bad paint!

Our local footbridge was barely erected before its lovely orange paint started to fall off. In this picture you can see the current state of the bridge which is now getting paint removal assistance.

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One of our local politicians who was quoted as saying that “It is potentially a real hazard to traffic and also pedestrians.” I’m not sure about how dangereous being hit by a paint flake really is. although there was certainly lots of paint flakes lying around on the footbridge when we visited.

I thought there is lots of artistic merit in the deteriorating surface (and not much in the way of obvious danger).

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All those paint flakes lying on the ground – it was just too inviting to ignore, so I decided to leave a little message for the users of the bridge and also the workers beavering away with the job of paint removal.

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Things that make you go ‘mmm’, A4 project #12

I was flattered the other day when I found out that some of my work had been ‘pinned’ on Pinterest, but what made me go ‘mmm’ was that when I looked at the boards where my work was I saw a heck of a lot of other work that was very similar to what I was doing. Similar materials and techniques, on trend?, or more part the herd than I had realised.

So my decision (made before I looked at Pinterest) to make some changes to my latest A4 piece #12, seemed like a good idea now. I looked at the base of my lastest A4 project #12 and thought that it would be very easy to leave this piece as it is, quite tasteful.

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However, that’s not really the reason I’m making these pieces, to play safe. Later in the day I found a quote from American textile artist Lenore Tawney, “To be an artist you must be brave.” So here it is, a challening fabric and a work that is braver rather than safe – otherwise how will I develop?

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View from above, 1 February 2013

There’s no doubt that one of the best things about membership of the National Gallery is the view from the Member’s Lounge, looking down over the Sculpture Garden.

After seeing the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition we repaired to the Member’s Lounge for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. I remembered that while I had no pen and paper I did have the new wonder-phone which had a ‘sketchpad’ function. Away I went with a series of quick sketches using my phone’s stylus. Unfortunately I hadn’t worked out at this stage how to change the background so everything was on a grid!

Tress and paving;

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warning sign’s for slippery surfaces;

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a bench and light-pole;

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and this strange ‘found’ shape that my partner described as “a whale with a tumour”, in one of the paving slates.

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Later in the evening I found out how to change the background. Also a quick fiddle with some of the pre-set objects in the program.

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Toulouse-Lautrec

Finally got to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia today. Somewhat of a celebration of my rapidly recovering knee which allowed me to get around the show without falling over.

A very impressive show. I particularly enjoyed seeing his oil paintings on cardboard where he allowed so much of the substrate to show through. His draftmanship was evident in his ability to depict his subject with apparently effortless strokes, with no need to work the whole surface. Here is a small example from his work Woman curling her hair of 1891.

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The oil was thinned with turpentine to promote rapid absorption into the cardboard. When i first saw these works I thought they were pastels. I presume that, amongst other things, this technique made it very easy for him to carry his work around, particularly when he was painting in the brothels.

Of equal interest to me were his smaller lithographs using crayon, where again fine and delicate lines were all he needed to convey the subject.

The exhibition runs until 2 April 2013.