Sunday, 30 March 2014

Last Block week ever!

I decided to help my good friend from school Sheila Playford in the last block week with the end of term exhibition. Done every term, students are encouraged to help with a display of their work.
You may submit 3 pieces and 2 students who volunteer organise said pieces into a coherent show that allows 'us' to sell our work for a small commission.

Open to the public it is also nice to present your work to more than fellow students, teachers and family.  You can learn to 'mount' and frame your work, publicise and display your pieces and receive feedback from the general public in the form of 'peoples choice' and the comments book.

It is a safe way of getting your work 'out there' with the school providing the vehicle. It is a time commitment of 6-12 hours depending on what you volunteer for, hanging works, distributing flyers, being floor walkers on opening night and over the weekend and finally packing up the sold items and taking down the rest and preparing the walls for next time.

It was a scary thing to put forward my first piece my first term (the 'recycle' canvas) and I went into help with the clean up of the exhibit on the first monday of the school holidays, but I did it almost every term, with a couple of terms helping on hanging weekend to. TLC provided the lunch and I got to meet other students and learnt alot about exhibition layouts. ( It helped me with my own solo and 'This is us' exhibits)

I feel that this is an important step for artists who want to start to sell their work and should be part of the compulsory curriculum of students above the certificate level.

Thank you Shelia for doing a sterling job on my last exhibit at TLC, it was a privilege to work with and for you.

New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts - Naked exhibition

I submitted and had accepted two pieces to take part in the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts "Naked" exhibition that ran from March 15 to April 6. I had planned on entering two of my mirror pieces but discovered that to be eligible the piece had to have been completed in the last 12 months. This ruled out several of my nudes.

I was really pleased when I entered the gallery to discover that my mirror work was on the first wall that you saw when you entered the gallery.

My second piece (oil on canvas) was further back in the gallery.




Saturday, 29 March 2014

Diploma With Honours - Term 8 2014 Mains

Last term! Don’t believe it, these 4 years have just rushed by. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to explore my creative side.


It has been a privilege to have been able to take this time, to paint, to have had access to such a high calibre of tutors and to rub shoulders with such talented artists that the TLC attract.

Monday - Plain air painting – Thomas Robson

Of the first Monday we went to the very restful taita cemetery and returned to it one other time. We also went down to the silverstream overbridge and Trentham memorial park. There were plenty of beautiful vistas to render in watercolour, and oil but I was not enamoured with the results of my efforts, I think mainly because although I love the’ landscape’ of New Zealand, I feel my renditions of it does not do it justice, and to keep my interest I need to put in the human element somewhere.

My most successful pieces were an oil that I treated like watercolour by adding alot of archival lean to, recording the houses surrounding the cemetery and 3 little canvases showing houses within the landscape.





Wednesday – Painting – Roger Key

 Ran out of time to try impasto block week so I decided to extend my still lifes into the mains classes and do some fruit using this paint additive (from archival, an Australian make) that does not affect the colour but allows faster drying time even if you apply it thickly. I use One canvas that I split into 4 panels, I ‘killed’ the white of the canvas using acrylic paint and had fun with it!. 

I think the pieces would have been better much bigger and maybe I will, the frugalness in me appreciated the paint extender even though Roger feels its cheating and you shouldn’t have to add anything to your paint!




Friday – Sarah Brock

I decided to extend the impasto painting into a portrait and I don’t think its too bad. I choose a subject I took a photo of but didn’t know well, so I did not get hung up in getting a likeness, as it was painting with impasto demanded a larger canvas than I had so I applied to her Hat and dress only.

I think it important to take your own reference photos and with the dandilions there was alot of mucking around getting the focus right and getting close enough detail to suit me.

Every time I have an idea for a painting I doubt whether I can paint it, so every canvas is an exploration of my abilities and whether the idea was a good or frustrating one. You can’t know what the public might find alluring enough to put down good money for so really if you’re in this for making money, there are easier ways that are less damaging to your sycee. You can only paint what is of interest to you, and with every one you do, get a little better and go a little further and get a little more inspiration. If people like it and I’ve only had positive feed back,  that’s  a great encouragement, if they buy it, well what a privilege to have your work part of them! And  it helps with getting another canvas to work on.

