Serenity (in Green)


I am the proud new owner of an iPad Pro and Apple pencil. What incredible tools for an artist, especially paired with the ProCreate App!

In this digital portrait I tried to create a painterly style with soft edges and visible brush strokes. I am also experimenting with colour as an emotional trigger. My current (uni) project is about emotion as visible on facial expressions.

What I really like about this painting is how the green background ‘bleeds’ through into the skin tones.  If I were painting this in traditional media I’d start with a green background so that it would show thorough areas of my painted canvas.

I’ll update my Portraiture Project as soon as I have more to post. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Artist Interview: Klara Jones


What do you do when one of your good friends is also an incredibly inspirational and dedicated multi-media artist? Well, you interview them of course! 🙂

The Interview

Who are you and what do you do? 

I can call myself an artist after 20 years of self doubt. I do painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, but first and foremost, I draw.

Why do you do what you do? 

Because I cannot stop. I get tetchy and irritated if I don’t draw for a while.
Ideas also swirl through my head and, like winding up a clock, sooner or later it is fully wound up and ready to come out as a sketch, drawing, painting, etc.

How do you work? 

I get passionate about my project, read and research as much as I can, talk to friends/artists, sketch ideas as I go. I need to be alone once I start working. People distract me then. I’m currently working on the kitchen table as the studio room I have is too small and cluttered, and cold in the winter. I start the studio day doing household chores so I can then focus on my art without distraction. It would be a dream to have a studio away from the house. It is also helpful to have a few projects on the go, or an exhibition date to work to. Otherwise work (my other job), life, family, friends call me away.

 

What’s your background? 

I’m from a Central European background, Hungary and Romania. I have been told my subject matter and style is quite dark.

I’ve studied only through TAFE (Adult Education College), first with a certificate in art and design, then working towards a diploma in visual arts. Something I never completed, however it gave me skills in film photography and darkroom process, as well as painting, drawing and printmaking.

I found the more teachers one has over time, the more one learns.

I had to leave study to work and picked up a job as a graphic designer based on a folio of drawings.

 

 

What’s integral to the work of an artist? 

The freedom to explore. Supportive friends and family who respect my art as work. Being part of an artist community to share ideas and solidarity.

Permission to allow myself to go into the studio even if it’s not a productive day.

Discipline to stay in there when it’s a beautiful day outside or my art isn’t working out.

What role does the artist have in society? 

In good times, the artist can feed the soul with beauty or thought-provoking work. In bad times, the artist can feed the soul and create a temporary escape. Without artists, there would be no movies, fashion, aesthetics in architecture or cars, furniture, watches, clothing. It is all around us.

 

What has been a seminal experience? 

That moment for me was in 1986 at the Brisbane Art Gallery, QLD. I went to see the 20thCentury Masters exhibition of works from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. I walked around a corner and saw Picasso’s ‘Woman in White’. The sight of it knocked the air out of me and staring at it was the moment I thought I must learn to create work as beautiful.

Explain what you do in 100 words 

I draw mostly, sometimes whimsical pen and inks, sometimes more serious portraits and nudes. I love the face, the body, the person. It is an endless exploration – from describing the curves and lines that create a figure, to the folly of human character.

I prefer black and white as so much can be described with tone, line and texture. Colour can sometimes confuse the message, although it has its uses for emotion and interest.

 

How has your practice changed over time 

I think I’ve grown more skilled and confident. I used to worry that I wasn’t selling work and making a living from it. For me now, it’s not about earning money, it’s about having something to say and sharing it. Also, I don’t need to worry about what will sell and making it ‘commercially appealing’.

It has always been about making people smile, feel an emotion or to think.

What art do you most identify with? 

The line. Whether it is drawing, etching or big calligraphic brush strokes.

What work do you most enjoying doing? 

Drawing. Whether it’s the feint spidery tickle of pencil on cartridge, the dark, thick smudge of charcoal or the danger of nib pen and with Indian ink (danger being the potential to splat on the page if I am not concentrating).

Or, I could say, whatever I am doing when the flow hits me.
When I paint, I fall in and out of love with the painting depending on what stage it is at.
I love the technical side as well, so printmaking or working in the darkroom developing photos is great.

 

What themes do you pursue? 

