Archive for March, 2016

Amongst the Sunflowers, Ravenswood

Below are 12 comments that artists constantly hear and dislike. I have heard them all in my time; in brackets, are the responses that I would like to deliver, but am too polite.

1. “My kid could do that.”

(Ah, ha! So where is this genius — cutting a deal with Sotheby’s?)

2. “I wish I could do that but I can’t draw a straight line.”

(Unless you’re Ludij Peden, it’s not that important.)

3. “Have you painted all your life?”

(No…..not yet!)

4. “I have an aunt (cousin/brother) who paints.”

(Let me guess, on Sundays?)

5. “How long did it take you to make that?”

(Since birth.)

6. “That must really be fun to do.”

(Yes, it is — if you like poverty, rejection, isolation and public criticism.)

7. “I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like.”

(I like chocolate too. Trust your instincts, and also read and learn a little about the subject.)

8. “If it’s local it couldn’t be good……..I buy all my art in Melbourne (Sydney/Brisbane).”

(So move to Melbourne, and tell them that.)

9. “I wish I had time to do that.”

(After flossing regularly and rearranging your knickers’ drawer, forget it.)

10. “I’d like to buy your painting, but as I check my Rolex, I realise that I have to jump into my Lexus, hop on my jet and fly to Lizard Island. If I do buy it, could I have it for half price since we could do a private deal and cut out the gallery?”

(Please, get out of my life!)

11. “I would like something to go over my couch. Could you do that in mauve, pink and teal?”

(No, buy a new couch.)

12. “It’s perfect, I love it! But I’ll have to talk to my decorator first.”

(Does he/she hold your hand through all of life’s big decisions?)

But then, of course, many people cannot understand what drives an artist, and view them with suspicion :

quote - art


As Irish As

My tribute to St. Paddy’s Day.

While travelling, and afterwards wanting to paint some of the impressions, in Ireland, the thing that struck me most was the colour tones, and the need to change the colours of my palette. Their greens are not our greens; their skies are not the blue of our skies, and so on.

To use the same colour mixes that I might use for landscapes where I live, would make an Irish scene appear artificial. This mistake can be spotted in our state and national art galleries when viewing the very early Australian painters (convict era)…….they saw our country with European eyes and painted it with European colours. The paintings just do not look like Australia.

Any country to which you might travel has its own atmosphere. As an artist, if you want to paint it authentically, you need to suss out what it is in the colours and mood, and change your palette. Then the rest of the job is just coping with subject matter.

This was a cottage tucked between the hedges and walls on a ‘soft’ day – what we would call an overcast day with the sun trying to get through, the Irish say “Ahh, ‘tis a soft day!”.

“As Irish As”, watercolour on Arches paper, image size 35 x 50cm.