Monday, October 27, 2014


Saturday's oil sketch of Donna, 24 x 18

and a some 1 & 2  minute  figure studies during the week

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Art Thoughts #1

An article in my ArtDaily newsletter the other day, announced the upcoming auction of a Cy Twombly painting, it stated that this masterpiece, which was housepaint on board with chalk scribbles was expected to bring $35-$55 million US dollars, and it caused me to ponder on the thoughts and conversations I have about Art, the state of it, what it is and why we do it etc.

Art is certainly not high on the agenda of current governments, at least here in Australia, as Art programmes and Art funding is progressively being cut or abandoned in place of more useful and productive subjects that focus on the more important matter of making money.

It does seem rather paradoxical that while art is seemingly of little practical value to everyday life... at the same time obscene amounts of money are being spent on art which is out of all proportion to the quality of the work or actual skill involved in producing it.

dictionary definitions of Art  are ambiguous “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance”.

“Art has had a great number of different functions throughout its history, making its purpose difficult to abstract or quantify to any single concept. This does not imply that the purpose of Art is "vague", but that it has had many unique, different reasons for being created “

“Few modern scholars have been more divided than Plato and Aristotle on the question concerning the importance of art, with Aristotle strongly supporting art in general and Plato generally being opposed to its relative importance”(Wikipedia)

The state of art today is a reflection of the world that we live in, with its crazy values and priorities!
While many live in poverty, and defenceless peoples are terrorised by evil men, we have become a world of tribalistic hero worshippers paying fortunes for entertainment. It seems that India can send a scientific rocket to Mars for less than than it costs to produce a modern entertainment film... or it could have bought a Rothko painting and had a few thousand left over.

One of my thoughts on art is that it is an essential part of the human experience, it is descriptive and expressive, it is communication, it could bring beauty and pleasure, awareness and thought and discussion.
Art is also work, and all work is worthy of some reward, but that reward should not be out of proportion with reality... and should not be the prime motivation for producing it..

In my opinion the works of Banksy, done in the form of graffiti, in public places for any to see, are better value than many daubings  on boards... that the gullible are conned into spending a fortune for!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

plein air

Thursdays is the day that the keen plein air painters from the Nepean and Macquarie Towns Art Societies get together at a pre-determined location for a bit of plein air painting, this week most of them have gone up to the Capertee Valley for a few days... but two of us still managed to meet at the lagoon in Richmond today for a bit of painting.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life Drawing around Sydney

I was compiling a more up to date list of some of the Life Drawing/Portrait groups and venues around the Sydney region that I might possibly attend... and in the process came upon this comprehensive list of life drawing venues around Australia!

a recommended facebook page

My list

Monday/Tuesday 10 am-1pm
Cnr Brandling Street & Ellen Ave

Monday 1pm-3pm $10.00
Diana Dwyer 4758 9897a
PHONE: 4758 9897
Blacktown Sketch Club
Varied by terms
02 9839 6247

Wednesday 7.00 – 9.00

Castle Hill Art Society
Portrait 3rd Thurday 10 – 12
Rosalie Neef 9680 1283
Janice Moorey 9639 6552

Life Drawing 1.00 – 3.00
Last Friday of the Month
Janice Moorey 9639 6552

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Liverpool Art Society
Tuesday nights
Kahee Song on 0409 303 753, or Pamela Rodoreda on 02 9601 6078.

Tuesday 6.30 -9.00 PM
0415 254 793

Epping Community Centre
Tues 9.30am-12.30pm
Robyn Biviano (0403) 450 330, email: Robyn Biviano

Glenbrook, Hare & Moore St’s Fri 10am -1pm
Blue Mountains Creative Arts Centre,

Hurstville, Sth Hurstville Bowling CLub 3rd Tues 7.30 - 10 pm
Southern Cross Art Society, Ray 9522 6698

Ingleside, Sculpture Shed uncertain
Christine 9970 8619

Lavender Bay
Royal Art Society
Friday 10am-1pm

Sothern Cross Art Society
3rd Tuesday evening of the month

Sando Sketch Club
Free every Monday 8pm-10pm
387 King St Newtown
9557 1254

Parramatta Art Society
Tuesday 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
$ 15.00/ session

Margaret Stephenson 9871 4292 or 0410 603 023
Pennant Hills
Every Tuesday, 7pm - 10pm
Stuart 0435 517 157 or Graeme 9629 2532

Redfern 107 Projects
Tuesdays 8pm-10pm
107 Redfern Street Redfern

Ryde, 770 Victoria Rd Ryde Thur 9.30 - 12.30
Willandra Art Centre 9898 2554, enq,9809 3326

Richmond, UWS, K13
Life drawing Thurs 7 -9pm resumes next year
Portrait last Saturday of the month 10am-1pm
Hawkesbury Community Arts Workshop,

Richmond Art Supplies
Life Drawing 3rd Tuesday of the Month 7pm-9pm
Portrait 2nd Saturday of the Month 1pm-4pm
Macquarie Towns Arts Society, Deidre 4578 3446

Surry Hills, Knot Gallery, 342 Elizabeth St

MONDAY NIGHTS 630 – 8.30 $4.00

The Rocks

Willoughby, Workshop Art Centre, 33 Laurel St Fri 10 -12 noon
9958 6540

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

my system for saving paint

as a natural penny pincher, and because I like to use a brand of paint  for some colours that is not available in Australia, ( Vasari paints from New York ) it concerned me that I was wasting a lot of paint because it was  hardening on the palette in between uses... so I devised a system where I have virtually no wastage at all nowadays. I have shown this to quite a number of people and have even set some up with it.

I bought some laminex offcuts in a neutral grey colour from a kitchen maker (cheap)  and cut them to a size that fits neatly into a plastic A4 office container. (cheap)

I clip the flexible  laminex palette to a larger palette to use, and when I've finished painting put the whole unit neatly into the freezer compartment of the fridge and it is fresh and ready for use whenever I take it out... it's clean and with no waste.

I have one for portrait painting and one for landscape painting, and though it is not always practical to take one for plein air I can still preserve the paint onto it when I return to the studio.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Saturday's portrait group at the Richmond Art Shop was well attended... in fact it was a little bit crowded! I managed a 20 minute colour pencil drawing, a 60 or 80 minute oil, and then switched positions for a 35 minute oil sketch

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Angelique II & self

I have progressed a little with the second portrait of Angelique that I painted on Saturday

and have started a self portrait to follow up on the one I did last year

Sunday, October 05, 2014


next weekend will be the final days for this year's annual exhibition at the Piggery Lane Studios, and Saturday will also be the day of the Hawkesbury Earthcare  Centre Spring Fair ...this is a little oil sketch of the Earthcare Mudbrick building painted from the Piggery  the other day.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Life Drawing

life drawing has dropped off round here lately due to a seeming lack of interest and I'm travelling a little further to get  some much needed practice. I went into the city to attend some free sessions put on by a model friend who was helping aspiring models to 'give it a go'
this is a pencil sketch of a first time model

and a couple of Conte sketches from yesterday's regular Friday session at Glenbrook