I see shadows as colours. They deserve their space. They are rarely black. Most often they gleam and slink, slide and glide around the place. If you catch them you can see their colours. I catch them and paint them and let them own part of the canvas. And allow them shape and form. Allow them light and substance because shadows are wonderful. They have their own story to tell if you have ears to listen.
The brushes sit in the plastic cup. The Bunnings brushes. Thick ones, synthetic ones, round ones, shiny bristly ones… sitting in sludge. They do get washed. They do get clean. Eventually. Maybe. Last time the dutiful carer washed them for me. I hear some use fancy brushes - the ones the famous people use. The hope that same tools means same result. I am a poor carer of my brushes. Often they are discarded, beyond redemption. New hopefuls lined up and ready.
‘I just love the colours’ rings in my head after exhibitions and posts. People say they like my colours. They are not my colours. Just the ones I use. The ones that choose to be in the story being told. The colours of the wind, the late afternoon light, the ones that tell of the feeling of the cool of the evening after the heat of the day – stealing across the canvas to wrap their arms around and take me somewhere else. The colours of childhood and remembering. The clash of red and purple and the impossible blue of the shadow and tree. Pink sky and peach clouds. It is the way I see it. It is the way you see it with me.
We love going to the Berry Tea Shop. They just serve tea. Even if you wanted coffee or hot chocolate... you won’t find it here. Unashamedly they just have tea. Oolong, herbal, lapsang, English Breakfast… the list goes on. My favourite is Marsala Chai… exquisite! Much tea. Really good tea. This is where you go to get great tea.
I know of an artist who just paints clouds The most elegant, beautiful, transcendent clouds. There is an artist who only paints in black and white... heart wrenchingly beautiful streets, arcades and abandoned buildings. I see their work and I know them. In a world where there is constant pressure to diversify, multitask, please everyone… I realized today that it’s ok to be really, really good at just one thing.
I hear some say their success is limited by not having the right tools or space, and it is true we need some things to create. If I had a new studio I could. The work would look better with the latest camera. Oh, I need the $50 brush, the new app, more expensive paint. If only I had... I could.
When there is genuine skill it will shine brighter than the brightest things.
Unless you are doing a metallic installation, bright shiny things doth not a masterpiece make.
When paintings need to be sent to new homes they need a box. I used to draft all of my own boxes.
Scrounged bits of corflute packaging from Bunnings. Measure and rule. Cut and tape. Glue and fiddle.
In the end I ordered prefab boxes. Sort of like huge pizza boxes. They cost about $7 each. The time saving is immense.
Systems. Love them!
Light is rest. Light refreshes. Have you ever seen those old paintings that are nearly all dark? Shades of green and blue and all manner of blacks with a figure emerging from the dark like a spectre. Hung in dark places. Like the past was mysterious, cloistered. Maybe they did not own white paint. Maybe the fashions were different then.
Painting not working? Shine a little light.
Running a business takes a lot of time. There are supplies to be ordered, events to plan, people to talk to. And that’s even before you’ve produced any work! One thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to do everything on your own.
Meet Rich @totalhang. Rich hangs all my exhibitions. His clients are all the top conservators and art collectors in Australia. That’s all this guy does… he hangs art for a living. He knows what he’s doing. We have a great arrangement… I pay him with paintings!
When I have a show in Melbourne he flies down to hang it. Rich knows the value of being 100% reliable, taking care of details and being part of a high performance team.
The great part about building a team is that everyone gets to work on what they do best. For me that’s creating art.