18 April, 2016

Postman gets a hernia.

A package arrived. It wasn't a surprise because I had ordered the package myself, but it WAS a surprise to the postman who delivered it. He knocked on my front door,  and forgoing any of the conventional niceties of polite conversation that would include enquiring after after my health, perhaps some brief discussion of the weather, he came straight out with " What the hell have you ordered now?/!!".  His candour is refreshing. " Cut to the chase, Flash" I said.

"I almost needed a bigger van" he spluttered. There was almost no room for anything else in the back of the red NZ Post rural delivery van.

Canvasses have arrived. Monsters.  Wall encompassing, would -not-be-out-of-place-in-a-hotel sized canvasses. They arrive, swathed in cardboard, rustling with bubblewrap innards and eye-blindingly white. Pristine.

It's a bit like receiving a new baby. Totally perfect and only you can really fuck it up from here on in.
Same thing, totally. Been there, done that. They still talk to me.

So,  pop canvas no.1 onto the easel, splash paint around liberally and marvel how much it actually requires to give it a bit of a going over...just once. Hop online and order more paint. Hop offline and keep painting. Marvel at how small your biggest brush feels at this stage. Hop in car and rush off and buy house painting brushes.  Buy coffee whilst out there. Back to studio. Get fright at how big canvas is (again) . Procrastinate and pretend to "research" online. End up looking at pictures of dogs with beestung faces.Take dogs for walk. Walking is always good for settling things down, especially babies and canvasses.
 Come back to studio. Headphone on. Paint.

120 x 120 cm
A detail of the big MOFO.

13 April, 2016

Doing it right.

I had a most unusual experience recently.

A visitor to my  studio expressed her dismay that my landscape painting were abstract.  She was expecting beautifully rendered , representational( i.e. realistic) landscapes of bucolic country scenes.   You know, like real landscape painters.

I could not have been more delighted.

I work really hard to find that sweet spot where I feel my paintings need to be. That spot is some place on the line between reprepresentaion and abstraction....and that line is long and has many sweet spots, just not always MY one. Its a tensionbetween the two elements that I try to achieve. The Twang of Perfect Place and Feel ( to me).

 The work is hard because I have to give up some things in order to achieve others. I destroy a lot of good, observational passages to get to the "twang" that I feel.

I know this all reads as artists mumbo-jumbo, but I cannot tell you how delighted I was with my visitor's comments .It means I am doing something right.  Never before have a I reacted so well to criticism!! Might be the last time, also, so please don't feel free to bombard me observations about my flaws or flaws in my work!

It gave me the courage I needed this morning to destroy work I had spent weeks on and repaint in the fashion that I felt better suited the  painting.

Not a masterpiece, just a small victory and a move towards that sweet spot.

10 April, 2016

World famous in New Zealand

It's a joke in our family when asked what our goal is( asked of any individual) that we reply " World Famous in (insert town name here)".
I am raising mu sights a little and am now going for the whole country( tongue firmly in cheek). Watch out, New Zealand.

"Cue fanfare, perhaps just trumpets."

I am delighted to tell you that I am now being represented by Gallery De Novo in Dunedin, South Island New Zealand.

I have been looking at South Island galleries, trying to find one that I would really like to work with and who presented art and artists in a way that I would like to be presented. It really is quite an important decision where to show your work and with whom you enter into a working partnership.I have been looking carefully.

I visited Dunedin and went an a gallery stalk, family in tow. This was a deliberate tactic. I visited all the galleries I had previously identified online and via word of mouth and then went in and had a good look at the work, the space, chatted to staff( if they even deigned to talk to me! I was dressed like a tourist!) and got a feel for the various galleries and their staff. Sneaky and totally worth it, but how else does one find out ?

Gallery De Novo was a standout.

I approached them and this painting now hangs in the window at 101 Stuart Street, Dunedin.

Hushed arrival

If you ask them nicely, they might also show you these other 4!

The Exit plan1

The Exit plan 2

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