art thing as a pleasant diversion. Back then, I had a short love affair with watercolours. So, I have started a little series of ink, watercolour, and acrylic (with water) – “quickies” … these aren’t destined to be masterpieces.
I have decided to use ink with the watercolour because I want the higher contrast and definition that the drawn line gives, rather than the subtlety of traditional wash work.
I coloured the farmscape I’d drawn earlier today. This is a style that many people probably don’t like, and some might say it spoils the drawing … never mind, for what it’s worth here is the finished painting ……
It’s a sibling of the forest doodle I posted the other day. They might not be great, but they keep me happy. I’ll see how many I can do before the month ends.
This photo of me holding a portrait of me by Australian artist Peter Patterson, is accompanied by a pretty poor poem in 18.104.22.168 by me (sorry 😁)
Went to the post office
What did I see?
A tube in my post box
Waiting for me.
So I carried it home
Unwrapped it quick
What did I find in there?
A painted page
My portrait by Patto
What a surprise!
Peter Patterson thanks
From old Ant Fox
I’ll frame it for my wall
So it is seen
And admired by all.
For many years – From about 1969 until the mid 1990s I processed all my own black and white photos. I toyed with colour processing and printing, but black and white was my passion. I loved my Pan F and FP4. I carried my Pentax cameras everywhere. Occasionally I borrowed a large format camera (including, a couple times, a very nice heavy Linhof plate camera), but essentially I was a 35mm man. I had access to a real darkroom equipped with a Leitz enlarger.
Ah – those were the days!
Now I have no access to a darkroom, and I confess that I lack the spirit and will to set one up. But nowadays, I have digital photography to amuse me. I have an iPhone SE, which has a pretty good camera, a Pentax DSLR, and a Sony a6000 mirrorless (a lovely digital camera) … and an iMac computer to play upon.
No, it isn’t the same as the good old film days but it keeps me happy, and some of the images are really very good. The shooting limitation of film is gone – a two headed coin. With the ability to shoot hundreds of shots in any session we can get a bit careless, but at the same time good old aunty serendipity can present us with one or two sensational shots from all those many.
And the processing is so simple. There are many apps and the like that let a fella like me do all the tweaking and bending and distorting that I would have once upon a time done with double exposures, maskings, chemicals, solarising, and all that fun jazz.
Yes, it is cheating. Yes, back in the 70s I would have sneered. But now, I’m a happy wee grey haired digital photoist … having fun with a camera, computer, and cup of tea close at hand.