Category Archives: Paintings

from the guilt box

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I have something that I am sure NO OTHER ARTIST has in their studio!!   It’s kinda ‘the elephant in the room’ – I know it as my guilt box! My guilt box is something that kinda evolved gradually in the year before I began studying.  For anyone who knows what this means, it was the year of living with a black dog in the year that our business collapsed & we lost two little grandblessings.  A corner started to evolve,  that I avoided, it contained a growing pile of  beginnings of projects had become ‘stuck’ for one reason or another. 

I became paralyze and stopped beginning things, because I didn’t think that I was going to be able to finish them, so it wasn’t worth commencing.  I DO read my own advice to others! LOL!

The following year, (2009) I began studying art full time as a kind of therapy to ‘jolt’ me out of the ‘dog kennel’…………..but still the pile in the corner remained, and expanded.  It kinda happened as projects for leisure ongoingly took a back seat to the need to endlessly ‘produce’ artwork for one timeline after another for college, on subjects that I really didn’t have a great deal of interest in, but was obliged to complete & go through the process.  Works in Progress (WIP’s) were frequently packed up to ‘clear the decks’ for the current ‘SCHOOL’ project & WIP’s soon became Projects of Waiting (POW’s – waiting for inspirations, supplies, time, help!!) gradually slipped into the Unfinished Objects (UFO’s) & and then, as inspiration & momentum was lost along the way, gradually joined a growing list of things on my ‘guilt list’. 

GUILTY because
– I had bought/hunted out supplies especially for this project & now it was languishing, I have wasted time & money
– It is outside the expected time line (postage date, agreed timeline)
– I can’t think of an idea that doesn’t seem to lame to even begin to complete the task of completing
– The work I have already done isn’t what I want it to look like & I don’t know how to make it better
– I have completed/are doing other things instead of the thing I ‘SHOULD’ be doing/completing

OK!!!! IS THIS SOUNDING LIKE A PSYCH CONSULT?  AM i ALONE HERE????  Does YOUR studio have a ‘box of guilt’ in a corner or a drawer???? or do you all just begin & complete projects in one hit, and THEN move on to the next thing???  As we will be moving house soon, and I am going to have to literally pack up EVERYTHING and PAY to have it stored………..it will cost me money to retain these projects.  I MUST MAKE  A DECISION & I am a shocker when I don’t know what to do – I do nothing – it has been both my personal & professional undoing – but it is painfully true!  SO – here’s my plan – one month at a time – on the first of the month (I HAVE EXCUSED DECEMBER for pending Christmas projects) I am going to get something out of my guilt box or my pile of UFO’s.  I am going to give myself the whole month to ‘deal’ with them – ie make progress, send it back, complete it, decide how I am going to move forward……….at the end of the month – if it is still in the same state as the start of the month – it will be taken apart as ‘salvage’ – cut up, torn up, supplies separated, etc.  THAT’s my plan anyways!  SO the pictures you see here are October’s contribution.  I have had this journal (GULP) for about 18 months – sitting in my drawer, with the page below semi painted.  I wasn’t happy with my ‘Lady of the Lake’, I wanted her to be regal & kind of stately, without being pouty – I have painted & painted this mouth about TWENTY-SEVEN times!! LOL!!!  She still seems pouty to me!  Anyways, it’s done  & I had a delightful couple of late nights painting the ‘midsummer night’ pages at the top as penance (do an extra spread) before the darling little book goes home to it’s rightful owner.

THESE ARE THE BOOKS INFLUENCING MY ART THIS WEEK

also the article in CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS
Dec issue article ‘Artist Heal Thyself’ by Lorretta Bendetto Marvel

Obsessed & Assessed

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Hi there all those out in blog land…..thanks for being faithful readers – even when I don't follow through with writing up where I am at in the studio.  At the moment – breathing a sigh of relief – end of year assessment is done & dusted, (a fav saying of my DH), & I am in what I call the 'fall out zone'.  It always occurs after a 'big push' event.  I just slept for the first 48 hours!  (UNHEARD OF for me!)

