Tag Archives: 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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Artist Inspiration : Ruud Van Empel

Chances are you’ve already seen this wonderfully iconic piece of photographic art:

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I’ll bet anything that you then wondered whether it’s a real photo, or whether it’s the result of meticulous Photoshopping? Well, wonder no more. This is indeed a digitally manipulated photo collage by Dutch artist Ruud Van Empel, whose surrealistic yet entirely plausible photographs straddle the genre between photography and art. A real genre-bender.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruud_van_Empel

http://www.ruudvanempel.nl

The Wikipedia entry on Ruud describes his photographic techniques thus:

“Van Empel’s working method is a complex one. He photographs 4 or 5 professional models in his studio and takes many detailed photographs of leaves, flowers, plants and animals. The models pictures are mixed with these images using the Photoshop program and with clothes photographed separately on a tailor’s dummy. In this way he creates new images of mainly children, in black and white, set in a paradisiacal environment”.

The image above is titled “Fern Forest in Jamaica”. Why this is so, I’m not sure, because those are not ferns. Regardless, this is surely one of the most famous “Is it a photo or a painting?” images around.

I love the crystal-clear clarity and sharpness of Ruud’s images, the almost illustrative look that one might perhaps see in a fantasy comic book, the brilliant contrast between the colours he uses. You know the people are real, yet Ruud has managed to make them look surreal and out-of-this-world. Such is his mastery of his medium, and his genius.

Here are more examples of Ruud’s work, taken from Google Images:

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A couple of examples showing Ruud’s images in situ, just to give you a sense of scale:

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And finally, a photo of the great man himself:

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Spaces

I stumbled upon Frankie Magazine’s large format 2010 bookzine SPACES – WHERE CREATIVE PEOPLE LIVE, WORK AND PLAY at my local thrift shop. It was a real steal at $2.(RRP $24.95).

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Inside was a cornucopia of delightful photographic images showing well, how creative people live, work and play. The bookzine is divided into 5 sections: The Home & Work Place, The Wall Space, The Studio Space, The Tea & Coffee Space, The Living Space. Each section showcases several individuals’ personal areas, with the owners of each space explaining why or how their space is the way it is.

Sadly, I have been unable to source SPACES online for anyone wanting to purchase it. There are several references to it on booksellers’ sites, however they all seem to indicate its unavailability. So, this is a rare book to have and cherish. If you see it, grab it.

I was drawn to this bookzine as I was curious to see how other artists from around the world live and work. My own “studio” at home is a shared space during the warmer months with baby Japanese Quail chicks. It is also the spare room, the store room, the general let’s-dump-it-there-til-we-can-figure-out-what-to-do-with-it room. My Canon Pixma MX870 and Epson Artisan 1430 printers reside there. So do boxes of books, linen, clothes, scrapbooking paper, canvasses and other substrates for my printing experiments, our sofabed for non-existent guests. My work area is the carpeted floor, where I simply spread out layers of butcher paper and lay my canvasses or wooden frames over. Luckily, my medium being digital and print, there’s no (not much anyway) painting paraphernalia involved, only bottles of acrylic medium which I use as an adhesive, spray cans of car gloss varnish and workable fixative, a brayer, scissors, a tube of black acrylic paint for painting over borders, some foam brushes and a couple of bristle brushes. Nothing to shout about, really. Certainly not worthy of showing off here :-).

This link takes you to a webpage showcasing several famous artists’ studios. Specifically that of Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jackson Pollock and Paul Cezanne. This site shows the spaces of more contemporary artists (cheekily throwing in Francis Bacon and Henry Moore too, just to make sure the reader is awake and paying attention!).

Looking at an artist’s workspace or studio is like looking into someone’s refrigerator, or at their bookshelves – very revealing about the person’s tastes in food or books. Some day I hope to visit people’s homes that have magnificent book displays, and make a photo book out of the project, but that is another story.

Meanwhile, feast your eyes on some of these wonderful artist workspaces.

http://www.allworknowplay.com

http://www.resourcemagonline.com

http://www.wejetset.com

http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com

http://www/bundaberg.qld.gov.au

http://www.mmo-champion.com

http://workspaces.tumblr.com

http://potd.pdnonline.com

One thing I’ve learnt from looking through all these studio workspaces – they can be messy, they can be neat, they can be minimal or cluttered, big or small, modern or traditional…but they are all unique and most of all, comfortable to each individual artist. These days, as both my printers are either acting up or have run out of ink, I’m concentrating mainly on creating my artwork…and to me that means working primarily on my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. Which allows me to work literally everywhere and anywhere. For which I am eternally grateful.

