Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Art and technology

There are so many things that can lead an artist astray - that can divert you from your day's plan. Some of you will know that recently I received an iPad for a present. So now there is a new distraction - but maybe not. I am sitting waiting for my car to be serviced and I am using this time to write a short post.

Bark I - oil on canvas 610mm x 915mm Carol Lee Beckx © 2012

I have also been playing with Brushes. Huge kudos go to David Hockney for his mastery of this medium. It's actually really hard to get to grips with using the app. I fear some serious time discipline will be necessary in the coming weeks.

I have started compiling a portfolio of my paintings. This so much easier than carrying around a heavy book of photographs. I'm sure many other artists also have the same feeling - that the magic screen enhances the most ordinary work! What is great about using an iPad to view a painting is that the zoom function enables one to enjoy the details.

The painting above is a commission completed recently for this fully furnished city apartment. It's interesting to see how the  paintings add to the ambiance of a room.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Colour workshop

The workshop held at Art Shed Brisbane last week was very successful. The participants were able to do some serious colour investigation and then put their experiments to good use completing an abstract painting on the second day. They all worked from the same reference and it was fascinating to see how each artist interpreted the same image. (The artists decided on the reference themselves) 

Colour experiment - 760mm x 600mm Oil on canvas Carol Lee Beckx

They were very enthusiastic and produced some exciting work. Not to be left out, I got in the swing of things by starting a canvas myself with the same reference when I got home on Friday evening. The inspiration you get from your students is the wonderful aspect of teaching.

The photographs show some of the work done over the two days. All the paintings below are acrylic on canvas


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Busy times - a demonstration and a workshop

This Saturday 12th May, from 2.00pm to 4.00pm I will be demonstrating at Art Shed Brisbane
I’ll be talking about colour as an introduction to the forthcoming workshop and starting a new painting in a series based on images from Mooloolaba Beach.

Flinders Blue oil on canvas 1000mm x 1000mm ©Carol Lee Beckx 2012

The following week I will be conducting  two day workshop in the Circle Gallery, Art Shed Brisbane

Friday 18th May and Sunday 20th May
9.30am - 15.30pm

Colour Basics 
  •          exploring basic colour palettes;
  • ·        simplifying colour mixing;
  • ·        unlocking the secrets of harmonious colours to give you confidence and inspire your      use of colour.
Book at Art Shed 274 Montague Road
West End
Phone: 3846 1330

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Silver, Grey & Lime

When I start an abstract I need to begin with a something tangible - a sketch or a photographic reference. I look for inspiration all around me. Folds of fabric fascinated me in this instance. A student had the most marvellous scarf - green, shot with a gold sheen - soft and voluptuous. The folds and drapes sparked a series of studies.

The colour brief for this commission was similar to the previous abstract - silver, shades of grey but with sharp lime as an accent.

Silver, grey & Lime oil on canvas 900mm x 1200mm Carol Lee Beckx  ©2012

I received exciting news yesterday. This painting is the winner of the Eckersley's Creative Canvas Competition.

There is a sense of freedom working on a large canvas with a wide  brush using sweeping gestures to cover the canvas. I love the  physical action.

First strokes

There’s also no pressure when painting an abstract to make something “look” like something. But, if anything, there is more pressure because there is the need to make the painting work by using compositional elements and emotive content.

Sorry - the lighting in my studio was a little dodgy...and these were quick iPhone pics.

The enforced discipline of keeping the shapes spare and minimal is good. There’s always a temptation to keep preserving the “pretty” paint marks at the expense of the whole.

Almost there...

An artist whose work has given me inspiration is Gerhard Richter.  I found the book Red, Yellow, Blue by Helmut Friedel in my local library. (There’s so much to discover there.) I enjoy the fact that he refused to name or title the abstracts because he didn’t want to define them in terms of concrete objects.

As I reluctantly returned the Richter book to the library, I came across a heavyweight - in all meanings of the word. A large tome - 13.5 inches by 12 inches and 2.5 inches thick and SO heavy. It's not the sort of book you could read in bed. Helen Frankenthaler was a favourite of mine at art school so I know there's more inspiration in store for me.