Facebook reminded me this week that two years ago I resigned from Australia Post to become a full time artist. Working for yourself is a tricky business, but despite what I feared, the sky has still not fallen in on me yet! My 20-year-old self would have been stunned and incredulous that I could one day be doing what I love full time. And now the opportunity to inspire, teach and help other artists with what I’ve learned. I’d like to thank everyone who has shared my journey, supported me and made this all possible.
Well, New York is here. Packing is all but done and we are off on Monday. I am sure it will be over all too swiftly and a new chapter will begin with the legacy of new friendships, more paintings completed and another New York City birthday under my belt. Watch IG and Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for a peephole into the world of Central Park workshops and connecting with the USA!
Keeping fresh is often a challenge for an artist. Varying subject matter, style or size can be a catalyst for change and I have employed all of these to test myself and progress the artistic integrity of my work. Clouds and mood feature heavily… but you will also see street scenes, reflections and florals in the landscape mix. I love experimenting with unusual or unpredictable background colours and combinations. Anyway, see you all on the other side of the Big Apple!
From the studio this month...
Sleepless in Seattle has been me this summer. Hot weather stifling creativity. Existing on crumbs for sleep. Considering options for cooler environments like moving to Antarctica or southern New Zealand, or getting an air conditioner. The air conditioner won. Much cheaper… well… somewhat cheaper, and better for family. Nonetheless I painted and maintained the work schedule. Florals and landscapes and a few plans for interiors. I have also begun some larger paintings for my series on the Mornington Peninsula. Sunsets have me wondering if art can imitate life and would anyone believe it if I replicated the magnificent colours that I have witnesses lately. Storm clouds too. Amazing clouds and atmospheric conditions.
Preparation for New York Workshops are ramping up too. It is the end of next month, soon to be this month! I am anticipating warm(ish) weather and a cascade of cherry blossoms. Anything less and I will be bitterly disappointed! New York is a special place for me and I have taken to celebrating my birthday there. I welcome suggestions and stories about places that are great to paint and worth a visit. We will be based around Central Park and I have a few plans in place, but if anyone has some local knowledge about great spots to paint... please let me know!
Some new toys for me to play with have been Sennelier oil sticks, Gamblin FastMatte oils and Art Spectrum rubber brushes. New marks, new feel, different strokes. I have blown the budget buying more to increase colour range and versatility. Good fun was had by all. I can’t wait to use all new members of the brush and paint family growing in my studio. They are lined up expectantly in a row, patiently waiting. I am less patient. Keep watching. See if you can pick them.
Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of this month’s work:
The summer workshops in Shellharbour have ended. The last hurrah was a follow up with a course participant the other day. Wow! What a month it was. We had rain, sweltering heat, seasoned artists, beginners, walks, adventures and a thousand onlookers. Ambassadors for art, teaching on the spot, poster boys and girls and many admiring glances from passers by. Everyone had a great sense of spurring one another on and supporting fellow travellers on the art road. One sold a painting on the spot. Another inspired a new generation of artists in true teacher fashion. Other sales followed and excitement built for more workshops to come. Well done everyone! Thank you for sharing your journey with us all.
My next focus will be on the New York workshops in May. The first one on May 4-5 sold out very quickly so I have decided to run another one on May 6th. If anyone is interested please find all the information here: New York Workshops . I am looking forward to meeting all my American friends and painting plein air in Central Park. The blossoms will still be in bloom and the weather will be wonderful…. I hope!
February has been a month of more florals. Strong light through glass and textured petals have been a highlight. Landscapes have featured as well, but the chance to use colours other than green and blue have enlivened me and my practice. I love the variety of the still lifes and feel invigorated. Thank you to all who have commented and encouraged me (one way or the other).
Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of what’s been happening this month:
The new year is here. I hope it has been a great start for you all. I have begun the art year by experimenting with floral tableaux combined with light and shadow compositions. I have been looking to add a “new string to my bow” for a while and I am finding still life as exciting as my landscape work. Teamed with my wife’s love of flowers, my duty to buy them each week and a new direction… the results have been pleasing. The new paintings seem to be received well by the comments sent my way and thank you to all who have provided feedback.
Summer workshops in Shellharbour have begun. The two so far have been blessed by suitable weather, fantastic scenery and happy participants. It is amazing to see so many different paintings from similar vantage points! Everyone worked hard and pushed themselves to explore new techniques and styles. All went home armed with vigour and resolve to be better at what they do and celebrate their successes.
I celebrated my son’s thirtieth birthday this weekend. I painted two seascapes at Stanwell Park while we were all away together as a family. Coastal inspiration continues, further north and higher up. The travel will continue this year with the USA, Portugal, Melbourne and Sydney planned. A little more of Australia is a possibility... thinking... thinking. Looking forward to meeting more new and old friends this year at workshops and exhibitions too! Keep in touch and don’t forget to follow @mystudiodoor on Instagram for those wanting a peek behind the scenes into my artistic practice.
Some work from this month:
Another Sydney show and another year gone. Thank you all who have supported in so many ways. Turning up to the exhibitions, encouraging words, buying artwork, likes and shares, photos and visits. Thank you so much! I really value your friendship and help.
The Sydney show at Aro gallery was a success on a number of fronts. People seeing the work for the first time, others building their understanding, some travelling from interstate to be a part of it all, valued friends calling in faithfully. With more than 30 paintings finding new homes, it was another very rewarding year at Aro Gallery. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who keeps turning up and supporting me... it’s that support which enables me to paint every day and keep doing what I love.
My recent trip to Bathurst gave me much to work from. The weather was warm, the fields green and lush and a few forays into new territory has provided inspiration for a series of country landscapes. I caught up with precious family and returned refreshed for my next session of studio work. I am enthusiastic about revisiting old themes and branching into new!
