Education. When I present skills, concepts and new techniques, I also learn. I learned …. a LOT, from my venture To Queen’s Gardens in Perth.
On the job, on going education. Perfect.
Yes. There have been days, of ‘not so’ perfect. And I most definitely will not share those with the public. But overall, it is a great gig.
Sculpture: Peter Pan
I left the green shaded groves, of the UWA Sunken Gardens. Leaving the calm, zen there.
I drove off, into the city. Clearly following my well researched and diagrammed directions. I had studied this. I knew the route.
In the city. Gosh. Who, would have suspected?
Where was my Plan B?
Needless to say, the first attempt to arrive at Queen’s Garden was met with Strike One.
I ended up, very close to my original starting point. Oops.
Do I give up and go home? Do I allow the city, and detours, to be victorious? I sighed. It WAS HOT. 90+ degrees. How bad, did I really want to go?
But, you know, I am Determined.
Someone just recently, made that comment – that I was very determined. I’m not certain if it that was a polite way of just saying, ‘Stubborn.’ I’m thinking it was though!
My “Stubbornness” won out.
I continued on my target goal to the Queen’s Gardens. Finally, 55 minutes later – I arrived! It should have taken 20, tops.
Victory. Ok I met some more road closures, detours. And had to walk from the river to the Gardens. (Bonus, more exercise for me!) The point is, I achieved my destination point.
I had a nice pleasant stroll around.
Relaxing. Taking photos of turtles, black swans, golden breasted waterfowl, massive ivory waterlilies on the deep blue ponds, wooden bridges, and the famous bench from the movie “Notting Hill.”
Towards the end of my stroll I came closer to the large statue that had caught my eye earlier. It had looked like a Pied Piper of sorts.
I was so immersed in the faces and features, the transcendent expressions the artist brought to life, I didn’t look first at the title or description.
Instead I engaged with the art. Section by section.
I loved the ‘rabbit’ like ears upon some of the figures.
Once I was finished with taking the photos, then I read.
I discovered the statue was based on JM Barrie’s story of Peter Pan.
The sculptor was Sir George Frampton. This was one of his 6 replicas he cast from his original mould. This sculpture was erected in Queens Garden in June 1929.
The original is in London, the Kensington Gardens.
Apparently with the original statue, Sir George…. acted without authorisation.
Overnight, without prior permission, he erected his Peter Pan statue unbeknownst to anyone.
He did get chastised…. however in his defense he stated that he’d simply wanted the children to be surprised. To awaken and see the ‘Peter Pan’ in the gardens ‘as if the fairies had done so overnight.’
I can just imagine how this explanation went over!
But, I think, he may have had a smidgen of ‘determination’ within himself. I don’t think he was going to allow anything to dissuade him from his goal. He knew what he wanted to accomplish.
And he did so.
Artists need to have this quality of Determination.
This almost wilful, stubbornness.
It is this, that enables them to overcome the 1001 odds that are stacked against them.
The challenges of the city proved to be an excellent educational tool. We can choose to give up too soon, or choose to be Determined.
By inferring, or hinting at things just outside their view, my objective is to engage the viewer more.
Sketches Fast and Loose
Photographs often, though not always, spell out a subject with exact precision. Recording textures, veins, size, color, width, weight. Documenting location, species and the individual. And some types… of art styles do as well.
Which is great, when that is what is called for. When that is the feeling you are wanting to convey.
A cataloguing of the details.
However, its different with fast, five or ten minute sketches.
Sketches done on the fly, capture the mood and essence of the thing.
Conveying the ‘feeling.’
Rather than struggling to achieve 5 star wonders with ‘complexities.’
I feel, Subjects are more authentic, truer to their essence, when at rest. At ease.
When allowed to be in a natural setting.
In nature. Out in the forest, sitting amongst the rocks and logs. Being at home upon the banks of the river.
These poses, can give the viewer more. Whether its in the form of photography, sketches, drawings, paintings, or other art forms.
This sketch, reflects this.
The limited palette of earthy browns and forest green, simple yet sufficient. Hinting at woodland themes. My subject sat leaned up against the tree logs and branches, head tucked.
Maybe she was the young mother, or older sister, or aunt. Who knows? But she kept an eye on the child in pink. An active one at that.
The hike there, to the bridge was fun. OK a challenge! But obviously, the child in pink still had plenty of go. Her watcher…. not so much. I smiled.
Using this format, and this pose as well “downward gaze” shifts the viewers minds. To make them, ponder a bit.
Make the Viewer … Wonder
Take the viewer out of the little box where it is all explained already and nothing has been left unsaid. Take them out the world they are currently in, and help them to imagine the world this subject resides in.
Allude to mysteries and things around the corner.
Hint of magic yet to come.
Contemplations of the River
If a book has been so well explained and summarized, there is nothing new or exciting left to be revealed by looking further in the book, we will not.
So too with our art.
With our paintings, sketches, drawings, photographs. We will look for the exact time that it takes to define the plot.
And then, we move on. Period.
I think, as an artist, I prefer to try to keep the viewer wondering. Just a bit.
Wandering through the scene, through the book… looking for, more.
I do not, want my art to be ‘all spelled out’ and perfectly revealed in every fine detail.
No. I’d like there to be a lovely fusion of lots of soft edges tempered with just the right balance of crisp edges to draw the eye. With warm colors telling you what is front, and cool paler colors speaking of far distant things. Lines that are curved to soften the mood, with diagonal directionals for subtle hints of movements.
I’d like my sketches to be authentic. My art to be original, and real. And me.
I aspire to keep my viewers, wandering through my artwork.
Realising, of course, not all are going to be lovely frame worthy pieces. Thats ok.
I’d much rather you, let your imagination free and loose; than for me to have a frame worthy work every time.
Thoughts of, “oh yeah…. I remember now, the way it was in those early summer days in the Pacific Northwest!”
Sunshine and Roses
Sometimes in blogs, we get carried away.
Making it seem as if we’re living the life of Riley.
No pun intended.
But, I’m going to admit…. that, “No. Not All, was not sunshine and roses on my summer retreat!”
It never is.
Dilemmas, injuries, interrogations, all the usual suspects and then some, came out to try to cause mayhem.
But the overriding fact is “Love does, leave a memory No one can steal.”
A Rose for Love
Below a rose.
Lisa’s Rose just outside my bedroom window
Hints of subtle context, perhaps so.
Only the tips of the closest leaves are clearly seen, visible and identifiable.
The rest of the rose is so softly diffused and dissolving.
What mysteries the artist, could…. infer if we were,
to pause and reflect a moment?
Perhaps about the person who gave, or the person viewing, or even as a metaphor for some other and deeper things?
Summary on Summer Retreat
As artists, we dig and delve.
We fill our wells so that we may create with restored vitality, fresh imagination, wild creativity once again.
There is of course more to come about this summer trek, including cobalt teal rivers, rainbow waterfalls, and demon hordes of thirsty mozzies set to drain us within 5 minutes of reaching our destination. Should be entertaining. Cheers.