Human nature and story telling. I’m currently reading Grimm’s tales. It works on so many levels: love, escape, morals, adventure, the protagonist ending with success, good guys, bad guys, tragedy, sometimes magic or a gift, evil, fragility, resistance, honesty, bravery, perseverance.

What’s your favourite art work? 

That is tough. It’s like asking what is my favourite song.

Probably depending on my mood at the time.

Many artworks.
Woman in White remains one of my favourite paintings. It is serene, multi-layered but with simple, muted colour. William Dobell’s portrait of Helena Rubenstein in the NGV Australia. A wood bas relief of Salome from the 14thC in the NGV International. Eastern European religious icons. Otherwise, anything by Caravaggio or several Australian and local Gippsland artists.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you? 

Warsaw National Museum, a student, Erik, from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, was painting a 1:1 scale of Jan Matejko’s ‘Battle of Grunwald’. Size of the original is 10 metres wide x 4metres deep. Erik was painting it in twelve panels over two years. His dedication to the project made me think to lift my game.

I also know two art teachers, who are partners. They both work fulltime and raise a child. They each take a turn in the studio after work whilst the other sorts out the family, dinner and housework. This is discipline. And it works.

Why art? 

Art is important to life. My life. Also to everyone. To live without it would make life dull.

What is an artistic outlook on life? 

Seeing beauty in small things or trying to draw attention to the everyday.

Problem solving by not always thinking logically.

What memorable responses have you had to your work? 

My first solo exhibition. I had no idea if anyone would turn up. It was crowded and I sold 2/3 of the work on opening night. As much as selling the work wasn’t so important, it was validation that it was worthwhile and people connected with it.

A few people said they had cried when they saw pieces I had made.

 

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it? 

It can be lonely. When I’m busy or have limited time I don’t notice it.

I might take a little break or an evening off. Spend time with my partner or call family or a friend.

When people come to visit I cannot work and have to pack up and pay attention to them. I must be careful not to spend too much time alone.

What do you dislike about the art world? 

One comment about me once, “but she only draws.” No he hadn’t seen anything else I have done over the years but the comment was still insulting.

I see drawing as a means in itself, not a means to an end.

Art investment that follows trends, rather than talent.

Pretentiousness with only mediocre work.

Snobbishness – when one must have the right CV to become short-listed for an art prize and come from the ‘right’ art school. It should be judged on how accomplished and imaginative the artist is and the artwork should speak for itself.

 

What do you dislike about your work? 

That I only draw.

Sorry, no, that’s not true.

That I don’t draw enough.

That I don’t do anything enough.

That I can get distracted.

That I thought after 20 years I would be more accomplished. I see art and skill as levels. Always chasing the next level and hoping not to go backwards.

What do you like about your work? 

I like when I get it right and cannot criticise it. I enjoy looking at some pieces even years later.

Should art be funded? 

Well, YES!

What role does arts funding have? 

It allows artists the chance to explore their ideas without compromise, pays for art material, allows communities to have projects when they couldn’t otherwise realise their ideas. There is a cultural aspect to a society and part of the government’s job is to promote the culture within the society.

 

What research do you do? 

Internet, reading books on topics, techniques, visiting galleries, talking with fellow artists, or non-artists, on topics I might need to learn.

What is your dream project? 

The one I am doing – Grimm’s tales.

Then the next one…

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. 

Sue Fraser, local Gippsland artist.

Kathe Kollwitz, German expressionist artist.

Aubrey Beardsley

Favourite or most inspirational place 

NGV International and NGV Australia in Melbourne. After his death in 1904, Alfred Felton left money to the National Gallery of Victoria, which has been used to invest in artwork, making it one of the best galleries in the world. I always have a little thrill when I see ‘Felton Bequest’ next to an artwork.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? 

Don’t start the details too early in a drawing. Keep it general for a while until you know it is correct.

Also, if the eye is in the wrong place (for example), even if it’s the best eye you have ever drawn, rub it out and correct it.

Professionally, what’s your goal? 

To be professional in my art and its presentation. To not settle for a lesser work if I can re-do it better.

What wouldn’t you do without? 

Staedler Mars Lumograph pencils. They’re not top-of-the-range, but are still smooth to draw with. I can carry them anywhere. Plus a sketchbook for sketching people, taking notes in galleries or thrashing out ideas anywhere, anytime. These two are the most basic things. Everything else is fluff.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and processes with us Klara.

