Im-pressed

Michael in the studio

Michael in the studio

My friend Michael invited me to see his new baby, it was shiny, new and rolled like a dream.  Instead of that overriding smell of oil in his studio, a faint waft of fine etching ink.  Paintbrushes gave way to rollers and the floor tiled with sepia clad editions.  Printing to me feels like pulling wild hair into a ponytail.  That wild unkempt expressionist feelings are still there but they are under temporary control. The steps to prepare, dampen paper, ink the plate and roll, tie the wild into place but the output at the end, when the hair tie is released, produces the same expressionist marks, the abandon usually felt in the paint marks transferred to a print.

Drawing on the copper plate

Drawing on the copper plate

Michael has been prolific, monotypes, drypoints and a beautiful hand coloured book.  The new press has provided a tool for more drawing. We gave it a whirl and Michael did a monotype and I did a smudgy mess. Here’s a selection of his work. You can check out more of his work here.

The finished plate

The finished plate

Ready to roll

Out the other side

Out the other side

All important floor inspection

All important floor inspection

One of the Kosciusko series

One of the Kosciusko series

Another from that series, one of my favourites.

Another from that series, one of my favourites.

Beautiful hand coloured etchings made into a book.

Beautiful hand coloured etchings made into a book.

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A Big Pink Painting & Bare Bones

Sydney is alive with Elisabeth pink.  Luminous Landscapes at the SH Ervin and Monotypes at King St on William.  Her monotypes are the skeletons ,the bare bones  of her work. We get to see her paintings in a state of undress.  As a celebration I have edited this post that I originally wrote a long time ago. It goes like this……..

My first Elisabeth Cummings was a huge pink job.  I walked into an exhibition of works held by the Shoalhaven City Council; the odd local landmarks, a few portraits and then wham! The Wedderburn Bush.  A Cummings completed in the 70’s.  Not only was I drawn by the size and colour, it was the clarity of the bush that I had seen in Fred Williams.  A simplicity that captured the essence- Whiteley called it Quiditass.

Since then I have delved further looking for her influences in the effort to understand what I want– try and follow the path in the hope that the paint comes off and I find her primer- what has driven her to that point.  It turned out to be not a path but a bit of crazy paving.  One artist led to the next –Whisson, Fairweather, Bonnard & Cezanne until I’m back where I started.    Cumming’s Arakoola Landscape at the AGNSW has allowed me to study the technical process in the same way I’ve looked at De Kooning, Olsen and Tony Tuckson at the NGA.  Studying slashes of thick seemingly unpredicted colour over delicately built glazes.  Unexpected marks in response to an observation. I feel that there is an advantage being a regional artist, the limited exposure to these important artists means that I have to work harder at finding my own way through paint.  My influences are my own environment and the subject at hand.  My paintings are the result of intuition and bravery and willingness to accept a loss.  By studying Cumming’s works I will still never know whether that shard of Bonnardish colour was a confident knowledgable action or an instinctive reaction.

A Big Pink Painting

Sydney is alive with Elisabeth pink.  Luminous Landscapes at the SH Ervin and Monotypes at King St on William.  Her monotypes are the skeletons ,the bare bones  of her work. We get to see her paintings in a state of undress.  As a celebration I have edited this post that I originally wrote a long time ago. It goes like this……..

My first Elisabeth Cummings was a huge pink job.  I walked into an exhibition of works held by the Shoalhaven City Council; the odd local landmarks, a few portraits and then wham! The Wedderburn Bush.  A Cummings completed in the 70’s.  Not only was I drawn by the size and colour, it was the clarity of the bush that I had seen in Fred Williams.  A simplicity that captured the essence- Whiteley called it Quiditass.

Since then I have delved further looking for her influences in the effort to understand what I want– try and follow the path in the hope that the paint comes off and I find her primer- what has driven her to that point.  It turned out to be not a path but a bit of crazy paving.  One artist led to the next –Whisson, Fairweather, Bonnard & Cezanne until I’m back where I started.    Cumming’s Arakoola Landscape at the AGNSW has allowed me to study the technical process in the same way I’ve looked at De Kooning, Olsen and Tony Tuckson at the NGA.  Studying slashes of thick seemingly unpredicted colour over delicately built glazes.  Unexpected marks in response to an observation. I feel that there is an advantage being a regional artist, the limited exposure to these important artists means that I have to work harder at finding my own way through paint.  My influences are my own environment and the subject at hand.  My paintings are the result of intuition and bravery and willingness to accept a loss.  By studying Cumming’s works I will still never know whether that shard of Bonnardish colour was a confident knowledgable action or an instinctive reaction.