Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Brisbane's amazing sunsets

The evening skies here in Brisbane constantly amaze me. 

This frequently causes a dilemma - how to capture the moment when I am most often in my car. It necessitates swift photographs while stationary at traffic lights. Thank goodness the lights take ages to change - it’s all very democratic, everyone gets a turn so there’s plenty of time to take some photos.

Sometimes I'm lucky and I am home. These were taken from my balcony.

These are a few of the amazing skies during the last few weeks. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Memory Wall

Memory Wall - 40 canvases 8" x 8" oil on canvas Carol Lee Beckx 

A recent commission to create a wall of paintings proved to be an inspiring experience. 
There is an album of some of the paintings on my Facebook Fan Page. 

Some years ago, I took part in a  project called The Artist's Blocks. Each artist received wooden blocks, all the same size and approximately the same dimensions as the current work. My work consisted of ink drawings on carefully prepared gessoed blocks.

Some of these botanical elements were used in the commission and painted in oils instead of ink.  Replacing the wooden panels, the supports are 8" x 8" canvases.

As the work progressed, the client found various images from their family album that were then incorporated into the installation. There is a small part of the wedding dress and veil; a grandmother's Paragon China teacup; the family crest and some family silver. 

Since the work was to be large - installation size 1.85m x 1.15m some abstract elements and single colour blocks were used to balance the composition. 

The Wedding Dress - oil on canvas 8" x 8"- Carol Lee Beckx

Brown Spotted Eggs - Oils on canvas - 8" x 8" Carol Lee Beckx 

You can commission your own Memory Wall. More details about ordering these can be found on the stand alone Page - Memory Blocks
They are the ideal gift for many occasions - birthdays, weddings, a new baby in the home. At my Etsy Store (see the side bar for the link) you will find some of the blocks as stand alone paintings or as the basis for a group of Memory blocks. 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Buried Treasure

Artists have developed a strong community through their blogs. There’s a sense of sharing, support and camaraderie. 

Seth Apter - The Altered Page embarks once more on his annual Treasure Hunt. Artists are invited to re-post their favourite post or posts from their blog.

The process has given me the opportunity to go back, re-read and evaluate previous posts to decide which I should highlight.

I enjoyed writing two posts about abstract paintings, one is re-posted here and a link to another Moving from Real to Abstract

A few Posts about drawing have been among my most popular - 

Happy hunting everyone. I know I am going to enjoy visiting a lot of wonderful blogs.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Abstract painting - the process

Recently two commissions for abstract paintings led me to explore a couple of different avenues. I returned to look at the American Abstract Expressionists and Franz Kline in particular.

Given a superficial glance these paintings look so simple - a couple of dramatic lines dashed across the canvas with a loaded brush and the painting is done - or is it?
Is it really so simple?

Acrylic study for Grey, Silver Black & Pink

The reality is somewhat removed from that simplistic assumption. Start flashing a brush around and see what happens - usually the canvas turns into an uncontrollable mess. Try flicking just one splash of colour on to a monochromatic painting and disaster lurks. The consistency of the paint is crucial.

If there’s too much turps in the mix, when it’s splashed over thicker, more oily paint that layer will crack when it dries . If there’s too much oil in the mix, the paint will take forever to dry. While the paint is drying the beautiful spots can turn a into ugly wrinkles. Then one understands exactly why Kline continued to use house paint instead of artists paint which his dealer wanted him to use. The viscosity of industrial paint is perfect for splashes and dribbles. This video gives some insight to his process

I started by doing a number of acrylic studies in my sketchbook.

Acrylic study for Grey, Silver black & pink

Once the right image was decided upon I worked directly on the primed canvas. I started with shades of grey and white in large areas, applying the paint with brush and palette knife to add surface tension to the canvas. I have added a few detail photos at the end of this post to try to show this.

Once this layer was dry I painted the black lines with fast broad strokes.

Black lines are added and other areas have been simplified.Then, with fingers crossed, because I’m not really a splashy kind of painter, a few splashes of shocking pink added the colour. The silver leaf was the final touch - and difficult to photograph well as the silver leaf simply looks white.

The initial sketches have a rawness and vitality that is hard to translate to a large canvas. The sheer size tends to make one more careful. However, I am pleased with the way the surface of the canvas has become more complex, adding substance and vitality to what was a casual sketch.

Grey, black, silver & pink - oil on canvas 1000mm x 1000mm
Carol Lee Beckx © 2012 Collection Transform Hair




Monday, 2 July 2012

Kid's Art, Facebook Banners & Bloggers

The process of making art is often slow. Sometimes the routine of daily life throws you off your stride. My painting schedule has been somewhat interrupted lately. So often one finds that other things take precedence, and days can pass without lifting a brush. 

A positive interruption to my studio routine has been the holiday art workshops for children. These have been going well, and there are another couple scheduled this week. It has been so satisfying watching the young student’s intense concentration as they go about their artwork. In addition to regular holiday workshops a weekly children’s group will commence in the new term. 

I have also been working on the banner for a Facebook Page. The  Flockton Business Network is a group of local business people who meet for an early breakfast once a month to exchange ideas. Our venue is Mocha Bella a coffee shop in North West Plaza, Everton Park. 

A sketch of the coffee shop would be used to create the Banner for the group’s Facebook Page. I had the pleasant task of popping down for a few delicious cups of coffee to do the sketches.

Last week I had the enjoyable experience of meeting some real live bloggers. We had a most informative introduction to WordPress with time for a Q & A session. It was hosted by Andy Henderson from In-a-day training. This week the Brisbane Bloggers meet at Riverbend Books & Teahouse to share blogging tips.