To see more of Klara’s work visit her Instagram page below:

Klara Jones, Instagram

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Facial Planes Study: Portraiture


Today I did a study of Frederic Fiebig‘s 1905 Self Portrait, primarily because I am currently interested in facial planes on my portrait painting journey. I did not try to replicate his palette (and still have lots to learn on colour mixing) so the colours are different.

I ended up with a sharp-edged result, (much like his) which I then proceeded to soften. I think that was probably a mistake, but hey I am engaging in experimentation so all is not lost. Which version do you prefer? I think I prefer the hard-edged one.

I prepared my small canvas with black gesso before applying oil paints. Working on a non-white ground really does create a different effect and also helps to eliminate the ‘white canvas intimidation’ that so many of us face.

A copy of Fiebig’s 1905 painting directly below:

frederic-fiebig-a
Frederic Fiebig. 1905. Self Portrait. Oil on cardboard.

My hard-edged version below:

hard

And my soft-edged version:

soft
Anndelize Graf. 2018. Fiebig Study. Oil on canvas. 8 x 10 inches.

Thanks for joining me on my portrait painting journey. I hope you will return soon to see what I attempt next as I work at improving my portraiture skills.

Have a creative weekend all. 🙂

 

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Facial Planes (Portraiture)


I am new to portraiture. Most beginners will agree that it is a daunting and intimidating task. My first step toward portrait painting was to do a study of the facial planes based on a plastic head model in my studio, using oils on canvas. There is much room for improvement and I will need to practice a lot more before I’m totally satisfied with the results, but it’s a good start.

Facial planes are important because they are the building-block of shading, they help to determine where highlights and shadows go on the face to create a 3D effect rather than a flat painting. Different lighting effects will cause some facial planes to recede into shadow while others are highlighted, these change as the lighting and viewer angle is changed.

Like most things portraiture does not exist in a vacuum, there are many things to consider, not least of all how to accurately draw the face before painting it. One way is the Top Down Drawing Technique that I blogged about a few days ago.

As I develop my portrait painting skills over the next year or so I’ll post updates on the blog for those of you who’d like to follow my progress.

 

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Enlightenment for Sale


Following up from my last blog entry I completed the body of work in the previous painting unit. My concept changed somewhat however (as is typical for practicing artists) resulting in work that addresses a serious issue with humour and absurdity. This was my Statement of Intent:

My work will address the theme of Light with a series of oil paintings loosely done in the style of chiaroscuro to evoke questions surrounding the darker nature of so-called ‘enlightenment’ associated with the New Age / Pagan movement.  I chose chiaroscuro, typically dark dramatic paintings, to juxtapose the ‘love and light’ approach of New Age spirituality in an attempt to draw attention to this underbelly of the movement; the appropriation and subversion of spirituality. This will be a focus on the exploitation of people seeking spiritual enlightenment by individuals who have commercialised spirituality, making it a consumer commodity, to lure people with false promises and absurd claims whilst motivated only by money.

I intend to depict objects that typically would be found on a Pagan altar to represent the elements; Earth, Water, Fire, Air. However, to draw attention to the consumeristic angle of the New Age movement these sacred objects will be replaced with mass produced supermarket products instead. The labels on these products will reflect the absurdity and hilarity of claims made by self-professed Gurus who exploit spiritual seekers. Oil paints as my medium of choice is a connection to the classical as well as to the longevity of the old Pagan religions. Using humour I hope to draw attention to the seriousness of spiritual exploitation by the financially motivated whilst engaging the viewer in a lighthearted manner.

water

Anndelize Graf. 2018. Water. Body of work: Enlightenment for Sale. Oil on canvas. 40×40 cm.

earthAnndelize Graf. 2018. Earth. Body of work: Enlightenment for Sale. Oil on canvas. 40×40 cm.
fire

Anndelize Graf. 2018. Fire. Body of work: Enlightenment for Sale. Oil on canvas. 40×40 cm.

air

Anndelize Graf. 2018. Air. Body of work: Enlightenment for Sale. Oil on canvas. 40×40 cm.

guru

Anndelize Graf. 2018. Trust me, I’m a Guru. Body of work: Enlightenment for Sale. Oil on canvas. 100×100 cm.

 

Working with Time: Interior & Exterior


After a 3-month study break to ward off mental fatigue I am ready to tackle my next unit; this time I will be engaged in traditional painting techniques to reinterpret one of my earlier exercises in which I examined Light.This involves setting up a still life arrangement and photographing it at different times during the day to record the changing light, then choosing the best to paint on canvas.

