Paintings save artist from 2 metre brown snake! It’s week 4 of my 3 month intensive residency in my studio ...
It’s week 4 of my 3 month intensive residency in my studio and this week art has shown itself to be useful. A not so welcome 2 metre brown snake found itself trapped in the nooks and crannies of my studio, from its panic in my fireplace to the safety of behind the bookshelf. Every now and then the snake would peek its little head out from behind the bookshelf and survey the scene. With the artist still wielding her painter’s pallet knife it was back to retreat for the snake – scaredy cat! As I am quite into self-preservation and I’m not much of a shovelist, I went the strategic planning route. So I called for backup with my friend (thanks Ian) down at the house and let my art be utilitarian for once … I set up my paintings as a barricade to funnel the beasty out the back door. Us in safety, it in the funnel with one way out, to join the other thousands out there. The snake made a hasty escape and those holes are now blocked up. Apart from the snake break, I have been working on some malleefowl masks, which snakes just happen to be natural predators of. The threats that have pushed this feathered friend to the brink, however, are habitat loss, changed fire and grazing regimes and introduced predators such as foxes. Not every day do malleefowl come on your radar so do check out: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/animals/TheMalleefowl.htm. With my malleefowls, I’ve played with leaving some parts of my gessoed canvasses bare. I do dig many an unfinished work and my attempt is to fish for a bit of this unfinished quality. I find it a challenge and I think it can help the eye to enter a work.
It’s week 3 of my 3 months intensive residency in my studio. Some more paintings are up on the studio walls, some a work in progress on the easel and rough sketches have been made for more works to come. This week Writer Tracy Sorensen came to my studio. Currently working on her PhD she has taken a moment to the side to create the essay for the catalogue for my upcoming ‘Wild’ exhibition. So it was time to talk and think and re-think – what’s it all about? I’ll come back to that later. More art supplies were purchased – ouch again, and a planning meeting was had at Tablelands Artists Cooperative Gallery. They are a good bunch. I’ve said goodbye and missed instantly my family as they set off ahead of me on our annual camping trip with great friends. This week I’ve thought about artist’s locally – including the luscious application of paint and plein air work of Blue Mountains artist Robert Malherbe http://www.robertmalherbe.com/ and with this thought, I have been inspired to get out of the studio (just metres away really). So I didn’t just walk but I worked in the bushland surrounds, immersed in the long and speckled shadows from the afternoon sun highlighting the pealing reds, pinks, oranges, yellows, blues and greys of the Blakely’s red gums in these here parts. Nim the critic wasn’t too impressed with my take and left the scene. I’m not too sure I’m all that impressed either – I got messy and they got muddy, but here’s a pic of this in-situ action … Not every day is a winner. I think I’ll revisit these two in the studio. And I started this blog page (I never envisaged that I’d be a blogger) to my website www.nicmasonartist.com for these weekly happenings, it’s mostly just to keep me on track, but you’re welcome to drop by.
It’s week 2 of my 3 months intensive residency in my studio. So this week I’ve continued in my studio every day; sat at Tablelands Artists Cooperative Gallery and visited Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (http://www.bathurstart.com.au/exhibitions/current.html) where I laughed at Jess Bradfords video, of macabre death predictions in ‘fortune cookies never lie’ and stood for a long time in front of Guy Maestri’s still life dead birds – I dig how he builds form with stroke direction. I’ve shopped at Frank Smith shoe repair – local is lovely; taken the kids to the pool; looked into lighting set ups to be able to see in my studio and to photograph my works too (I’ve learnt ‘daylight’ bulbs are the way to go); and battled a tooth ache and spent time with the dentist – I’ve had the bugger (my tooth, not the dentist – he’s good) and the abscess below it excised out of my life – yowch. Back in Studio 62, my trusty pooch has been with me at every step - including those steps where she goes just ahead of me and stops so I almost fall over her – ‘can you not do that’. She has been a good reference for my foxy forms. And I’ve borrowed from the library a great little Australian gem of a book. Dogs in Australian Art by Steven Miller (http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=915). Inside, Terry Batt’s painting of Double Happiness: The Year of the Dog 2006 (http://niagaragalleries.com.au/…/exh…/2006-double-happiness…) has sent me off on a tangent about investigating composition within a square – primarily what I’ve limited myself for this exhibition. It’s clear, symmetry works well in a square and a studio is not right without a studio dog … so here’s introducing Nim …
It’s week 1 of my 3 months intensive residency in my studio. I’ve got space and I’ve got time – what a combination! I’m not quite AWOL from work and it’s not nearly a sabbatical. I’ve got 3 months leave without pay. I’m grabbing this moment to focus on my paintings for my up-coming first big exhibition – due for Cowra Regional Art Gallery … ‘Wild’ opens Saturday 2pm 19/3/16.. I’ve come in early and stayed late. I don’t miss the commute and I’ve welcomed my lovelies for ...snippets, but mostly it’s been just me. So far I’ve thought lots and I’ve pretty much created a painting a day. My plan is turn up every day to my studio, put in a good days work, live with my mistakes and learn as I go, walk the dog, love my family and just see what happens with my art. It feels right to be giving it a go. Here’s a sneak peek of a little from this week’s happenings. Some loose still life line work of red shoes on my Bilby friend. They caught me a little by surprise after some tight layering of more detailed oil painting.