Thursday, 20 December 2007

Artists and technology

As we move through time we encounter changes and ever increasing complexity. The desire at most times is to simplify and find a easy solution to our problems by either ignoring change or sabotaging it. But at other times we have to take a leap and learn new things and work it through.

Living a simple life has much value, but at times can cause us to become ill informed and out of date. But being presumptuous about change can cause us to jump too far ahead and exposes us to possible, uncertain dangers.

The world of change is like a revolving door attached to Pandora's box. Many new wonders and terrors come hurtling out at ever increasing speed. Once these new things come out to play no one can ever forget them or put them away. E.g. - The Atomic Bomb, The Internet, Books, Television, Aids, Monica Lewinsky etc. So everyone is forced to deal with these changes in some way.

When I was at Art College between 1980 and 1983, technologically the world was a different place. The video and photo labs were primitive compared to what we have now. We developed film in dark rooms with sweaty hands and smelly chemicals. We never could see a preview of what we had just filmed or photographed. The printing rooms were based on technology over a hundred years old - etching, screen printing, rolling flat bed presses, etc. College staff would print information and assignments on typewriters and Roneo machines.

Today, I can (right now, if you happen to be looking) post text and a picture that can be seen all over the world in a matter of seconds. And if you wish, you can leave a comment. Yet, I still plug away at 2D images similar to those that people in caves were painting eons ago.

What does all this mean? - I'm not quite sure, but I know I have the freedom to pick and choose wisely (if I can) the tools of my trade.

So here is an old image from about 1981, from a small series of student works entitled 'Houses at Home'. Imagine looking down on suburban houses from a helicopter, viewing the grid like streets and rooftops. The houses in this case are represented by the pages of an old Bank Book - another redundant item from the past.

Houses at Home

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Choosing and framing

For the last week or so, I have been selecting artworks for my show. If they fit the available frames they are then framed up. John, pictured on snork's post below (who is an exceptional draughtsman, cool headed printer and also an accomplished framer) originally framed a lot of my drawings for my previous exhibition. This time I am trying to save money by re-using the frames. So far it is working out well: except the frame size has dictated the choice of works to a degree. I should have about 30 artworks to hang when this process of selection and framing is complete.

This is my studio as of yesterday afternoon: some of the works on display have been freshly framed and others are due to be dismantled.

I have had piles of drawings, new and old, being sorted left, right and center. Since college days, I have basically been using three paper sizes: normally I buy 50 sheets at a time - in what I thought were all the same size. Most of my drawings are basically around the same size, but the newer stuff can be a few centimeters larger in both directions.

Of course, this has created a few minor problems: if everything was exactly the same size then swapping pictures and frames would be a lot easier. On framing some of the works, I had to go from landscape to portrait or vise verse: which involved cutting the mat board to some degree as the borders were uneven. Fortunately, the local framer didn't charge me a cent for this service.

Currently, I have paintings and drawings stacked up everywhere. I have another room (other than my studio) dedicated to storing and framing - also I have a storage rack in a spare room under the house.

All in all, I think the show should turn out satisfactorily. I was hoping to have a greater representation of the most current work - especially in the drawing department. There will be more new stuff in the larger paintings and a smaller amount of new stuff in the drawings - all due to framing cost constraints. About 10 of the works have been exhibited before - the rest (about 20) are all due to have a public viewing anyway. There is nothing like seeing your own artworks, that have been cooped up indoors, then hung up on crisp, large white walls - everyone assumes due to the context, that they are looking at Art - even the artist.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Thursday, 6 December 2007

a few words

Spiritually I am wherever my spirit allows me to be, and that is not necessarily in the future. I have no nostalgia, however. If I am confronted with one of those small Mesopotamian figures, I have no nostalgia for it but instead may get into a state of anxiety. Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure. I always seem to be wrapped in the melodrama of vulgarity. I do not think of inside or outside – or of art in general – as a situation of comfort. I know there is a terrific idea in there somewhere, but whenever I want to get into it, I get a feeling of apathy and want to lie down and go to sleep. Some painters, including myself, do not care what chair they are sitting on. It does not even have to be a comfortable one. They are too nervous to find out where they ought to sit. They do not want to “sit in style”. Rather they have found that painting – any kind of painting, any style of painting, to be painting at all in fact – is a way of living today, a style of living so to speak. That is where the form of it lies. It is exactly in its uselessness that it is true. Those artists do not want to conform. They only want to be inspired.

de Kooning



Sunday, 2 December 2007

Memory lane

Just plonked a few old posted images from our ArtSmelter archives into a memory lane slide show. Remember to turn your computer speakers on - I hope you like it.

A new member and the protocols of mass Art destruction

We have a new member at ArtSmelter, who is using the name 'snorkel' - almost as mysterious as 'antlion'. Snorkel is an artist who I have known since Art college days, he is primarily a sculpture and is married to a painter. His new blog - Snorkel can be found here. Hopefully snorkel will come up for air so we can get a good look at him.
If I remember it rightly, Roj had an artshow with snorkel (can I use your real name?) in the eighties. Can you post a few pics. from this show if you have any? I have an old promotional flyer from that show still tucked away - can I post it?

Here's a crummy little nude drawing from a rapid fire, life drawing session. I decided to drip a few runs of paint down the front to alter the context a wee bit. She's a clunky, chuncky, chick with things on her mind. Please feel free to attack or comment - she has shoulders big enough to cope with anything.

One thing I like doing in art sometimes, is a random attack on a drawing that I don't particularly like. Occasionally the attack produces results, which I try to tailor for my advantage. This is one gross looking nude (the original model looked nothing like this). Years ago, just after Art college I destroyed a pile of artworks that I thought were a waste of paper. I still wonder what I threw out. Maybe there was some idea or image I could use today. In any case it would just be interesting to have a look at what I tossed, because I can't remember any of them. Since that time I don't destroy my artwork, but generally work and re-work it until I feel it's finished.

Although, there is one painting that I am going to paint out one day - but I will never post it on this site.

Esnips test sample

05 implexa.mp3

This a sample mp3 player - theres a few to choose from - I haven't tried a video yet.

Music by Antlion.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Make it up club

This coming Tuesday I will be performing at 'The make it up club" in Melbourne along with some of my 'Undue noise' friends from Bendigo. I will be playing Guqin, Trumpet and computer in an improvised solo set. If you can make it I'll see you there, if not, next time.
I've had little success at finding a replacement for mixpo video they all seem to have their problems. I'm not sure what I should do, any suggestions.
All Artwork Copyright by the Artists represented on this Blog. 2010