When I originally did this exercise I chose an hourglass, a crochet soft-toy (that I had made) and a lotus for my still life. The overarching theme was Time, I chose the soft toy to represent youth and the lotus to represent ageing. The exercise consisted of two parts, an interior still life (as mentioned above) and an exterior setting depicting the changing light. For the exterior exercise I chose our mail box as I was focussing on lost love letters delivered decades later whilst musing about how the delay in delivery might have affected the lives involved. Time, such a fragile thing isn’t it? Lost time, like lost letters, being most tragic of all.

In the exterior painting I wanted to attempt abstraction and quite liked how it turned out, especially the play of light and shadow as the nearby tree cast its shadows against the mail box. The style that I was playing with in both paintings is Fauve Expressionism, whereas I will be attempting classical realism in the reinterpretation of this exercise over the next few weeks. As I prepare for the start of the next unit I am spending time reconsidering this exercise and how I might approach it next.

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Untitled. 2017. Oil paint on canvas. 50x50cm. 

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Untitled. 2017. Oil paint on canvas. 50x50cm. 

‘Loving Vincent’ a Review


If you haven’t yet seen the award-winning film Loving Vincent I’d highly recommend that you do. Not only because it is about the life and death of one of the world’s most beloved artists – Vincent Van Gogh – but because of its unique production. It is the world’s first fully painted feature film using oils on canvas. The storyline was derived from more than 800 letters written between Vincent and his brother Theo.

Loving Vincent is a biographical animated drama about the life of Vincent Van Gogh, but more specifically about the circumstances surrounding his death. Comprising of 65,000 frames, each one is an oil painting recreated in the same style and technique as Van Gogh’s; the animation bringing to life each painting. The project includes the work of 125 painters, hand-picked from 5,000 applicants, who worked for five months to painstakingly paint each of the 65,000 paintings. The attention to detail is astonishing as every brush stroke counts when the paintings are blown up for the big screen.

All the characters in the film are based on characters that Van Gogh had painted throughout his lifetime, each painted scene in the film is based on live action, the cast was purposefully chosen to resemble his portraits. For the film production the actors were filmed on a green screen, these actions were then turned into black outlines and projected onto the artists boards. They painted in the full scene using Van Gogh pictures and references to inform them. Each completed painting was then photographed after which all the paintings in a scene were edited together to create a sequence, each painting being screened for a 12th of a second.

I left the film feeling sad for Van Gogh because of his obsession to be an artist yet he was not appreciated during his lifetime. I wonder how valued he might have felt if he could have known how many artists would have laboured to make this film. The results of which are breathtaking.

References:
How do you paint 65,000 pictures like Van Gogh?
BBC’s piece about Loving Vincent, the world’s first fully painted feature film. 
Loving Vincent: The Paintings

 

You’ve Been Thunderstruck


Ben Quilty, 2010. Angus Young from AC/DC. 146 x 185 cm. Accessed from: http://www.artofmusic.com.au/previous-years/2010/
Ben Quilty, 2010. Angus Young from AC/DC. 146 x 185 cm. Accessed from: http://www.artofmusic.com.au/previous-years/2010/

In response to today’s WP Daily Prompt: This Is Your Song “Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.”

Laugh in the face of evil


 

Ilya Yefimovich Repin, 1880-1891. The Zaporozhian Cossacks write a letter to the Sultan of Turkey. 358 × 203 cm. Oil on canvas. Accessed from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Repin_Cossacks.jpg
Ilya Yefimovich Repin, 1880-1891. ‘The Zaporozhian Cossacks write a letter to the Sultan of Turkey.’ 358 × 203 cm. Oil on canvas. State Russian Museum. Accessed from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Repin_Cossacks.jpg

Laughter, like art, is a universal language. It is something everyone understands, regardless of language or cultural barriers, and it is contagious.  Whilst there is not much to laugh about during the refugee crisis currently dominating our headlines, there is hope that joyous laughter, rather than fear and hatred, will become our common currency during these troubling times. It is hoped that happiness agents rather than fear-mongers will be first in line to infect refugees with joy and relief when they arrive looking for safe passage to a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

I should probably have added this post to my Artist Research section,  but today’s WP Daily Prompt: Roaring Laughter is a good fit.

