Sunday, August 17, 2014

Archibald2014, Most Famous Portrait Prize in Australia : Elated, Hot, Contemporary, Traditional, Whatever!

Hi, Friends, come and see Archibald. The most famous portrait prize in Australia. I'd post sketches of a winner Fiona Lowry, "Penelope Seidler," and intertesting portraits, Sophia Hewson, "Atrtist kissses subject (Missy Higgins!)," Anh Do, "Father." I've felt 2014 Archibald is different from other years. NSW Gallery staff said, "Yes, the committee has changed. Different judges." I see... 
You can find 
1) more small works in, (but no watercolour), 
2) more "ordinary" models work in, not super-famous people. eg) artist's parents, a son, next door, butchery  -- it has surprised me and encourages me!  
3) some first try artists in. 
In a technical aspect, the finalists show wonderful diversity. An individual approach is very unique that excites me so much. 

Archibald winner Fiona Lowry's work shows the grace, dignity and beauty of old people. 
Fiona was a Doug Moran winner in 2008 -- I remember her self-nude very well, a young lady! Fiona uses a very interesting approach, acrylics and air brush.  I've immediately realised that the model's eyes were clearly drawn, the focal point of the painting. A rest of the work is softly blurred. Air brush works very well. A slight and delicate colour, thin raw sienna? is put around the model that contrasts to the background created in a very, very modest raw sienna plus patchy green? It comes out like a black and white from a distnce. Fiona's tender approach shows women's delicacy and the model displays an experienced career woman's dignity and elegance.  

2014 Archibald Winner, Fiona Lowry, "Penelope Seidler," Medium acrylic on canvas

Sketching finalists' work gives me wonderful insights of technical and psychological aspects of creators. **Please pay attention to gallery visitors' height like a scale that tells how big work is.

NSW Art Gallery
Sketched it before opened. Cold, early in the morning!
A bit coffee break for you. Tada~~, a hot and controversial work! An artist is kissing Subject, Missy Higgins (*popular Australian singer song writer) --- has got in. To this hot subject, viewers' reactions are quite interesting. Men show very negative responses to this work. On the other hand, women look neutral or swinging between acceptance or disapproval. In the sketch, I put both man and woman. Although each painting has a tag, plain writing for "kids" to help understand work, this work does not have it. 
Sophia Hewson, "Atrtist kissses subject," oil on board
Regarding an entry condition of "model's publicity," the staff emphasised, "It's "preferably," a public figure." I interpreted, "It gives artists room and flexibility. Any model is acceptable?" The staff affirmed my say. The staff's say is a great encouragement. Thank you. For example, Anh Dohas created his father's portrait in strong strong strokes and vivid colours. Yet, his colour use is very sensitive that shows a well-organised "value." Anh Do is a multi talented person : a successful comedian, TV presenter, author and fine artist/portraitist. His refugee experience from Vietnam has become a children picture book, too. In our society, if a person keeps a positive attitude, I believe, always nice people support diadvantaged people and it opens doors. That's the beauty of human society.  
Anh Do, "Father," Oil on Canvas
Our faces fascinate me most in drawing subjects. Eyes, eyebrows, mouth, ears etc, etc, "landscapes" in each face tell a story profound, precious and different. Yet, we have commonality and can mutually embrace. My mentor Ann James says, "Your positivity and watercolour and seeing and reflecting people so well is partly because you feel so much." Yes, I feel something that intrigues me to keep drawing people. 
I happily work on portraits.   

BTW, Hooray!!!!! Regarding CBCA book of the year 2014, 
CBCA announced winners and honour books.

Congrats for all the people!
Also, Crichton Award for New Illustrators is,

We celebrated my mentor Ann James and editor Helen Chamberlin's awards. A lovely author, Janeen Brian and Ann illustrated "I'm a Dirty Dinosaur," has become an honoured book for Early Childhood. (*I once illustrated Janeen's text.)  
Shaun Tan's work, "Rules of Summer" won "Picture Book." Of course, that book was edited by a brilliant editor, Helen Chamberlin! Helen, you're great! 

Friends, Happy Painting!!! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

USk BNE at UQ (University of Queensland)

In early June the Urban Sketchers of Brisbane visited the University of Queensland.  The focus was the Forgan Smith Building, which forms one side of the Great Court at the heart of the campus.  This historic building is arguably the most significant heritage building in Queensland and is a magnificent example of Art Deco architecture.  The building and inner cloisters of the Great Court are highly decorated with relief sculptures, friezes and grotesques symbolising significant events, ideals, thought leaders and university staff connected with the colleges.

