Was broken-hearted (and as everyone now says, blind-sided) to discover that we had to vacate Glenrowan after a scant six months and so say farewell to the beautiful new studio space I was so looking forward to using. I have to report that I never painted one single picture in it. That was in part due to health reasons, but have been thinking that maybe it was just too perfect to work in. And also too small. Strangely I don’t seem to have any photographs of it.
It is so difficult to find a great studio, or even just a satisfactory one. I now have the use of a good-sized room in my daughter’s new house round the corner from here. It is a good space, but right near the living and cooking areas of the house and I don’t want to use solvents there. This has led to a surprising decision: have decided to start working in acrylics for a while.
Also thinking about doing a lot more large-scale drawing/mixed media work – great for bushland scenes – and maybe exploring the water-based wax paint further. In my last post I put up some of the gorgeous flower photographs I took in spring last year. These may be worth trying in both acrylics and wax-paints. Again, though, I need the studio set up properly with good light and furnishings.
Unfortuately I really want to finish my K-Town series, and as it is in oils unless I work on it in the dark and cold garage. There are several unfinished canvases, and a couple I hadn’t yet started. Together they would make a great series or show, but I need the right space to finish them in.
I could write the history of my frustrated artistic efforts through a memoir of my studios. The Petersham studio was by far the best of all and I did good work there, but even so it was noisy and the oily dust from Parramatta Road got all over everything. Still, I was sorry to leave it. Hard to believe that whole space is no longer inhabited by any of us who were there for so many years.
Heroic works and heroic spaces:
And, in contrast, the quiet domestic intimacy of Elisabeth Cummings’ studio at Wedderburn:
It’s been a long silence I know. I closed up my Sydney studio and stopped painting, and writing about painting, while I focussed on getting some creative writing out into the ebook world. Two down and two to go in the next couple of months, I hope. Visit the Writing Zone for more on that.
So looking forward to the Gerhard Richter at QAGOMA in a few weeks. Was too late to get tickets to the one day seminar. It looks like a great program overall, although some seriously important work is missing. Apparently it was not possible to get the Baader-Meinhof works, and not sure how much of the 60s monochrome will make it either. It is going to be interesting going back to my earlier thoughts on Richter in the light of the exhibition. Every possible thanks and gratitude to the curators at Queensland, may they receive all praise for actually getting this to happen. More on Richter-related matters soon.
Meanwhile, spring has brought the most stunning sights to our gardens. I’ve always been fascinated by flower painting, but cringed sometimes at the way it so easily becomes twee and decorative. The formalism of the Dutch flower painters is fascinating but so close to mortuary in its stillness. What I saw in the gardens this year was vivid activity and movement, bees sweeping in and out of the trees, wind blowing tiny blossoms everywhere so they covered the grey concrete paths. Maybe I should experiment. These are all photographs taken casually in one or other of our gardens in the Blue Mountains, just in the past couple of weeks. Another Mountains project? Colour? Contrast? Form? Very different from the bush monochromes I was beginning to work on.