When was the last time you had a belly-ache laugh? Here’s wishing you an infection of laughter today (and bonus points if you infect a stranger with some of the same.)  😉

Cruelty, the 8th deadly sin


Congo Belge II, Kalema. 52.5 x 69 cm. Acrylic on canvas. Accessed from: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/27/africa/congo-drc-53-echoes-of-zaire-exhibition/
Congo Belge II, Kalema. 52.5 x 69 cm. Acrylic on canvas. Accessed from: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/27/africa/congo-drc-53-echoes-of-zaire-exhibition/

The Eighth Sin In response to the WP Daily Prompt:“Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?”

Cruelty is a human trait that I abhor. Cruelty against fellow humans, animals, our planet, even ourselves. The suffering that this causes is immeasurable. If we could replace cruelty with kindness many of the ills of our world would be addressed.

Artist Interview: Stephen Tiernan


It is my great pleasure to introduce readers to Australian portrait artist, Stephen Tiernan. His portraits are beautifully rendered with expressive brushstrokes and exquisite palettes; however, Tiernan goes beyond that. He successfully manages to capture the emotions of his models, breathing an extraordinary life-like quality into his portraits, giving us  – the viewer – a deeper insight into his subjects. These are more than beautiful faces on canvas, these are real people with real emotions that speak to us from Tiernan’s easel. What follows is an interview with the artist as we learn more about his process and practice, his philosophy and dreams.

Who are you and what do you do?

For my day job I am a Detective Senior Sergeant in the Queensland Police Service. I have been a police officer for 26 years with the majority of my service in plain clothes. I have worked in regional detective offices as well as specific taskforces and squads including organised crime taskforces and the Homicide Squad. Once I leave the office though I don my artist hat and paint. I get inspiration from all I see. I like to paint the human face or figure and never get tired of this genre.

Why do you do what you do?

I paint and draw as I have a constant burning desire to create. I have had this since my school days and all through school I was encouraged by my teachers to become an artist or work in a related field. I disregarded all of their advice and joined the army. After 4 years in the army I joined the police.

How do you work?

When I paint or draw I tend to work very fast and in an expressionist style however I am finding that as my technique improves I am having to slow myself down. I love working from life when doing portraits or figurative work however this is not always possible so I use photographs as reference material.

What’s your background?

I was born in Scotland and moved to Australia with my family when I was 2. I am a married man who recently turned 47 years old. My wife and I have 5 children (4 boys and a girl). I started to concentrate in my art late in life so I am making up for lost ground and spend all my free time making art. I have wonderful support from my wife who also works full time as a lawyer.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

Passion, desire and an inspiration to create are integral but I also believe support is necessary.

What role does the artist have in society?

The role of an artist in society is crucial. When we look back in history it is the artist and the artworks of society that are remembered and treasured.

What has been a seminal experience?

The birth of my children and the desire to paint and capture them in a unique and special way that only art can do.

Stephen Tiernan 'Looking for Identity' 2015 - oil on linen 50.9cm X 61cm (20"X 24")
Stephen Tiernan ‘Looking for Identity’ 2015 – oil on linen 50.9cm X 61cm (20″X 24″)

Explain what you do in 100 words

I am always thinking of ideas for my artwork so I carry a journal and either write them down in that or make notes in my phone. Once I have an idea I will start doing some preparatory drawings to see what the results look like. I will then look for material and if necessary take photographs. When I commence one of my paintings I will initially use the photograph as a reference to lay down the proportions. Once I start I will put the photo away and develop the painting that way and allow the painting to guide me.

How has your practice change over time

I am yet to have developed what I would call a ‘signature style’ however I see improvement in my work all of the time. I would say the biggest change in my practice is I am working a lot slower and methodical. The statement attributed to Degas, “Painting is easy when you don’t know how but very hard when you do” is certainly coming true in my case.

What art do you most identify with?

All forms of painting. I love expressionist artworks. I love to see how others interpret and translate what they see. I have great admiration for the artist that can produce a hyper realist image but it is the expressionist works that make my heart beat faster.

What work do you most enjoying doing?

I never tire of doing portraiture. When I paint a portrait it is like I am removing a mask and I am seeing something for the first time. Those little micro expressions we experience whenever we communicate with someone can say so much and I like to somehow try and capture that.

What themes do you pursue?

