In a dalliance with Movers and Shapers at the #yellowboxartistresidency in the Sofala region, I found some of my kind (not always an easy thing in this often remote-inducing vocation) and spent a couple of days painting out in the open with a bunch of other suspects appreciating, questioning and investing in the landscape of the Central West.
Understandably, I was not the only one to inspect the dumped black car in the tussock and bush (on the way in my painting above). What was its story and what will come of it? Maybe it will be painted in years to come as well, when it’s just a mere skeleton, when I am long gone, just like the rusted and bullet ridden skeleton of a dump I’ve been eyeing off for another painting just a hop and a skip away from my studio in Napoleon Reef. I imagine that some of the series of kids that once played in this other dumped beauty would be grandmothers now. And speaking of painting in Napoleon Reef, the last two days have seen me sitting outside of my studio, painting some more of the white gums that fill me to the brim. And I’ve been painting plein air with a table now, after ditching the easel. A welcome tip garnered from avidly listening to Maria Stoljar’s Talking with Painters. A genius and gem of an interviewer, through her authentic enthusiasm and genuine interest for what each of her interviewee artists are up to, she somehow has me right there too, as each artist shares generously, a total participant. But back to my plein air affairs, in between the jaunt to Sofala and the stepping outside in Napoleon Reef, I gave an Artist Talk on my French residency experience, to the brave who came out in the gusty chill to the monthly plien air event, Art in the Park, Bathurst.
So, it has been five days of plein airing it up, but of course, other stuff has peppered these days like they do every week. There’s been the sharing with my cousin Kiata Mason, to talk shop and create side by side in the open air and in my studio too. I’ve packaged up and sent off my Calleen Art Award finalist work. I’ve viewed the pics of my portrait of my man in the line-up along the wall right now of the SBS Portrait Prize in Melbourne (it’s not easy to get everywhere) and I received the good news that other work of mine will be a finalist in the Fleurieu Biennale of South Australia. Thrilled I am by the lot of it. I re-read the latest contract to be signed about the residency project I am jumping into with a bunch of scientists and artists – the Launch being next week, which all means the details of my trip to the Capital next week are being refined. And with this trip I’ve set up a meeting to view an exhibition space there too and also a Gallery Director’s visit to my studio later here as well, with the planning of two shows in the pipeline. And relief is in my pipeline too, for I’ve finalised that I’m delivering my longest commission, a figurative work in just a couple of days now. It’s good to chalk another line through the list on the studio blackboard.