My new year will begin with a series of workshops at the Shellharbour Village Exhibition Space, in our local Shellharbour township. We have the seaside, rock pools, coastal scenes and rustic urban landscapes to explore and capture en plain air. Here’s to good weather, new friends and plenty of art! I will also have a selection of my work on display at SVES and available by appointment for those who missed my Sydney show.
Best wishes from Kerrie and me to all of you. Hope you had a great Christmas and all the very best for a fantastic 2019!
Some images from "Vision Field" at Aro Gallery...
For those who have been asking, I'm pleased to announce that the online catalogue for my upcoming Sydney exhibition is now available!
You can preview the works here www.richardclaremont.com/sydney-catalogue. For purchase enquiries please respond directly to this email.
Doors open at 11am on Wednesday... if you are near Sydney I hope to see you at Aro Gallery!
The big news of this month is my upcoming Sydney show starting on November 28th at Aro Gallery. Titled “Vision Field” it highlights my love of landscapes and seascapes. Texture, light and form are the common threads, captured and transferred to the canvas. There will also be a selection of my smaller UK paintings available from my trip in September. Thanks to the generosity of my wonderful supporters, last year at Aro was my most successful show ever. I am looking forward to again meeting friends old and new at the opening on November 28th.
Please stay tuned as I will be sending out a newsletter with a link to the online catalogue which will be available two days before the exhibition begins.
As part of my exhibition preparations I have been reviewing old works and applying fresh touches to pieces that will more accurately reflect my present focus. Limit the palette, increase the contrast and tweak the composition. The Zorn Palette has become a new favourite, especially for seascapes. It allows for spontaneity and greater engagement.
Framing has been a bit frantic… with suppliers of the moulding I use closing their doors earlier this year. My framer and stepson Patrick has responded with ingenious methods which include hand milling the moulding profile from scratch! This year I have started using White Oak as well as American Oak… each has their own subtle colour and grain variations. I am thrilled that there is now a streamlined production line of high quality, artisan, hand crafted frames for my paintings.
A month overseas. I gain a month travelling and being fed the beauty of England, Wales and Scotland. An easier travel load this time, not a new place each day, rather a new place every other day. Observing, walking, painting. Experiencing all weathers, clouds and trees… in the Peaks, along canals, by mills and over dales. They have fed me, enriched my senses and taught me skies and colours. I have painted in all sorts of nooks and crannies, window seats and tiny places. Trying even harder to not leave my mark anywhere… Christo-plastic all surfaces and myself, unpeeling at the end. I miss my big studio and large canvases! My big brushes and mottled spaces, time being my own and breaks for reflection. I have spent a twelfth of my working year on the road and in planes and cars and strange places… I see it in small studies and same styles… canvas is small, the strokes deliberate and intricate, the places pretty and neat. Be prepared for some big dramatic work when I come home!
Travelling gives time for reflection, contemplation and self evaluation. I learn more about myself as an artist and a fellow human being. Meeting so many different people, rubbing up against different cultures and living in confined spaces breaks off many bristles that we tend to grow when not moving so much. Learning about other people’s art story and practice rounds the edges of my practice too. I hope that I am more tolerant of myself through this. I also want to push myself to do better and more adventurous art.
The light in the UK is different. I always knew it but never so much as this time here. Especially in Cornwall. The tendency is to think artists who painted here romanticised the landscape. I think not so much. The light is different. I can see why people travelled to paint in Cornwall. European light is different! The greens are different. I found it challenging to paint the greens… never entirely confident with greens, I had to wrestle with the Aussie green reflex and adapt to another sort of greening of the landscape.
Be prepared to see a few more northern hemisphere paintings when I get home. I am not finished with it yet. I may have to delve back into the photo log and my memory to get a few more out here. With my Sydney exhibition looming, the focus will be on Sydney and more local scenes. I am excited about painting some large works and pushing my techniques further.
Here’s a selection of the 30 6X8” studies I painted on the road… some are still available.
It is places and spaces this time. The exhibition at Brightspace Gallery in Melbourne heralded a few firsts for me. It was the first time exhibiting in this wonderful space and it indeed lived up to its name. Many commented on the large viewing area and how vibrant the paintings looked on the newly painted white walls. This was the first time my exhibition in Melbourne spanned more than a weekend. The weekday visiting was steady, topped off with another first – a workshop at the gallery surrounded by the exhibition and interspersed with visitors to see the show. Twenty students attended and all said they achieved their aims and left inspired. The waiting list is growing for another workshop so plans are developing for another event before the next Melbourne exhibition.
Portugal is the next workshop planned. In conjunction with Art In The Algarve, I am offering a one week painting workshop next year in the quaint fishing village of Olhao in Portugal in October 2019! Located on the stunning Algarve coastline, this will be a relaxing and energizing art holiday with accommodation, all meals and tuition included. So if spending lazy days sketching and painting in a fully supported art environment with a wonderful home cooked meal and wine at the end of the day sounds like your idea of fun... this is exactly the holiday for you. To book this course and find out about the art school please go to Art in the Algarve.
The last place, but actually the next place is the UK. We will be heading off on an artist’s journey through the UK next week. I will be following in the footsteps of some famous painters and doing plein air painting as I go. Follow the journey on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I will be posting images of the paintings and all work will be for sale as I go. I have had many recommendations of scenic landscapes and information on famous and lesser known artists who have loved and painted the areas where they lived and travelled. I wonder if your favourite places will be featured? Keep me posted and I will do likewise!
Just a quick note for those who have been asking about the online catalogue for my Melbourne show. You can now preview and purchase the works from the online catalogue here:
For purchase enquiries please reply directly to this email. If you live in the Melbourne area it would be great to see you at the show!