People have asked where to from here, does this time lead to a job and money coming in steady? No probably not, but it has resulted in me wanting to keep going, hopefully always having something I’m working on, cluttering up the house and maybe creating a body of work for another solo exhibition in the near future?


Monday, 27 January 2014

Diploma with Honours - Term 8 2104 Block Week

Drawing with Paint – Sarah Brock.



Sarah wanted to cover three painting techniques this week. The rub out, the dry brush and the impasto methods. 

I had done the rub out method before but not with still life and I hit on an idea using fruit and veg. How far do you have to go before someone recognises a chillie if you don’ paint it red? So a blue chillie, a purple tomato? A red lemon and a green cherry, no sketching on the canvas just apply the paint and liquin mix to the whole canvas (this is your mid tone) and then rub away for highlights add straight colour for your darks to produce a tonal portrait, when you mix the paint with liquin you have a limited time to get a likeness before the paint dries. 

Choose a transparent, take off the paint with liquin and us a fan brush to blend. What can you mix with the paint to make it smell like the fruit your painting? (I like the idea of a smelly painting but the closest I’ve come to lemon scent car freshener behind the lemon painting)


Thursday, 5 December 2013

This is Us - Exhibition December 2013

Sarah Brock is so supportive of her students!


After a conversation with her two terms ago wishing to put a pop up gallery into the empty shops I saw in Upper Hutt, she spoke to Carrie Burke who had a contact at the Lower Hutt City Council who made my wish come true! Eight students of Sarah’s put together an exhibit of our work at 129 High Street Lower Hutt and it all went so well. 

We each had talents outside our obvious artistic ones that helped put together the month long show. 

I spent the block week, with others, painting a bright orange wall white to exhibit on, made a fabric banner and helped curate the space. 


‘This is Us!’ opened the 5th December with an evening bash. We manned it and worked in the gallery, created a space for children to express themselves with pastels and promoted a community art piece for the City Council. 

We changed it round after two weeks and had very positive feedback from many who walked in the door, some regretting that there was not a permanent community gallery, aside from The Dowse, helping local artists. 

We each sold a piece during the month, which was a marvellous incentive for all of us to keep on painting and I am indebted to Cindy from the Lower Hutt City Council for her wonderfully generous help, the Learning Connexion for their good relationship with the council and supplying us with equipment and Sarah who gave her experience and time so freely. I would also like to thank the landlord for the use of his shop.


Monday, 4 November 2013

Diploma with honours - Term 7 2013 Mains

Monday Thomas Robson

With all plans of mice and men against the elements, they fall. In the hopes of some plain air Mondays I gathered together the paraphernalia of a watercolourist. Ha, next term says Thomas, so what to do? I utilised the photos taken from the field trips of block week and  I continued with my primary colour studies, going back to oils.









Wednesday Roger Key

 Still trying to get me to use more paint and not paint what I see, I endeavoured to paint white and movement, Still using the watered down paint (with turps) from last term for backgrounds, but thickening up with the foreground white, I went back to portraiture focusing on white communion dresses and wedding frocks. What he did like was when I went thick messy and less figurative – Question - how much of a figure do you need to paint before someone recognises it  as someone? Answer - Surprisingly not much



Friday Sarah Brock

Sarah always has a plan to her term, but is sensitive to her students personal artistic journey, adapting the lessons she wants to impart. I try to fit my personal goals around what she’s teaching so I don’t miss out on her wisdom, I do however have an idea on what I could do in class before we start so I can ‘hit the ground running’ so to speak and not waste days formulating a plan. Sometimes that works and sometimes I change direction on the run.
I started the three dancers in her class and I tried to keep the whole thing painterly, free and unfinished – things suggested not explained, of course Roger suggested I did not go far enough hence the pirouette 1 and 2.