Serra-ndippity

Richard Serra Vico,2002

Richard Serra Drawings

Blackness is a property, not a quality”  Richard Serra.

Recently Richard Serra has been on my art hit list.  Looking at public art, it has hard to see past him, his work is solid, demanding and ‘complexingly’ simple. I have a loan of a  beautiful book to read from my pal Jane Richard Serra Drawings.

Serra & Pollock, it's all about action

Serra & Pollock, it’s all about action

I suppose coming from a blacksmith’s daughter, steel was a material sheet-rolled into my psyche.  I watched my dad melt lead and instead of flinging against a wall like Serra, he poured it into molds for sinkers.  He curved steel in the shed to form horse shoes, like Serra curving lines within a room. Most of the time I was forbidden to go into the work shed, but I would don the Ned Kelly welding helmet, smelly and sweaty. I would wave my stig wand and pretend to make steel glow.

Serra, Vico 2002.

Serra, Vico 2002.

 

Unfortunately Dad never got around to see my (very inept) welding skills and I think he would have loved Serra as much as me, he could have explained the properties and the logistics. I recently looked at making a sculpture on the scale of a Serra and was excited to see a drawing materialise, if only in Photoshop as a huge monolith, emerging from my lake.

 

 

 

Paintlater, Graphite, oil pastel  2014.

Paintlater, Graphite, oil pastel 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Paintlater, 'Down' 2014

Paintlater, ‘Down’ 2014

Paintlater, Maquette fro 'Down' 2014

Paintlater, Maquette for ‘Down’ 2014

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Don’t Let Your Thumbnails Fall Off

Somewhere between then and now my thumbnails have fell off. Painting back at the river felt like I had come full circle – it was quite a while ago since we’d been. In between there was specatacular vistas of coastline, waterbirds and the discovery of fluro paint. There was only a few of us missing too. We talked about Barbies, Cy Twombly and Ildiko Kovacs over banana cake and home grown mandarins then got down to business.

I started with a small sketch eastward on the river toward the bridge and a man fishing at the boat ramp. Arthur Boyd’s territory. The last couple of paint trips I’ve gone back to using small thumbnails- my largest works always had this basis. I don’t remember them falling off but I know the finished work was definitely more complete, stronger.

Gumtrees, Rembrandt and Fruitcake

Today the Picknick Painters returned to Seven Mile Beach. Reiko wanted to finish her oily work. Cobalt skies and bird sounds gave me the breathing space once again. The last day had been one continuous ring tone, official letters and very unartful. Today was clarity. I set up in a sunny spot and began with just a drawing with graphite -trees and sky. We were excited by Anne’s return and squealed when she pulled up spouting brochures of galleries and museums in London and Amsterdam. Andrea had made a wonderful fruitcake and I offered the usual cupboard reject food- Beetroot Corn Chips – they would have made better paint scrapers than morning tea. It made me think of the trip to New York and that feeling of return. The bush. The blue.

A Sneaky Peak at missing De Kooning

This sneaky peak at the sketch book is one from 2006. I was reading a biography on De Kooning, a book I really treasured and so I sketched the cover. Since then I have loaned the book and can’t remember who. I would really love it back -I’ll even send you this sketch in return. At least I know he is in admired hands.