Tag Archives: Abstract Art

Australian Aboriginal Artist : Paddy Nyunkuny Bedford

Paddy Bedford (1922-2007), like Eastern Anmatjerre artist Emily Kngwarryee, produced paintings for no more than a decade at the end of his life. However unlike Kngwarreye, who produced in excess of 4000 paintings before her death in 1996, Bedford painted only sparingly for most of his late-blooming, artistic career. At their best, his minimal abstracted ochre works have an equal power and strength to those of Rover Thomas, the founder of the East Kimberley style. However Bedford was physically capable of producing major paintings for only a limited period of his life. (Source: http://www.aboriginalartresource.com/aboriginal-artists/paddy-nyunkuny-bedford/)

Paddy Bedford was known by his nickname Goowoomji and also by his Gija name Nyunkuny. As a senior law man Paddy Bedford was involved in painting as a part of ceremony throughout his life. However, he only began painting on canvas for exhibition after the establishment of Jirrawun Aboriginal Art in 1997. In a remarkable career as a painter, that spanned less than ten years, Bedford achieved great critical acclaim in Australia and internationally.

Bedford’s paintings reveal a deep love of his country: the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. Many of his works depict features of this distinctive landscape such as the rivers, stock-yards and roads that were integral to Paddy’s traditional life and that as a well regarded stockman. Much of the subject matter of his paintings are inspired by important events in his life, such as the Bedford Downs Massacre as well as his family dreamings of emu, turkey and cockatoo. Towards the end of his career Paddy declared that he had painted all of his father’s country and his mother’s country and that he was just painting.

A major retrospective of Bedford’s work was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in 2006.
(Source: http://www.moragalleries.com.au/pbedford-estate.html)

I love the wonderfully abstract nature of Paddy’s paintings. They have the ability to look traditional and modern at the same time. They look deceptively simple, yet speak volumes to me. By keeping his colour palette simple and restricting it to black, white and the rich reds, ochres, browns and yellows of the Australian outback, Paddy manages to evoke a sense of history, to paint a frozen snapshot of his beloved land.

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Faux Paint Textures

I love textural art and have always bemoaned the fact that digital prints can look flat and uninteresting, or, worse, be so reflective on the wall that it detracts from the photo itself.

So one day, I decided to try creating digital prints with texture. I’m happy to report that my experiment seems to have worked. I’m encouraged enough to try and repeat the process again.

For my experiment, I used an abstract image that I’d created using various Apps. I wanted to see if its vibrant colours would “pop” and transpose to print successfully. Happily enough, my Epson Artisan 1430 decided to play along that day, and the result was very satisfactory.

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Here is a cradled wooden panel that I’d made earlier a few weeks ago:
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For how to make these yourself, read my previous post here: http://wp.me/p3JNYN-Y1

I prepped the panel by painting a couple of layers of white Gesso over it. I followed this with a layer of Thick Impasto Gel Medium, which I essentially trowelled on willy nilly. This would be the material that, once dried, would give me the layered, 3D, textural effect I wanted.

Next, I painted on some more gesso and gel medium, then, while that was still wet, I stuck my abstract print (printed onto baking parchment) onto the panel. This time I used a brayer to flatten the print evenly over the panel.

My panel was 12 x 12 inches, my print was A3, so there were strips left over the top and bottom after pasting the print onto the panel. I trimmed these off; they might come in handy for smaller projects.

I painted the sides of the frame black, then applied a patterned black Washi tape over the top sides, to create a frame. A few coats of spray varnish over the entire thing, and it was finished.

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In the last 2 close-up photos above, you should be able to pick out some of the uneven, painterly texture. I’m really pleased with the results. I’m going to do another one very soon, watch this space!

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10 Things I Like : Real Living May 2013

Here are the 10 things I like about this issue of Real Living.

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I love abstract art, especially those with texture and grunge effects. Sgraffito gets my vote always, and the art in the photo above clearly has it, as well as texture and grunge. There is something almost primal in the act of scratching, scraping and gouging through layers of paint or other substrates, and uncovering what lies beneath. The results are unpredictable and often surprising. This can be likened to the exposing of one’s own inner psyche.

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In this photo, again is the artwork that drew me in. Haha, pun not intended ;-). This time, the art is unusual in that it appears to have a duality about it. The smaller image appears to float above the bigger, seemingly incongruous and a mismatch…and yet somehow both parts are in harmony. A real conversation piece.

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The owner of this home decided to indulge in her love for grunge and texture, and decorated her entire apartment’s walls in that vein. It almost looks like she lives in a dilapidated, abandoned warehouse or factory. Furnishing is minimal with emphasis on texture and pops of colour accents. I’d probably spend all day just photographing the walls for their interesting colours and random textures.

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Here is a home with a rustic, repurposed look. The dining chairs are a delightful mismatch. As are the tables, 3 square ones have been pushed together to form 1 long, dining table. All 3 tables are a different colour. School lockers have been repurposed as kitchen/dining room cupboards, and take pride of place against the back wall. It takes panache to pull off this look.

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Again, the recurring theme of recycling. I like this photo above for 2 ideas it represents – the idea of keeping your paintbrushes in a jar to keep them from drying out, and the splashes and speckles of random colours on the brushes. I find paint spatters and drips fascinating. No doubt psychologists would have a field day with me and Rorschach tests!!

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Where I live, things are extremely expensive. Perth, Western Australia, is the most remote city in the world. It is famously further from the eastern states of Australia, than it is from its neighbours Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. It is often cheaper to fly to those countries than it is to fly to Sydney or Melbourne. Likewise with goods – there is a premium attached to most products that hit the shelves, which cause your coffee to be twice the price of a cuppa in Sydney. Even your vegetables and fruit have to be flown in from interstate. The price of transportation and paying many people who handled the goods along the way soon adds up to an astronomical jump for the end buyer.

I love looking in the dinky pop-up shops around Perth, and taking notes or surreptitious photos with my smartphone…and then going online to see if an item can be bought for cheaper than in the shops. More often than not, the online prices are much cheaper.

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More online shopping. I love the patchwork blanket. My Mum made a couple many, many years ago, which she passed on to me a the last time I visited Malaysia. My late Grandma, who passed most recently on 2nd March 2014, also made them and gave me one as well. They are different from the one in the photo above, which has large panels. Mine are interlocking hexagons and made from fabric remnants. I shall treasure my patchwork quilts forever.

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I just love the space here. It’s like bringing the outdoors in. The light is amazing, imagine how the plants would love living in this space. I’d fill it with pots of flowers of every type and colour. A succulent rock Zen garden in one corner for contemplation. I would create an undulating fish pond running down the length of this room, where my koi and goldfish would be so happy. I’d have real water lilies in the pond, and running water from a fountain. There would be chaises upon which one could recline, relax and read a book, or just take a nap.

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I love birds. I wish I had a parrot like this one here. Or maybe I should find a large portrait painting of a parrot like this one. Or a photograph. What can I say, I’m a crazy chick.

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Okay, these circular robot vacuum cleaners have been around for a few years. There are even hilarious YouTube videos of cats sitting on them and going for a ride. I can understand the concept, but are they really effective vacuum cleaners? If they were so bloody brilliant then why are they not in every home? My dogs Scruffy and Shelagh would have a field day with it if we ever got a Roomba. That’s just one of the names for these robot cleaners. Oh wait, I remember seeing Roombas in action in the 2013 film Elysium…only in the movie they starred as flying, whirring, cameramatic spy drones. With guns.

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