Monday, September 27, 2010

Why Weed ?

While in Montreal I saw the most curious backdrop to weeds I have ever seen ! Yes, to weeds. I walked by this two days before I really "saw" it. Very cool, painted road barriers or some other concrete building materials. Look at the snazzy citron and green weed colors dressing it up ! Once I noticed, I admired this idea and its execution.

How clever is this ? Why pull weeds, when you can instead give them a backdrop that makes them look like they should be there. I am not sure this will put me off weeding, but this outlook and perspective is one that could be useful, or at least interesting. I wonder what other things there are in our lives that could be made to appear different, just by changing their setting or context ?

Seen last week, in front of a parking lot in the city of Montreal, on Rene Levesque Blvd.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Decorative Details Scene in Spain

Before I headed onwards on travel, I got a chance to snap a couple more pretty pictures in Aviles, in the Asturias area of the north of Spain. I don't always photograph gardens, but this one was quite pretty, with nice dark clipped box shrubs, well manicured grass, fountains, and some stunning accents of blooming red flowers that contrast with the greenery. This was a scene outside the hotel where I was staying (these gardens are part of the hotel's grounds, really pretty and you can see why the grounds make up part of the popularity of the hotel as a venue for weddings and events).

Also, I got a great pic of a sculpture on the facade of a local building. Not sure she counts as a cherub, but she is a pretty decoration and sculpture detail on the building.

The weather here has been outstanding. After a rainy Sunday, it has cleared and is a lovely autumn warm sunshine. It has been a pity to sit in the office at times. And, it will be a bit sad to spend all tomorrow in airports and in cabins of planes. But my next work assignment calls me off to Montreal.

More from the next port of call.
(pardon the title's pun, could not help myself !)

Monday, September 13, 2010

On the Line

Today's post comes to you from Aviles, in the north of Spain. I am here doing some work and on the weekend I had a little walk around the town. And I came upon a Gallery, called galeria octogono . But closed, because when I went by it was Saturday afternoon. So I could not call in and look around, or have a conversation with someone there. But there was a very interesting display in the window. In fact, it looked like white laundry hanging on a clothes line. Underwear, night shirts, and night gowns. But on closer inspection, I could see that every one items was in fact plastered, so the clothing items had been dipped in white plaster or something like that. And so carefully preserving the folds and gathers and textures. I am not sure if this really conveys in the photos, but imagine these are plaster versions of their textile inspirations. I believe this is by artist Diana Coanda, who has work currently exhibiting at the gallery (see link above, click on the name of the gallery to follow it, and once there, navigate to find current exhibitions link to see more photos of her work). I liked what I saw of this installation--It was really quite cleverly done.

So again, I find art in laundry. If you have followed the blog before, you may recall this theme is now a recurring one.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Last Weekend

With a bit of sadness, I realised this is the last weekend I will get to paint here. I have another business trip that will take me away for three weeks. And when I return, I will be readying for removalists. By the time the weekend after my return gets here, the household (and my studio with it) will be all boxed up !

So I decided I had better get moving on a few things I want to start or progress !

First, the white roses. Again, I have an appreciation for the
difficulty of painting white flowers ! Top photo shows my ending progress of the afternoon. Second photo shows where I started today, with Winston atop his cat tree...enjoying painting too, even though it was a dreary rainy day with no sunshine at all. Not sure he understands we won't be doing this here much more ! I think that might make him a bit sad too. I can see how doing this painting could drive me batty, you think you are doing the same thing over and over again ! But on reflection from a greater distance, I do think some progress was made. Subtle, but some better definition has been achieved. Also the color tones are better, more greys and more pale green undertones. Less pinky and peachy ones. It is looking more agreeable to me already.

Then when I lost the good light, I had to stop working on the white roses. I decided to start my first dairy apprentice (young cows) study. This is very much a rough-in sketch in paint. An underpainting to be sure. I did not have time to let the dark paint to dry, and then do the lighter adjacent parts next to, I will work on it tomorrow again and give the shapes better definition and also the boundaries where colour on the cows' eyes and faces changes from dark to light and vice versa. This is a fun painting, very exciting. I intend to do several studies of these charming girls.

More amanha ! (tomorrow, in portuguese).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Studio Painting Sale: Sept 4th and Oct 2nd

Come meet local Hornsby Heights artist Kim Mathieson when she opens her private studio for an exclusive sale of paintings, before moving interstate in October. Featuring garden inspired paintings. Still lifes, done with vintage collaged grounds and painted in acrylics or oils on canvas. Guardian statue paintings of angels or lions in acrylics on canvas with oil glazes. Industrial pieces in encaustics with rich textures and abstract motifs. Sampling of available works shown above and below. Varying sizes, from small 10 x 10 cm to large works over 90 x 120 cm. Priced ranging from $35 to $ 500. Works sold finished and ready to display. All works signed by artist Kim Mathieson.

Two sale dates:

· Open Studio Sale on Saturday 4 September, 2010 from 10 AM to 2 PM

· Boxed Studio Sale on Saturday 2 October, 2010 from 10 AM to 1 PM. (the studio will be boxed up, but paintings left will still be available for sale !)

Studio Location: 9 Plateau Close Hornsby Heights, NSW 2077

Hope you might be able to come to one of these dates. Its a great time to consider one of these paintings. Priced to move (pun intended !!), in the spirit of a new start. Or if you are not local, email me at for more detail. I can send you photos of the works available, just let me know what you are after and interested in. Many of the paintings can be posted, even overseas (all but the biggest ones), I can get you postage estimates.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Re-Defining Creative

Between work and planning our move, I have not had the usual time for painting and artistic endeavors I would like. Though some of the planning is becoming a bit "creative". Right now I have been working on the conceptual plan for the first phase and beyond of renovations. The list of things to do has gotten pretty big. So now the conceptual design is quite important, it will help us prioritise what gets done in first phase, before we move in. So all the yucky and messy and difficult to live around bits need to be done then ! I have done up floor hand first, measuring to scale. Then will get put into something on the computer. But at least it is scanned in and has been very useful already. Last week we got to make some measurements and I now have to interpret the scribbly little notes I made on a copy of the old floor plan into useful instructions and parameters. Just started that this morning, while waiting for the car to be serviced (I can work from practically anywhere !). Some measurements have required some initial thoughts and ideas to change a bit, but it is all still evolving--I consider this a refinement step in the design.

Next steps will be to rescrub and prioritise the budget, set up room by room, or sub-project by sub-project plans. In October, we will retain someone to take our concepts and actual site details and do specification level drawings and plans. This will help with the interior fit outs that will feature in Phase 1.

The logistics and move campaign also is afoot. Now that September is here, I feel like it is all coming together.

Top photo is new old house front verandah in dappled morning light. Sun rising in east, and shining through tree in front yard. The light was really pretty.

Left is close up of some of the front verandah area, stone walls, trims and lanterns.

Lower right is a scene behind the property, sheep are grazing on the hillside (they are behind the trees in centre) in an lightly hilly pasture behind the back yards of the houses. The yards on that street are all 1/3 to 1/2 acre or so, and the area shown below sits beyond the back fence lines of them. The countryside reminds me very much of Central California (where I lived for some years when growing up and spent many childhood vacations).

In the coming months, I will split the blog between art and my life at the moment, a bit of both ;)