Fallen Angels

In the past, I’ve used Tarot Cards, specifically the traditional and time-tested Rider-Waite cards. However, these did not resonate very much with me, for some reason. I found that Oracle cards held more meaning for me. I’ve already written about Oracle cards in a previous post, please click on the link here to read about that.

My first Oracle card deck that I bought in Australia was the Fallen Angel deck, from a bookshop in Mandurah. I was struck by the artwork. As a visual artist, imagery is very important to me.  And so when I entered the bookshop looking for a likely Oracle card deck to purchase, the Fallen Angel deck literally called out for my attention.

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You can buy this deck on Amazon, eBay, at any decent New Age store wherever you are.

What attracted me to this deck was the grungy, textured feel to the collaged images. When I saw this deck, I was reminded of an early iPhoneography project of mine, that I’d done when we lived in Ascot, near the Perth Airport in Western Australia.

Here are some images from the Fallen Angel Oracle cards deck, courtesy of Google Images, in case you’re curious and what to see what they are like.

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So today, I’ve gone into my vast archive of images stored in my 1TB hard-drive, to actively seek out my own Angels images. Arrghhh! I can only find 3…they may still be on an old computer, which I hope has not been reset to factory settings!

Instead, as a compromise, please take a look at this YouTube video that I choreographed for a musician friend, Brian Vassallo, for his track “I Am Always In Your Heart“, as it contains several of my Angels. This was back in September 2011, nearly 3 years ago.  It’s a great song, and I like to think I’ve done the music justice with my mobile photography art and choreography. At that time I was on my iPhone 4, so this would technically be termed iPhoneography.

Meanwhile, I will continue to search for my Angels on all my computers, as there are unedited photos there that I would like to process for a future project. The cemetery I took the photos in is located in Guildford, which is difficult for me to get to these days, since we moved to Rockingham nearly 40 miles away. The next closest old cemetery to me now is in Fremantle, which I will endeavour to get to on a good day, if I fail to find my old Angels.

Post addendum: Looks like a trip to Fremantle Cemetery is on the cards.

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Carpe Diem

Well, actually, no. Take away the last letters of each word in the title above, and you’ll have a fair idea of what I’m talking about.

We have about 17 Japanese Koi (or carp) and goldfish in a large, square pond out the back of our house. I say 17 because they never stay still long enough for me to do a proper headcount.

Make that 16.

I found one this morning, not swimming like its friends, but just floating and occasionally zipping out of the water all aflutter, before sinking back into the water. Most strange. I dosed the water with green multi-ailment liquid, added tap water conditioner, algicide, aquarium salt, cleaned out the sponge filter, topped up the pond with fresh water. I even held the poor fish in my hands and willed it to get better.

All to no avail. The poor thing carried on for half an hour more, with its friends gathering round and nudging it, either to encourage it to rally round, or to say good bye. It was quite touching watching them. I left it in the pond for 15 minutes more, in case it was just playing dead.

When I was truly convinced it was dead, I went into the house to get a sheet of butcher paper to wrap it in (it was a big fish, about 15 inches long). It was then I got the idea of preserving the memory of the fish on paper. It was, after all, the largest fish in our pond, and one of my favourites. :'(

Now, my cousin HM loves to fish, and he’s had some very good results with the art of Gyotaku, or fish rubbing. In fact, I wrote about him not too long ago, here.

So I decided I’d follow my cousin’s example and do my own Gyotaku with my carp before burying it. It would be a way of remembering it, and honouring it in a manner of speaking. One last dance together.

And here is how we did it.

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I quickly learnt that it’s better and easier to rub the paper over the fish, instead of placing the fish on the paper. My cousin HM used Japanese handmade rice paper, but all I had was butcher paper. My hands got stained with the food dye because I was handling the fish rather than the paper at first.
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(Anyone want to read my palms? Go ahead! 😄)

My studio is awash with fish! Some came out good, others too watery to capture much detail. Below are some of the clearer imprints. Not as good as my cousin’s, but they will serve as memorials to my fish.

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Carpe Diem!

P/S: Due to one reader’s rather insensitive remarks to me, about the fish ending up all covered in “blicky food colouring” and “smashed up in butcher paper” to become “fish fertiliser for roses”, I think I should explain what happened to my fish friend afterwards. I washed all the food dye off, then wrapped it in a fresh sheet of butcher paper. Then I dug a hole in the plant trough by our swimming pool and buried it there. I put an old log and a pot of hen & chicks over the grave, to prevent any cats from getting at it. It’s right next to Valiant, my baby Japanese quail with splayed legs that I tried to help but that drowned in its water bowl back in November last year.

