It has been a while since I have blogged. I have been occupied with a lot of things as of late, however, I felt that I needed to take the time to make a post about the Dobell Prize for Drawing at the Art Gallery of NSW Sydney. The Dobell prize was established in honour of the Australian artist William Dobell. The prize itself focuses on works that are defined as drawings, this definition is always pushed further and further each year, with more and more works incorporating numerous mediums in their creation. The prize money is impressive, the winner receiving $30,000 and have their work acquired by the gallery. Many works use mediums that aren’t usually associated with drawing; watercolour, acrylic and also drawing onto surfaces that are usually used as grounds for painting on, like wood panels. This years prize was full of beautiful work, examples of which are attached to this post. And I must apologise upfront, I completely forgot to document the artists names and the titles of the works. I was just so overwhelmed by the work itself. Though I do strongly encourage everyone to go and see the prize while it is still up, the best part about it, besides the work is the fact that it is for free! That’s right, for free! You get to see an entire show of contemporary drawing without paying an admission fee.
The prize is on until February 13th, so get along to the Art Gallery of NSW Sydney before then and experience some great contemporary drawing.
I recently embarked on creating a new series of work, a series of ink drawings/paintings on paper. I felt that I needed to step up my creative process by incorporating some colour. But not for the sake of doing something different. I have tried to push my work, make it more interesting, more active and engaging. The images below are a sampling of what I have managed to put together. Using the same process as I did in the previous ink drawings, however, I have been forced to reconsider the properties of the mediums I have been using. Ink and watercolour, although they are similar; both being water based, they both have a series of varying properties. When mixing ink with water it comes quite close to being like water colour. When creating a work with different mediums, both fluid, you have to consider the process carefully. It can become very easy to end up with a muddy mess of pigment on paper, which is what happened with a few drawings, however they are not a waste, but a lesson on what not to do. So I hope you have enjoyed the progress of my work so far and I hope you continue to do so.
I recently made a post about how I came across some discounted frames that really seemed to lift the quality and appearance of my work. This post is a follow up on what I posted about recently. The work I am posting here are a series of ink on paper works that have been developing over time. The process contains several parts, often taking several days to complete; due to drying time. Even though ink dries relatively quickly it is quite easy to end up with a dark mess on paper. So rather than painting and drawing onto the paper continuously I start off with a watered down wash, where I mix about 1/4 parts ink with 3/4; or there about, it’s not always an exact science and I often feel my way through. Then I use a variety of ink and water colour brushes to establish a think, washy layer on the paper.
After this thin wash has dried I come back with full ink and begin to apply it to the surface of the paper with brush, quill and just about any other drawing material available in the studio; even using sticks and twigs can really create some interesting marks. Then I come back while the ink is still wet and apply some diluted ink onto the paper, creating a blurring effect, often seen in water colour, though I try not to do this all over, as it can result in a completely washed out appearance and wrecks the work.
Before framing the work I begin the process of visually editing what I have before me. Using the cut out mat I find the most interesting areas of the work and then I cut this out of the larger composition. Creating a new visual context, taking a part of a larger work, sometimes created by chance; when I flick and throw ink onto the paper, and editing it in a way that the work retains it’s integrity and develops a whole new life and identity once it has been framed up and is ready to hang. I will now leave you with some more images of my work
I have recently invested in some rather cheap frames, readily available from just about any value or variety shop. They aren’t of the best quality, however, if you’re a young and or emerging artist, chances are that you are low on funds. These value frames are an affordable way to make your work on paper look very professional. Having framed examples of your work is great, just in case you need to submit work to a show or prize on short notice, and also if you have the work in your studio and home it is always a great talking piece for when you have guests and prospective buyers around. Alternatively you can pay an arm and a leg for professional framing which is also well worth it, however if you are like me and low on available funds, though require work that is presentable, then the less expensive frames are the way to go. I have included some examples of the frames I have purchased. I will definitely be paying another visit to my local variety store.
Drawing of my lost Sculpture 2007, pen and ink on paper.
Glamour 2006, from edition of 6, aqua-tint etchings.