As I used to box both in the amateurs and as a professional I love to paint these images and try create that atmosphere of battle. To depict the grace and beauty of the human form in peek physical condition.

What’s your favourite art work?

I have too many favourite artworks of other artists however in relation to my work I painted a portrait of my daughter in oils and I was experimenting with different techniques to create various textures and I caught something that was her so I left the painting as it was and now it hangs on my bedroom wall.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

My family life has inspired me the most and the strong desire I have to continue to improve and reward the faith and support they continue to give me in pursuing my art career.

Why art?

I takes me to another place. I see good in the world when I create rather than the dysfunction and chaos I witness in my ‘dayjob’.

What is an artistic outlook on life?

To see the beauty in all around you. Being able to notice colours and form when before these things were invisible to you.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

The amazement and shock people display when they find out you are an artist and the work they are viewing is yours.

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

I can imagine the life of a full-time artist is lonely however as my life is very busy the quiet period when I get to create art become a sanctuary.

What do you dislike about the art world?

The lack of real opportunity for struggling and talented artists.

What do you dislike about your work?

I have pieces of work I have created that I dislike as they have not turned out the way I wanted but I do not have any specific area about my work that I dislike.

What do you like about your work?

The fact that I was able to create it from a thought and turn it into something tangible.

Stephen Tiernan 'After the Fight' 2015 - oil on canvas 50cm X 77cm (19.6" X 30.3")
Stephen Tiernan ‘After the Fight’ 2015 – oil on canvas 50cm X 77cm (19.6″ X 30.3″)

Should art be funded?

Absolutely. The benefits are immense.

What role does arts funding have?

Community arts programs should take priority in a lot of areas to encourage engagement throughout the population. Artist residencies throughout government environments and major corporations. Surround society in creativity and watch it grow and develop.

What research to you do?

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Art so I do a lot of artist research.

What is your dream project?

I would love to put together a body of work for an exhibition that tours around Australia and overseas.

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

Malcolm Liepke, Michael Carson and Lucian Freud

Favourite or most inspirational place

Home here on the Gold Coast

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

You can sleep with a black eye but you cannot sleep with a resentment. Do not take things personally.

Professionally, what’s your goal?

To be a full-time artist

What wouldn’t you do without?

My wife and kids.

Stephen Tiernan. ‘Queenslander’ 2015 – oil on canvas 60cm X 60cm (24″ X 24″)

To see more of Stephen Tiernan’s wonderful art be sure to visit his Facebook Page.

This blog post also addresses the WP Daily Blog’s topic of the day: Quote Me

Narrative Portrait


Daily Prompt: "Are you a night owl or an early bird? 
When do you do your best work?" Because the Night
Anndelize Graf, 2015. Narrative Portrait. Acrylic on canvas.
Anndelize Graf, 2015. Narrative Portrait. Acrylic on canvas.

I’m on a 12 week study break at the moment before starting my 2nd year undergrad studies in Fine Art & Visual Culture. This is the perfect time for me to catch-up on learning new skills that I don’t otherwise have time to do. Living in a small country town several hours from the big city, attending live art classes in Melbourne is a bit of a struggle. Fortunately I discovered Craftsy some time ago, Atelier-style online classes that suit me perfectly.

The first Craftsy class that I took during my break taught me how to paint a narrative portrait. Daylight is the ideal painting time for me as I don’t have to rely on artificial light sources. Now that it is summer in Australia I set my paints and easel up outside on the patio where I spend my days painting, usually starting early in the morning. On cooler days I do my art in my home-based studio.

In this painting the narrative is about a letter or document she is reading. Can you tell by her expression and body language what she is reading? Narrative portraiture tells a story, I wonder what you would imagine hers to be.

Dear Easel,


Daily prompt: Literate for a Day
Someone or something you can't communicate with through writing (a baby, 
a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for 
one day only. What do you tell them?

Birth of an Easel from Anndelize Graf on Vimeo.

Music: Blue Skies by Derek Clegg

“Dear easel, as I admire your beauty and the craftsmanship with which you were made; I wonder how Van Gogh, Picasso or Monet might have favoured you if you were theirs. As the rigidity of your spine supported their masterpieces-in-the-making, I wonder whether you would silently whisper encouragement to them. I can’t help but wonder, with every accidental splash of their paint that may have adorned your oiled wooden surface, how grateful you might have been to become part of their process toward creating the art that we love so much today.