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Artist Inspiration : YUMI OKITA

The amazing North Carolina-based artist Yumi Okita whips up larger than life moths, butterflies and other insects using fabric, cotton, fake fur, fabric paint, embroidery thread, wire, and feathers. Each one of her creations is clearly a labour of love. The amount of meticulous detail in the stitching, embroidery and painting and the structure of her beautiful creations beggars belief. Hours upon hours of intricate work go into her creations, which can span over a foot wide. All are simply exquisite. Small wonder they are all snapped up in a hurry by collectors.

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Yumi hasn’t got a website of her own (that I can find, anyway. If you do come across it, please let me know so I can update this post, thank you). She has however been the subject of many write-ups. Here are links to some of the more notable ones:

http://www.boredpanda.com/textile-sculptures-insects-moths-butterflies-yumi-okita/

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/list/tag/yumi+okita

http://www.cubebreaker.com/textile-moth-butterfly-sculptures/

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Yumi has an Etsy online store, where she sells her wonderful creations. They sell very fast, so you’ll be lucky to get your hands on one.

Luckily, even if you can’t physically get hold of one of these exquisite creatures, you can still feast your eyes on them on Google Images. Yay!!

If only they could fly…fly to me!

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Artist Inspiration : DIANNE FERRER

I love the art of Zentangle. But I’m afraid to even start. Why? Because I know that once I start in earnest, I will get hooked, and then that crazy woman at KMart buying up all the Sharpie pens, coloured gel pens, pencils and art paper – that will be me. My home will be littered with my many attempts at Zentangling. No housework will get done (not that it ever gets done anyway!). Meals will consist of cereal and milk, the animals can feed themselves, the plants can water themselves. Hooray!

And so, I contend myself by observing the wonderful Zentangles of masters. I wonder at the artistry that emerges seemingly effortlessly from the pens of these artists. It seems almost meditative, which alludes to the very name itself – Zen Tangle.

One such Zentangle master is DiAnne Ferrer. DiAnne is a CZT, a Certified Zentangle Teacher. Yes, there really are such things. The following is an excerpt about DiAnne Ferrer from this site.


DiAnne Ferrer
Featured Bio:
DiAnne Ferrer, Zentangle® Artist

Creating beautiful pieces of art is DiAnne Ferrer’s passion. DiAnne started her training at Baruch College in NYC and went on to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). She also obtained a Masters from Brooklyn College in Brooklyn NY. She channels her inspiration from her surrounding environment of patterns. DiAnne specializes in Zentangle inspired art work. DiAnne became a Certified Zentangle Teacher under the direction of Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas who both created the Zentangle® method.

DiAnne Ferrer is also a Brooklyn Art Teacher. She came across Zentangle® while attending an art teacher conference in NYC and was hooked immediately. She States, “I have not put down my pen yet, since learning this fantastic art form. The greatest thing about this artistic impression is you do not have to have any artistic experience to create beautiful art work.” Each piece of art is drawn one line at a time. She is one of a very few CZT’s in Brooklyn NY at present.

What is Zentangle®? Zentangle ® is an easy to learn art form by creating amazing images from repetitive patterns. Zentangle ® is fun and relaxing. It can help increase focus and creativity. Zentangle® provides artistic satisfaction and an increased sense of personal well being.

Zentangle has many other uses: Relaxation, Inspiration, Stress Reliever, Therapy, Increase attention span and ability to concentrate. Zentangle® is enjoyed by all ages and a wide range of skilled participants. There is always success after completion of a tile. Zentangle ®uses a 3 ½-inch x 3 ½-inch square card of fine, individually die-cut Italian printmaking paper, selected for its texture and archival characteristics. Archival quality inks are also used to produce images that will stand the test of time.

You can also use other sizes of paper plus watercolors, markers etc. to add some color to create Zentangle Inspired Artwork. All beautiful art tangles grow out of our imagination. There are no boundaries that limit the possibilities. Our imagination is Endless.

DiAnne Ferrer has created a website dedicated to this art form. http://www.atanglegrowsinbrooklyn.com. Within this site, viewers see many different images created from patterns. The possibilities are endless. – See more at: http://rockshowmagazine.com/bios/dianne.html#sthash.Jyj6shM7.dpuf

Here are a few examples of DiAnne’s work. I was drawn to her portraits of dogs, but she also draws other animals as well as objects.

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Artist Inspiration : CAROLINE YOUNG

When you look at these delicately rendered paintings of Oriental women in their natural elements, how can you not be awed? No, these are not old paintings by Chinese masters, they are very modern and fresh watercolours on silk by contemporary artist Caroline Young.

