Between the Earth and the Moon

I have just finished my latest work “Heavenly Eclipse; When the Son comes between the Earth and the Moon” (See it here)
Its a painting I started a while back, but did not finish. It was lacking something. While I was happy with how it was, I felt it needed more. I was recently asked to put forward a painting for an art auction which was to held fund a missions trip to Russia for Matt Renata from our church. After thinking about it, and praying about it, I came to the decision to put this piece forward. While I was pleased with how it finished up, because of the time spent in its unfinished state, there was less emotional attachment to it compared to other paintings I have done.
The auction is on Sunday, 1 July 2007 at Lower Hutt Baptist Church, 6 Manuka Ave, Woburn – Lower Hutt. It is after the morning service which starts at 10:30am, so I suspect auctioning will start around 11:30-12:00.
‘Till next time…

Art No More

I am no longer an artist. I renounce being called an artist. From this day on I will create paintings, not art. I am a painter, not an artist.
If the bollocks that is being shown in art galleries is art, then I do not want to be associated with it. I no longer have the time of day, nor night, for that.
And so the life of the painter has begun.
My next solo exhibition will be entitled “Putting the Art back into Art” – whenever that may be.

What has sparked this outrage?
Well – its been a long time in the making. After taking the Art History paper that focuses on Contemporary New Zealand Art practice (which was very good and very challenging) I realised that the term ‘art’ has been somewhat bastardised into meaning, in a sense, anything ‘of the arts’.
In our last lecture, there was a panel of three ‘art world experts’; a curator of a leading public gallery, a director of an artist run space in Wellington and a leading contemporary New Zealand photographer and lecturer. They addressed certain issues raised with Contemporary art and practice. The director of Enjoy tried to enlighten us to some of the ‘projects’ which occurred at Enjoy in 2006 – of which an artist in residence… well – who knows what she did!? She gathered up views and ideas as to a project relating to a topic, placing a lounge set in the gallery space for people to come and discuss ideas. I fail to see how that can be art in ANY sense of the word!

Whats more, my question which I hoped to raise was of the responsibility of the artist to produce art for the wider viewing public that they can understand. The practitioner artist addressed it briefly saying that artists ‘don’t really care‘ about the public. My second question was prepared for that answer in that it was who is art for then?
I firmly believe art has to be for the viewing public. While art holds an important personal connection with its creator, the real test is whether the public ‘get’ it (either they enjoy it, understand its meaning, appreciate its aesthetic quality, etc…) and this is what art is really for. If art is only for those in the art world – artists, curators, gallery owners – then it is void of logical reasoning as to its existence. It becomes circular in purpose – creating art for other artists who can create art.
No – the public is who it is for. And if the public can’t understand the art of today even on a very surface level, then it is not doing its job. The artist then HAS to care about their responsibility to the public to create art.

What gets me irate is the fact that so much is done in the name of art which is so far from what art should be. Not only this, but that art galleries and curators accept this, accepts these things as art and display them for the public – cementing its place in the art scene – a location it should be dreadfully foreign in!

I can see Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Raphael, da Vinci all turning in their graves as we speak. All of them would be disgusted at the state that art has been led to by its very own. It is these so called artists (or as I would prefer them to be called – exhibitionists) who only seek attention, who are bringing about the downfall of the very thing they think they are creating! It leaves us; the skillful, the trained, the ‘traditional’ (in a loose sense of the term) without a foot to stand on. Art is being left behind for what would be better promoted as ‘projects’ – and a category outside of art is where they belong.

But what can one do to change the views of this art world hurtling towards its own demise. Without staging a worldwide revolution of art, one can only but sit back and watch the ship sink. I for one am getting off this boat before that occurs, quite happy to take my buoyancy aid and float in my own art world. I will be true to the real art. The art that exists for the public. I will be a painter. Paint pictures will be what I will do. And I hope that many will join me. Painters, Sculptors (none of the installation rubbish tho); the true talent that was what art was. It was this talent, this skill, this ability to express the world to the public which spawned art. Not this separate bollocks which graces our shores which we find hard to describe, hard to analyse, hard to define; hard to even consider as anything – nothing tangible – not even really an idea; an idea of ideas??? ITS NOT ART! The sooner we realise that (as I have) – the sooner they realise that – the sooner we might get this boat back to shore and mend its broken hull.

‘Till next time…

The desert place – depicting the artist’s life

It seems that once in a while, the passion to paint escapes me – goes on holiday for a wee bit. It also happens to be when I have the most time for it.
However, I am beginning to get back into things with Uni starting next week and planning for the year of BB begins shortly after.

It does beg to question the nature of art. Did the master’s go through similar experiences of the creative cupboards being bare or the well of inspiration being too deep for the rope that the bucket is on? I do not believe that a natural talent of any artist would ever lose that ability to create.
I do believe that there is no point in painting if your heart isn’t in it – if you don’t feel like it. But when does that come to the point where you don’t feel like it merely because you haven’t dabbled in the paint for so long? Is then the time to push through and force yourself, or is it more beneficial to wade it out…to wait for the drought of non-creativity to pass?

