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Studio News - June 2023

blue green pink abstract shapes
Taking risks with your art

Making art can be a risky business, but what does 'creative risk' look and feel like?

Art making risks are unique to the individual. What doesn't feel risky for you in your arts practice, could feel very risky for me and vice versa.

For me, the moment of deciding to take a risk arrives quite suddenly and without any preamble, or instructions! It's fleeting but immediate and is filled with a sense of urgency to either grasp the moment and go all-in, or to let it slide and fade away into obscurity.

I know it's easier to let the moment pass, but I also know that if I do that, I'm throwing away something of incredible value.


Opportunity to push my ideas and my painting into new and uncharted territory.

I've learned over the years that recognising when a painting reaches a point where I'm starting to see more problems than solutions, the point at which my enthusiasm begins to wane, is precisely the point I need to embrace the 'moment of risk' when it arrives and jump right in.

This is the moment where the magic really starts to happen for me in my painting process. My creativity goes into overdrive, I'm adding new ideas to old ones and pushing my boundaries of thought and process. I feel a sudden childlike freedom to abandon the rules and just try something different. I'm thinking more about the ideas than I am about the results.

Which could of course end in a messy failure, but I don't allow myself to think about that in the moment. I don't think about what I'm losing, I think about what I'm gaining.

After all, I'm just working with paper and paint. When I look at the basic ingredients of my arts practice, what are they really? An inert surface of some kind and gloopy blobs of colour. I'm not working with gold dust or diamonds!

Re-framing risk as an opportunity to solve a problem is, I think is the greatest gift I give myself when I take a risk in my art making.

A huge part of my feeling that I have created a successful painting is knowing that at some point in the process I took a risk of some kind.

Sometimes these risks feel big and sometimes they feel small, but each and every time I embrace the moment and solve a problem by taking a risk, I know I've added to the history of that painting and strengthened the story in my work.


A Fresh Start!

After doing a number of small works for my Portal Series, I felt like going a bit bigger in this body of work, so away go my tiny brushes, for the time being at least! I thought I'd share the beginning of one of the new paintings with you this month, I've laid down collage pieces to start with and then used inks and paint to enrich the surface and begin exploring colours.

paper collage vlog


My colour explorations are continuing with my sketches and I had some 'purposeful play' time with a variety of collage pieces, testing ways of putting them together and looking at edges and shapes.

collage shapes green yellow black

abstract mixed media painting in orange and blue

I've come to believe it's true that the creative mind never rests!

As I've been painting away this month I've also been thinking alot about the idea of evolution in my art and contemplating whether it's a necessity for me. You can catch up with my thoughts on this topic in my latest Blog post.

abstract painting in blue pink yellow


So until next month, take a risk or two and enjoy the opportunities that come with it!

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charlotte wensley link to red hill gallery brisbane

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