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!!! 

3 comments:

  1. Fascinating post - very interested to read your take on the Archibald and maybe new directions the competition will take. I think it's time! enjoyed your sketches too.

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  2. Thanks millions, Annee! Yes, new directions might open doors for us or the public. I've read through your "About Me." Wonderful. Let's enjoy drawing together!! Best wishes, Sadami

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  3. Definitely - just freeing up my time so I can do more drawing. Need consistency and less distractions! Cheers, Anne

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