Musicians Love Dogs and Writers Love Cats

I am reposting this art quiz I created years ago. Time flies! Just click on the How much is that doggie in the window link below and give it a try. It anonymous and if you took the quiz all that time ago- how’s the memory?

The inspiration for it came from this article by Emily Temple that recently linked from one of my blogs about David Hockney.

I’m a dog person so I think that means I can’t write (or perhaps shouldn’t).

This week my library pick up was wonderful Dogs in Australian Art by Steven Miller. Does it get any better – art and puppies in one book, and it’s not heavy! But wait it gets better. My favourite artist Noel McKenna has my breed of dog -SNAP! (here’s a work he did based on lost dog posters)

Tim Storrier brought his dog Smudge to share in his glory of the win at the  Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery NSW so I have decided to share the love and do another quiz – I know about time! This time it centres around doggies and artists. Don’t worry I have another quiz especially for cat-lovers here

Take a stab: How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

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There’s An App For That Art

The Lake

Taking a photo at the lake on my walk, why not give the old Tate Ball a shake?

This was my treat on a hot summery night.

This was my treat on a hot summery night.

I think when I heard the Sesame Street rendition of “There’s an app for that…” I knew my excitement for apps was justified.  I can’t say that I’m a tech expert but I can negotiate around the app store like a book shop.  I head straight for the art section (surprise,surprise), do a bit of opening, browsing, reading reviews.

The Magic 8 Ball Tate Ball

The Magic 8 Ball Tate Ball

A grey day at the lake, a shake and presto!

A grey day at the lake, a shake and presto!

So my phone now has a great selection of art apps and one of my all time favourites is the Magic Tate Ball. It has it all. At any time of day, anywhere you can give it a firm shake and magic chance along with a little GPS tracking and sensing your surroundings, it will predict an art piece specially selected for you to make your day a little brighter. Todays treat was Barbara Hepworth!

Along with apps from most of the major galleries, there is also a variety of arty games and another favourite time-waster is Art Museum. It is similar to the old card game of patience where you flip over and match the pair – in this case art works, you then go on to match the painting to the artist and even further to match the title to the painting.

There is a great variety Dali Watches, Draw SomethingMuybridgizer, and Magritte It are a few fun ones.  Let me know if there is the ultimate art app that you would love to share.

If you think all of this may be just too much to take in, check out this fun animation that sums up my problem.

No, I didn't get locked out but I was a little paranoid.

No, I didn’t get locked out but I was a little paranoid.

Another Splash

Hockney A Rakes ProgressI finished David Hockney’s biography “A Rakes Progress” by Christopher Simon Sykes at the same time as my daughter returned from London where she saw A Bigger Splash Painting After Performance at the Tate Modern. We seem to have that sync with art. Sometimes we disagree on the merit of works and artists but for the most part we are at one.

A Bigger Splash Tate Modern 2013I loved this book and found a renewed enthusiasm for drawing. It reminded me of art school and David Hockney Drawings a volume that was much too heavy to keep taking out of the library on a regular basis. I could not juggle the book, the paintings and the backpack so I would spend lunch poring over it at the table in the library, sketchbook out and scribbly notes taken.  The good books were always the biggest – Rauschenburg, Picasso and another on my regular list – Asian Abstraction.

Elaine De KooningMy current book is one that my little girl had found for me, another wonderful gift:  Elaine De Kooning The Spirit of Abstract Expressionism Selected Writings.  Full of essays and insights from a painter and a critic.

Drawn Out

Tim Allen: Folded and Faulted Sediment III

Tim Allen: Folded and Faulted Sediment III

After the Bacon exhibition I went for a look at the Dobell Drawing Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW.  This is the last Dobell Drawing Prize after 20 years and I was pretty sad about that.  It struck me that Bacon had no sketchbooks displayed in the exhibition and I was then curious about his habits and it appears most of his work went straight onto the canvas. I’m currently reading David Hockney’s biography A Rakes Progress whose drawing is such an important foundation of his work.  I remember being in awe of a simple line in his drawing that went from black to red so easily and obviously. Beautiful.

Graham Fransella: Figure and a Bell

Graham Fransella: Figure and a Bell

I remember seeing the Dobell prize for the first time and my excitement of drawing that I continue to have. I remember being obsessive, taking the sketchbook in the bath to draw the taps, taking it fishing to draw while the line was dangling, always at the beach and having a sketchbook especially for train trips small with an orange cover so I knew the difference.

I still have a sketchbook with me at most times but I don’t have that obsession anymore. I don’t know where I lost it but wish it was back. I love that feeling being lost in a drawing, starting small getting past that uncomfortable niggling feeling and then being swap away in the marks.  I still use drawing within my painting and don’t think I could ever use just paint, the brush handle is too distant from my finger tips.

