Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Year That Was

In the eight months since my brother's death I have been going through the motions of keeping busy and trying to be cheerful but my health told a different story with two major illnesses over the winter months. However I kept plodding away with my artwork if not with any writing of merit. Two weeks after his passing in April I attended a workshop on Goethe's Theory Of Colour with Bettie Huibers at Otane. I never imagined the poet to have investigated this subject so thoroughly or to have inspired so many artists. One major inspiration I came away with was that we should practice with colour every day in the same way we're meant to draw. It is a huge subject that we only touched briefly on during the day workshop but I hope that I can explore it further. Before long it was June and the Arts and Crafts Corner Otane Inc annual exhibition. Every year a corner of the Herb and Garden room is given over to guest artists from one of the other groups at the centre and this year it was the turn of the Art Group. Donna Dahm and myself held a retrospective of our work and Donna enjoyed several sales of her landscapes while I sold a cat painting. Most of my work was behind the door as I had an oil nude displayed which counts as offensive in this area although I received some rave reviews from the male population.
Other works I included were animal paintings and I received a commission for a dog portrait from a visitor. Many people who weren't interested in buying a larger work did make their way into the art room and bought cards I had made from my paintings as well as some of my stoned jewellery.
For the past few years the Art Group has had a Theme wall during the exhibition and this year it was "Carnival" time. Work ranged from masks to circus and resulted in a very colourful display. I had been working on a major collage piece which I called "The Fortune Teller". This mixed media lady was fairly large and consisted of magazine paper, glitter, paper lace and paint. I have no idea why some art lovers turn their noses up at collage as this work took me as long to complete as a conventional painting. She now hangs at the back of my TV and her eyes follow me about the room.
In August I worked on a rushed job for a work colleague of my aunt's who wanted two doorstops made of her deceased cats. She had lost most of her photos due to her hard drive crashing so there were only three to work from so some imagination was used.
"Smudge"(above) was painted on a large river stone which had natural cat-like bumps and lumps. The photos were taken from a distance so I had to imagine what the eyes looked like close up.
"Pixel" had blue colourings which gave me an opportunity to mix in beautiful rich grays and siennas and the eyes were full of colour and reflection.
September is time for the Art Extravaganza which is held as part of The Festival at Pukeora Estate, Waipukurau. My entry was "Meeting of the Lop Society" a work I had begun last year and which has been sitting on a chair in my kitchen while I tried to work out what was wrong with it. In the end I decided the middle rabbit (originally a small lop huddled down) was the problem so one night I covered it with black gesso (and the rest of the canvas) just leaving the two other bunnies sticking out of the darkness. I also changed the right hand lop to a ginger. Although this work didn't sell at the Arts and Crafts Corner Otane Open Weekend over 3/4th November it had so many comments that if I'd charged 50c for every "oh you can almost feel the fur" comment I'd have earned a good $25! Goes to show that if you leave a painting to gestate long enough and have the courage to paint out a good proportion of it you can still turn it round.

1 comment:

Kat said...

I love the fortune teller piece