I had 62 pieces to submit – some of which you have seen along the way during the semester – (some of the prints, & book making) others you haven't – partly because they are pretty poor standard & partly because I haven't been diligent about photographing everything & I have lots of scanning to do.  For tonight, I will just leave you with this one………this is my oil painting submission – a triptych called 'fragile life' .  I have included my 'artist statement' below.

Fragile life triptych

fragile life

intentionally primitive,

avoiding the appearance of anatomical pregnancy biology,

this work explores the fragility of the formation of life.

that despite a parent’s best care & intentions,

they have no control over the outcome of a pregnancy

& only with a touch of the divine,

can life be given & sustained.

indicative of the complex web

of spiritual, natural, emotional & physical elements

the textural & interwoven brush stokes & colour

belie the interplay of fears & anxieties after conception

&,

sometimes,

loss.

Keron Lee 2009

 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13 

this is a 'zentangle' style page spread that I did for a visiting RR JOURNAL last week…..it explores all of the self doubt & uncertainty I was feeling post submission…..posing the question – IF, in my very being I am compelled to create art – does that of itself, make me an artist?

How-great-thou-Art-web

I’m assessed

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For weeks now, I have been counting down to 2pm today – when I had my half year assessment for my art course.  Six subjects, all being assessed, all at the same time – 8 art journals (for 2 subjects I am already on my second one); 8 printworks; 5 oil paintings; a critical review of an art work, 20 drawings in various mediums, 12 life drawings; yada, yada, yada, basically, lots of stuff – all due at the one time, in the one place for a face to face review by a panel of 'art critics'.Evolution-of-Wood-Engraving   Like a folio presentation.

I have spent the semester feeling TOTALLY out of my depth, still feeling 'drawingly challenged' so the whole process was summing up to be pretty scary!  They were kind, and gentle and encouraging.  I still feel like a 'fraud' artist (due to my lack of drawing skills) & like I don't belong, but I recieved some encouragement to persevere with my painting, great reviews for my print making.  The row of chairs is a 'relief print' carved out of matchbox sized cross grained wood with funny shaped tools that fit in your palm and are as sharp as a razor! (yes, I have the blood to prove it!)  This was really tricky to do, and although it was a requirement, it's probably not something I'd fuss about doing again.Diverse-Culture-web   My set of 5 paintings were elements of Melbourne life I called Urbania.  It included:  'Hands of Justice' (representing the court buildings and taken from a photograph of a statue of a judge); 'Diverse Culture' depicting street buskers (entertainers) & traditional ballet & our Hands-of-Justice-web Art's Centre. I was required to create a 'hommage' to an artist & so my 'Man in the Street' panel was a hommage to the work of John Bracks – a Melbourne artist, most famous for his work titled 'Collins St at 5pm' (a CBD street – equivalent to Wall St, or Saville Row – a main, well known CBD street).  The other two panels were a retail one & one abstractly depicting Federation Square (another major Melbourne landmark)

Although none of this is altered arts – it's the path I am on at the moment for my art, I ache to get my hands in some acrylic The-Man-in-the-Street-webpaint & just 'squidge' around in it – but that's not to be right now – this is all pretty full on, and I am still battling physical constraints that are quite challenging at times.Snow-Gums-web

We are done with 'relief' printing now where you work in the 'negative' – moving into 'intaglio' or dry point printing using etched plates & working in the 'positive'.  After working with this for only a couple of weeks, I am really liking the results of this, and see a much broader application for it.  It remains to be seen how well I do it, but I am encouraged by today's work – shown here – taken from a magazine photo of Snow Gums.  I would like to 're do' some Alice scenes & I think this would be a good medium to do it in.  The one from Tenniel with Alice at the tea party has always worried me, it seems to me that she has such a sullen pouty face, & she doesn't fit with the 'wonderlust' Alice that I have conjured up in my mind.  Also I have Teri's 'White Rabbit' journal due to arrive here, so that's a good excuse to work on something like that!  Something a bit less serious than my work in first semester.

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