Lloyd Rees Sketchbooks in the Art Gallery of NSW Collection - photo from Australian Drawings AGNSW

Lloyd Rees Sketchbooks in the Art Gallery of NSW Collection – photo from Australian Drawings AGNSW

Kevin Connor: Pyrmont and the City 1993 the first Dobell Prize Winner

Kevin Connor: Pyrmont and the City 1993 the first Dobell Prize Winner

The last exhibition for the Dobell was like saying goodbye to some old favourites and familiar names associated with drawing. The prize will be replaced with a drawing biennale which sounds exciting but a long time between drinks.

Pink Rocks and Green Ponds


The painting trip to Braidwood fed the painting habit a little more. Rosalie Gascoigne said that she was “visually hungry” and reading an article on David Hockney he got excited about drops in puddles.

I love colour – it’s what the landscape feeds me. For the past 3 years I have had this screen saver from a photo I took down there. It was the colour of this stagnant pond that drew me back. 

 

 

 

From this trip it was the colour of the rocks – that dull fleshy pink. I did some small gouache works and know that these will in turn feed larger works and that from those initial colours, more colours develop.

Popping Back to my Childhood


Paper and scissors are like chocolate and orange – fun separately but when you put them together amazing wonders unfold. I recently did a workshop with paper artist, Benja Harney. It was for pop-up books. I’d tried making my own sketch books and thought I could somehow translate some skills into what I wanted. I went expecting to do some cutting and pasting.

What I got what was a look into a beautiful crisp cut world of Benja. Apart from a lovely guy he is an immensely talented artist. It was a moment when everything became connected. The gallery where the workshop was held was host to an exhibition on book illustration. A good kick in the pants to once again enjoy the art of drawing. To stop sooking -as in some of my previous posts.

Works by Shaun Tan, Graeme Base and Ron Brooks made me feel like a kid again, reading books for the pictures. I remember making a dust jacket for The Mouse That Roared in primary school. It sticks sharply in my mind, I loved doing that. The folding, drawing and writing. I remember thinking this is what I want to do forever, it was magic, I made the ship huge and the mouse sit in a boat in the foreground.

The exhibition let me into that magical world where imagination becomes reality and in Leigh Hobbs’ case – follow a sculpture of Mr Chicken who went to Paris.

 

The last of the day unfolded when I arrived home to find my beautiful daughter had bought me a new book on her travels : Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm with Illustrations by David Hockney. A reprint from the 1970’s.

The pop-up was unfolding before me. I know that I want to incorporate the owl and the pussycat into my next series of paintings. What better way than to create a book, fold and slice, draw and paint, cut and paste, nip and tuck. My work today was clumsy and far from delicate but I went home in awe, the same feeling when I saw my first pop-up as a child.

I also came away with a few clumsy pop-ups of my own.

Musicians Love Dogs and Writers Love Cats

I am reposting this art quiz I created almost 4 years ago. Time flies! Just click on the How much is that doggie in the window link below and give it a try. It anonymous and if you took the quiz 4 years back- how’s the memory?

The inspiration for it came from this article by Emily Temple that recently linked from one of my blogs about David Hockney.

I’m a dog person so I think that means I can’t write (or perhaps shouldn’t).

This week my library pick up was wonderful Dogs in Australian Art by Steven Miller. Does it get any better – art and puppies in one book, and it’s not heavy! But wait it gets better. My favourite artist Noel McKenna has my breed of dog -SNAP! (here’s a work he did based on lost dog posters)

Tim Storrier brought his dog Smudge to share in his glory of the win at the  Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery NSW so I have decided to share the love and do another quiz – I know about time! This time it centres around doggies and artists.

Take a stab: How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

The Bungendore Bears


If you go to Bungendore today you’re in for a big surprise, for every bear that ever there was is hanging or nailed on a gum tree.  I can’t remember when I first saw these bears, maybe the early 80’s.  I knew instantly the macabre associations and bleached colours were something special. It would develop into some sort of series.  Each trip with other people I would point them out, I would “Google” them and take photos and sketches.  After clearing out the storage shed my bear sketches appeared like the old favourite toy, Woody in Toy Story.  I don’t know when the paintings will evolve or if they will. There is always so much to paint and never enough time.

So after being inspired by David Hockney and his IPhone paintings I have decided to embrace the use of technology and blog about the Bungendore Bears for now.  I decided to share some of the work in photos and sketches, in their own special place, nailed to the net as well as beneath the trees where nobody sees.  So gather there for certain because todays the day the Teddy Bears have their Blog.

Grey Green White Gum West of Ace