29 June 2009

Anything to Get There.


The Challenge... oh boy, was I challenged...
While the studio was being re-constructed, I had, shall we say, limited space to actually work in and the majority of my equipment and *things of art* was still packed in boxes...
I was commissioned for a work in pencil, size A1; a warhorse.
Hmmm.
The process that followed consisted of me balancing a drawing board on my knees and a coffee table while perched on the end of a couch, often having to work upside down to reach the other end of the board. It was impossible to see the total result from up close, so from the first stage, I drew the total form to get the perspective as true as possible - and then began the shading... and praying that it was accurate.
I like to work in layers - most pencil artists do - so that means the majority of the piece has been worked several times. Regardless, when you want a quality result, you'll do anything to get there.

16 June 2009

Keepin' It Simple...


I've always been easily inspired by life in my immediate environment, from the macrocosm (big trees, scenery, flora and fauna) to the microcosm (bugs, patterns on plants, and bugs) and as a result I never need to go very far to see something that takes my imagination in a new direction.
When I first moved to Victoria, it was like moving to another planet - bugs, trees and skies that looked nothing like life in North Queensland. For the longest time, I didn't need to travel in order to explore - there was a whole other world available in the unfamiliar terrain and climate. For example, clouds in the north are flattened against the atmosphere, they have very little form or shape at all.... but the sunsets are tropical sunsets, and some of the most breathtaking colours come from them. In Victoria, the clouds have form, mass - I actually witnessed the birth of a cloud, ballooning outwards in the sky. But there's no colour... the skies here are almost monochromatic.
There's a lot to be said for travel and seeing new places to find new inspiration and source for the imagination... Still, when you can look out at your backyard and see something like this, often the world just outside your door has a lot to offer too.

02 June 2009

What You Sacrifice For Your Art


Here's a pic of the WIP I'm working from for my latest major - working title 'Grim Fairy'.

With this kind of work, there are certain times when you choose to give up the ordinary pursuits in life... other artists know what I'm talking about - the kinds of things people normally find intriguing and somehow fascinating, like visiting different places just to be somewhere else, see something else, to be surrounded by a different environment.
I call it spectating, the idea of going to 'see' something, not interact with it or be engaged with it.
I've often discussed the need to disengage from the easel or the drawing board in order to go and do something else, to inspire the muse and restructure the senses. Personally, I find little in spectating - there's no emotional response to a building or a field or a park unless I'm riding the elevator or running through the grass pretending to be William Wallace (hmm, haven't done that in a while - no kilt!)
When I'm at the cafe, I'm working - either on a WIP or a minor, or scratching out ideas, it's fascinating the number of people who say to me, why don't you go see this place, that place, anywhere but where you are now, doing what you're doing?
My understanding of this is that most people find the idea of sitting still and actually creating either dull, boring or without life. Yet when they see the result, they're astonished by the detail, the layering, the thought and imagination in it.... For them, the need to move and be somewhere else all the time, experiencing life in the flesh is the journey. For me, the journey is in the process, the detail, the layering, the thought and imagination..... and the willingness to sit still in order to achieve it.