Alas, it was not meant to be. Instead, dear easel, you have been allotted to me in my studio; a mere apprentice of the arts. I do hope though that I will experience the privilege of your encouragement as if I were Van Gogh, Picasso or Monet. In return I promise to lean on you with every brush stroke I make, as a testament to your functionality and beauty.

Dear easel, I hope you know how lucky I feel to be yours.”

Yours truly
Artist-in-training

She’ll be apples mate


Today's daily prompt: Write about whatever you'd like, but 
write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent.

G’day mate, how ya going? I am going gang busters at the moment,  there’s hardly time to go to the dunny! Writing about this I sound like a total sook, but with three assignments due this arvo I am starting to panic that I won’t get it all done in time. No time for a kip and when we get the munchies tonight, it will be takeaways for sure! Either a hot chook salad or a sanger; there defo won’t be time to have a barbie even though the weather at the moment is fully sick for that. Once I’ve submitted these final three assignments today I’ll crack a tinnie to celebrate ‘cos I’ll be on a 3 month break from studies until I start my second year bachelor’s in March 2016, although that would barely wet the whistle but I’m not one to go on the piss. However, until then I cannot pull a sickie, I need to get cracking so that I can complete and submit these final assignments. I certainly don’t want to do a dodgy job due to being totally knackered, bloody oath! I also need to call the poo man about a leaking tap, hope that’s not gonna be too exy. My hubby is a top fella but he’s a sparky and a chippy so he can’t help and the tin lids (also good blokes) are in Melbourne so I can’t ask them either. In the meanwhile, time to stop playing silly buggers and get on with it. I don’t want to risk my good grades due to feeling rooted.

She’ll be apples mate.

I’ve loved studying fine art and I can defo see an improvement in my artistic talent over this past year, but I am looking forward to my break, that will be sweet as. My house is feral, one would think I’m a bogun; perhaps I’ll even have time to clean it for a change which I couldn’t be fussed with before. I’d also like to catch up with mates over a cuppa with brekkie. It will also be an absolute ripper to have time to create art for the sake of art rather than for uni assignments.

(For an ‘English’ translation see below.)

This will be my last daily prompt blog for a while (2 weeks or so) 
as my blog is part of one of my assignments to which I may not add 
anything once submitted. 
Until then I wish you all well and look forward to blogging
again in the near future, once my results are in.

Hi everyone, how are you doing? I’m under pressure at the moment, there’s hardly time to go to the bathroom! Writing about this I sound like a whinger, but I have three assignments due this afternoon and I am starting to panic that I won’t get it all done in time. No time to rest and when we get hungry tonight it will definitely be takeaways! Either a hot chicken salad or perhaps a sandwich, there definitely won’t be time to have a barbecue even though the weather at the moment is perfect for that. Once I’ve submitted these final three assignments today I’ll be having a drink to celebrate because I’ll be on a 3 month break from studies until I start my second year studies in March 2016, although one drink will hardly do it I’m not one to become inebriated. However until then I cannot call in sick, I need to get going so that I can complete these final assignments. I certainly don’t want to make a poor effort due to being exhausted. I also need to call the plumber about a leaking faucet, hopefully that won’t be too expensive to repair. My husband is great but he’s an electrician and carpenter so he can’t help with that, and the (adult) children (good guys) are away in Melbourne, so I can’t ask them either. However, in the meanwhile I cannot rest on my laurels, I need to get focussed so that I can complete and submit these final assignments. I certainly don’t want to risk my good academic record now due to fatigue.

It will all turn out fine.

I’ve loved studying fine art and I can definitely see an improvement in my artistic talent over this past year, but I am looking forward to my break from studies. Perhaps I’ll even have time to clean my house for a change and to catch up with friends over a cup of tea and some breakfast. It will also be great to have time to create art for the sake of art rather than for university assignments. 

Non-Regional Diction

Pomegranates


Pomegranates, 2015. Watercolour & ink. Size: A5.

Pointillist Vase


Pointillist Vase, 2015. Acrylic paint on primed paper. Size: A4.

Gerhard Richter


Gerhard Richter, Abstract Painting, 1992. Oil on canvass. 140 x 100 cm. Accessed from: https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/paintings/abstracts/ abstracts-19901994-31/abstract-painting-7902

Painting is…


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