Some of us arrived early, ahead of the appointed time, because we were so keen to sketch.  I began an ambitious view of the central tower as seen from inside the Great Court.  I finished only part of my intended result – bit off more than I could chew, I think!  It’s always amazing how time flies when you get into “the zone” of sketching.  We attracted some attention from passersby, some of whom may now join the group, so that was exciting.  Carol was even asked later by one of these "fans" to return to her original position for a posed photo.  Here is my photo of her in the same spot.  You can see the fabulous carving atop each column of this cloister walkway.


When assembled, our group began by sketching near the law entrance, which has a sculpture on each side as well as a frieze above.  We debated who this fellow ought to be.  Who in the history of law would wear a crown?  Perhaps King Solomon?



Moving to the other side of the cloisters, several of the group created wonderful sketches of the arches and views.  Meanwhile, I sketched my fellow sketchers.  It was wonderful to see how intensely they were observing and drawing and painting.

  

Below is the spread of collected sketches from the group at the end of the outing.


I finished my tower sketch off after the group dispersed -- you can see it here.

Join us on facebook and flickr

Saturday, August 2, 2014

USK SYD at the Australian Museum

Urban Sketchers Sydney met up at the Australian Museum today. Being mid winter we thought it would be good to have an indoor venue and many people were thought we had chosen well. We have had some lovely warm weather lately (25C during the week) but it was very fresh this morning.


A group of 18 of us met up in the cafe of the museum at 10am and then a number of people wanted to sketch outside…I decided to join them. It was a sunny day- maybe we could find a sunny spot out of that cold wind and see how long we lasted. As it turned out some of us did find a nice spot in the sun and managed to spend the whole morning sketching either the museum, Hyde Park, the cathedral or another building down William St.


We had a great show and tell  checking out what people discovered inside or out. There is a lot of draw in the museum and it was so much fun to hear all about it. Today we had a great variety in the sketches- all kinds of different paper / sketchbooks and a wide variety of pens, pencils, watercolour. A visual rich selection and we all learn so much from each other.

Thanks to those that came and a special welcome to a few new faces.

Next month we will be meeting on Saturday 13 September. Keep an eye out here more details.

You can see some of the USK SYD sketchers in the flickr group and in the USK AUS facebook group.
My sketches from the day are here

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Urban Sketchers Sydney: Saturday 02 August



Our next get together will be at the Australian Museum on Saturday 2 August.
Meet outside the entrance opposite Hyde Park at 9:45 for its 10:00am opening.

August is renowned for its winds so this provides a warm inside venue if required. You might like to look at the current display by the Scott sisters of watercolours they painted over a 20-year period for their father’s scientific publication on moths and butterflies. Also on display are some new additions to the skeletons exhibition.

If you aren’t interested in these, then of course there are lots of sketching opportunities in the city all around the museum.

Meet back at the foyer at 12.30 for a show and tell

Museum admission Adult $15 Concession $8  more details here

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sketching at Captain Burke Park, Brisbane, with Elaine Pang

We met around 11.00 am to sketch, here are mine.
Looking across the river at customs house

Wash added on site

My view

My lunch at the PUK Cafe just around the corner.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sydney spontaneous sketching

Some days I specifically go out to a sketch a certain place or event, such as our monthly Urban Sketchers events in Sydney or the flickr weekly Urban Sketching challenge . But the majority of my urban sketching is spontaneous. I carry my pencils and Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with me all the time, so am always prepared.

I use watercolour pencils and Lamy Safari Joy ink pen. Sometimes on their own, sometimes combined. Today I used them separately. Here are two different styles of my Urban Sketching.
 

 

I  did a quick  unplanned sketch of some buskers, Winterbourne in the Pitt Street Mall. I found a place out of the crowd, leaning up against a wall, and decided what to include in my sketch. I started with the main guitarist, then the second one really got into it and so I quickly sketched him.  It took one song to do this







My next sketch was when I arrived very early for my hairdressers appointment. I found a place in the sun, leant up against a wall and spent about half an hour on this. I drew in the lines of the buildings, either in the colour they are (such as Burnt Yellow Ochre for the side of the cliff) , or in Paynes Grey . I then took colour off the tip of the pencil with the waterbrush and added it to the page. Then added the final lines of street lights and poles.

Urbane Sketchers Bne sketching the 44th worldwide Sketchcrawl

We sketched at Roma Street Parklands, and met Sydney Urban Sketcher Fang Xu along the way.  He graciously joined us for the day, it was super.







Thank you Liz for the wonderful idea to sketch on coffee cups.  My group loved it.