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Excerpt from Caroline’s website, which describes her background, inspiration, influences and techniques.


Caroline Young: In classical Oriental painting, artists approach their work the way pianists in the West might approach the existing compositions of the great masters. Each new painting was a performance that the artist rehearsed for by practicing the performance of earlier painters. Contemporary artist Caroline Young took that wisdom to heart. Her delicate watercolors on silk pay homage to classical Chinese technique called the “delicate style,” and the lessons she learned from her mentor, Lam Oi Char. Each is a virtuoso celebration.

“Lam Oi Char changed my life. My mother had encouraged me to paint as a teenager in Hong Kong where I was born and raised. But it was not until I began studying watercolor wit Lam Oi Char that I gained the confidence to succeed as an artist, “says Young. From her teacher Caroline Young learned the traditional forms of Chinese art and filled her silken rural landscapes. She chose as her medium Chinese watercolors, acrylic and gouache. Caroline mixes her own colors to achieve unique and vibrant tones, unavailable in commercially prepared paints.

Caroline’s soft, lyrical brush work and graceful composition has earned her critical and popular acclaim. Although her Japanese themes brought her to fame, Young decided to return to Chinese historical subjects. “I wanted to pay homage to my great-grandparents, who immigrated to Hawaii from China, and to commemorate the bicentennial celebration of the first Chinese to arrive in Hawaii.”

Caroline Young is currently at work on her most ambitious project to date, the Immortal Twelve Suite. The paintings on silk will depict legends of the twelve signs of the eastern zodiac. This is a major project for the artist which will last for many years, and one which promises to cement Young’s place in the ranks of outstanding contemporary artists in America.

“Art has given me a second chance to learn the essence of my own culture and to discover what it means to be Chinese. I will continue to paint Japanese subjects in the future because so many of my collectors enjoy them so much, and I enjoy doing them. But I will concentrate the main thrust of my artwork on Chinese subjects, such as “The immortal Twelve Suite.” When I’m not painting I spend most of my time researching Chinese history, culture, costumes and ornamentation.”

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I love not only Caroline’s wonderful artwork, but also the fact that she is helping keep Chinese and Japanese culture and folklore alive. Her paintings very often tell the story of famous Oriental characters and fables passed down through the centuries. They also accurately depict details of the traditional costumes and accessories of the period, place settings or locations, musical instruments, body language, backgrounds, flora and fauna. By painting them now in the 21st century, Caroline is preserving the memory of those stories and historically accurate facts for future generations to appreciate. We are humbled and honoured.

More of Caroline’s artwork can be found on http://www.carolineyoungstudios.com/artwork.html

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The Story Behind Rose Red

I was so inspired by this image I saw on Pinterest that I wrote a poem about it. The title of my poem is “Afterwards“.

Here is the image again, for those of you who aren’t already familiar with it. It’s called “Rose Red”, though some know it as “The Rose Knight” and others by its comicbook cover art title “Fables #136″.

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The artist is the uber-talented Dan Dos Santos. And I struck it lucky when I managed to find the back story behind this image. Told in Dan’s own words, too.

Here is the link: http://muddycolors.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/rose-red.html?m=1

Yes, it is an oil painting, painstakingly done by hand. No, unfortunately there are no prints to be had of it, as part of the commission agreement was that the artwork remained original or only existed as the cover of Fables #136 comicbook. The original itself has long been sold to an indisclosed buyer. Sorry, folks! But please, do read Dan’s thought process and description of how he created Rose Red, as it’s really fascinating and insightful.

Basically, Dan was asked to show the comicbook editor his concept ideas for the character Rose Red. Here are the images he came up with originally (taken from the same link as above):

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And we all know which one the editor fell in love with.

The rest, as they say, is Her Story. 😄

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Geobender.com

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I came across this amazing Cube whilst surfing the internet. And thought I’d share it with you. You might be thinking “Hey, it looks like THAT Cube from the Hellraiser movies!” It certainly contains a lot of surprises, but no, it is the brainchild of Andreas Hoenigschmid.

The website is http://www.geobender.com
When you’re at the website, select “HyperQBS” from the dropdown list on the right. It gives you an explanation of what the Cube is. You can also purchase Cubes from the site itself. There are several videos within the site, showing how the cubes work. Highly recommended, if you like to be awed.

Watch “Single Cube” on YouTube http://youtu.be/ulS7pJ5l7eI

If you think 1 Cube is good, wait til you watch 4 Cubes in action!

Watch “Cube Transformations” on YouTube
http://youtu.be/EKgNeKmQSqY

Photo of Andreas Hoenigschmid with some of his Cubes:

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I want one! No, I want them all!

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