As Noosa Open Studios wraps up for another year, I'm sharing answers to some of this year's great visitor questions and already I'm thinking about what comes next!
What a buzz!
What a wonderful 9 days it's been, catching up with lots of lovely visitors from last year and meeting new art lovers, collectors and Instagram followers.
The studio has been abuzz with art talk, about everything from paper folding to surfaces, sketchbooks to working processes, and European modernists to the Bauhaus. And lovely to have so many local artists visiting too to swap tips and share insights! And wow, so many great questions, I thought I'd share a few with you!
What comes first - the colours or the shapes?
When I make a start on a painting, my first physical marks are usually lines of some kind, whether that's extending them from a piece of collage or doing some drawing to energise the surface. When the lines begin to get more complex and cross over, shapes naturally begin to emerge. Once I'm aware that I have areas that can be 'filled in', I'll then usually reach for some colour. That said, I often have an idea in my mind about the colours I might use before I make those first marks on the page, particularly if I'm looking to test a particular combination.
So, I'm not sure if that really answered the question, but it got me thinking!
How do you decide on the composition?
I really let those initial marks lead the way, but I'm aware that even at the start of a painting I'm looking at where a 'horizon line' might sit within the painting. This is because eventually, I want to capture a sense of space and visual distance. This is a thread that you can see even in my very early work. I challenge myself to work without thinking about what the final composition might look like, instead concentrating on the process of building layers and adjusting shapes. Once I get to a stage where I have created lots of areas that I want to preserve then I really start to think about how I'm going to balance the shapes and colours in the final composition.
What's it all about?
You've probably heard of an 'elevator pitch' - well I found myself really tuning in to mine over the past 9 days!
Articulating an overarching concept for a room full of diverse work, into just a few sentences for visitors new to my work, was quite a challenge!
But I found myself answering this question along these lines:
My work is concerned with the capture of memories and the reconstruction of stories centered around significant events, people and places.
My subconscious favours stories embued with notions of escapism, challenge and change; and it's these stories that seem to continually emerge in my paintings.
Shape, colour and contrast are my visual language, the layered surface of my paintings references the historical nature of the memories I'm trying to describe.
So what's next?
The creative brain never really sleeps, so even as I've been getting ready for Open Studios, I've been thinking about where my creative journey will take me next. I'll be taking some time over the next few weeks to do some colour study explorations and I also have a new body of work to plan and prepare for a group show at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre in early 2023, so I'd best get busy!
And finally, Open Studios is, above all else, a time of reflection for me as I look back on the past 12 months of work all dressed in their best, framed and up on the wall.
This year's exhibitions certainly belie the creative chaos that ensued to get them to this stage! I do feel a real sense of achievement start to settle as I talk to people about the work, the stories behind each painting, the concepts and ideas for each series and the challenges I had to overcome to get the paintings finished.
Thank you to everyone who has dropped in to see me,
it's been a real joy to share it with you all.
And a Big Thank You and shout out to all the amazing volunteers that make this event happen for both artists and visitors, many of whom themselves are practicing artists. The time and energy they devote to bringing such a special event as this to the community is inspiring and so freely given with endless smiles in an atmosphere of support and celebration.
Thank you, I'm looking forward to next year already!
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