Friday, March 11, 2011

Sort of Working

I have cut out the stencil but  as i used vilene it was not water proof so I have had to seal it with clear lacquer. Of course the weather turned sort of cold and wet so it's taking a long time to dry as i am saturating the vilene with the lacquer. My dyes and paints have still not arrived so that is a pain- hope Australia Post have not lost them!I did do a partial print today and I have to say  the sentinel looks quite different to how the drawn image looked.The blotches are caused by some botched printing on the other side of the fabric.The fact that it's turned out different  has me thinking about how  saturated I want the print.

Meanwhile as I am waiting, I have just about finished reading the monograph on Fred Willliams and have thoroughly enjoyed the insights offered by Patrick McCaughey into the development of  Williams work, who worked doggedly and hard to reach the vision that he did.I think it's time for a biography of this artist, his breakthroughs were breath taking. McCaughey says on page 213.." Williams transformed the space of  landscape painting to a pictorial field, treating the canvas as a colour-field painter might, a flat area to be coated with layers of paint,placed one on top of the other, not as a window through which the world may be seen, a shallow box in which objects could be placed" and one might add a  painterly curiousity cabinet.I love the  paintings he created of the You Yangs- they are so determinedly Australian; all spare and messy at the same time.There is nothing neat about our landscape- often scraggly, rocky, cracked and torn, stunted and ripped. messy and layered.

Anyway the reading has had me thinking . Having seen Sidney Nolan's, Gallipolli exhibition at the Geelong Art Gallery last weekend- and thoroughly enjoying it , and I highly recommend seeing  it,  though I am not a great fan of Nolan in particular - it is noticeable how much "thought" both these men put into their work with quite different results. Williams concerned himself with finding a way to express landscape that was the Australian bush, Nolan was more concerned with man in the  great lonely bush and icons and myth making ( think the Ned Kelly series and Leda and the Swan)- however it is obvious that great thought and break-throughs in thinking took place with quite remarkable results.This is such a stark contrast to the "quilt and dare I say it quilt art " world/ industry where everything is focussed on technique  and the latest bits of glum and glitter and throwing it on, often without real focus or ideas behind the expression. What is so palpably apparent in both Williams and Nolan- yes technique/ the artisan aspect of their work  was very much a part of their process - for example I am pretty sure Nolan was actually using transfer paints or dyes to create the Gallipoli landscapes ( a better insight than the word textile dye used by the exhibition signage- why did he use transfer paints, how did he come across them- and my goodness how successful was the use of them in creating the mottled rocky craggy landscape) but it's  the vision that comes first and and the reaching for the result- the technique is but a tool in the creation of the idea/the vision/ the art.Both artist worked and reworked their ideas, their inspirations bringing them to their final destination.

I am wondering if there is any interest out there in my developing something that will prod and push and help find  voice out there? 


Jeana Marie said...

Yes, and yes :)

Rachel said...


Barbara M Hilford said...

I totally agree about 'gismos' (Alison S.'s expression) Push all you want. Cheers, Barbara.

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