I’d appreciate your comments on this one!

‘Till next time…

What is Art?

I have finally gone through and finalized the first edition of my discussion “What is Art? an un-philosophical view”. It is now avaliable via the Writing Wall. There is also the full version avaliable in PDF form. It’s some 15,000 words over a span of 23-24 pages.

I have also started work on its second part, which is looking at what the purpose of art actually is, simply titled “Art’s Purpose”. I have not yet formulated my arguement, but will merely point out a few different ideas surrounding this area which is also important in understanding what art is.

‘Till next time…

Landscape // A tribute to Colin McCahon

I went for a trip into the wairarapa to shoot some footage for my art
film last weekend – a tribute to Colin McCahon. However, passion for
this project has diminished and time is of the essence at the moment.
I also haven’t painted for a while, and want to get back into this
before I start on another artistic medium.
The footage was also on the poorer side of quality, though I’m sure
with a bit of manipulation I could use it for the purpose I needed it
for.

‘Till next time…

Affordable Art Show : Success Rate

After a long wait results of who sold work were relaesed online today. Scrolling down to my number, 994 – I found out the news I had been waiting for.
Four of my selected 5 works were sold. YAY!
I can’t remember quite how much I put on them, but rough estimate at this stage is over 3,000.
Unfortunately though… the only one I didn’t sell was the one I didn’t mind selling! All the others I wouldn’t have minded holding onto! But hey – thats the luck of the draw I guess!
‘Till next time…

Affordable Art Show : The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Afforable Arts is a great idea, is well managed, well run with lots of support and contact letting people know exactly where things are at.
In the past the shows have been awesome events, with great artworks on display for all to see, and for a limited few, a hand slipping deep into their wallets. Art isn’t about selling however, it is about experiencing the art.
Yet it seems as though Affordable Art misses this point. While it is a great feeling to know you have sold a work and the Affordable Art Show assists with this procedure immensely, I don’t see that as art’s main purpose; and as soon as that does become its main purpose, the art looses its heart, its soul – its purpose as art.
Then of course there is the art itself. To get into the Afforable Art Show there is a selection process infront of a panel of judges who over see every artwork that is submitted. As with any large scale show, there are many who are rejected during this process.
In the past the quality of the art has been pretty good.
But, this year was a bit dissapointing. I don’t think the artworks had as much grunt to them. In the past I have come back from a show inspired, wanting to copy at least 5 or 6 works which I thought were worthy enough to copy! This year there were only really 2 pieces, and both of those were absractive in nature, and not my preferred style of art. This could be because I went on the last day of the show and all the good pieces had sold, but even so… I wonder how bad some of the ones which were turned away were, considering some of the pieces which made it through the selection panel!
All in all it was good, but there are still a few bads, and quite a few just downright uglies!
‘Till next time…

Mmmmm Yummy – Wax Medium

I bought myself some extra oil paints and with them some Wax Medium, which is meant to help thicken the paint while you apply it to the canvas. Turner used wax in his paintings for this exact purpose, so I figure that if it was good enough for him to use, it might just be good enough for me. But what got me is the warning notice placed all over the tube. DO NOT SWALLOW.
Although a nice, potent smell fumes from the top of the tube of wax, I could see how someone could mistake it for an edible portion of honey!
What will happen next? Shoe polish with a warning “Do not reheat in microwave”; A bottle of Hydrochloric Acid saying “Not a suitable replacement for a cold beverage”; or warnings on portaloo saying “This is not a take-away restaurant”.
And the only reasons why such warnings exist? Because it has actually happened and companies have been sued for not providing adequate warnings of potentially harmful annomollies which could incurr if you are stupid enough to try them!
‘Till next time…

The death of the tree: A limited edition…

Dominion Post – 31 July 2006; article on the Affordable Arts (of which my works got accepted). Some 300 paintings got turned down, just for the sheer number that were of a similar theme. That theme: Nikau Palms, New Zealand Cabbage Trees and the like…
It would have been quite a big call to make on behalf of Affordable Arts to discard them purely because so many other people had also painted them. I’m not sure whether people got hold of information concerning the types of paintings which sold last time, but it seems that way in that artists were painting to reach a market. Whilst it is possible that by some bizzarre coincidence there were 300 artists who thought it would be a great idea to paint a Nikau or Cabbage, regardless of any statistics on previous years sales or the latest ‘fashion’ of the art market; I don’t know how much Affordable Arts has looked into this.
One thing is for sure, there were a few select artists who had painted Nikau or Cabbage trees, and with this level of publicity I’d say they are in the running to sell pretty quickly – even if as collectors items – Limited editions!
‘Till next time…