Different Aspects

2013Article posted by Gilly

Art enjoys so many different forms and encompasses such a wide variety of creativity - we are so fortunate to live in an age where it is all so easily available to us. On the internet we can access a world-wide pool of wonderful, international artists, most of whom are willing and eager to share their methods and techniques with us. There are books and DVDs and magazines to help us along on our journey, and on occasions we can experience this incredible depth of innovation and creative energy first hand. Last week I had the marvellous experience of watching a performance by Cirque du Soleil, ‘Ovo’.

My beautiful sister had given the tickets to me for Xmas, an exceedingly generous gift, and although I’m not a great fan of the circus and have a childhood fear of clowns (!!!), I was happy to trundle along to Langley Park and enjoy good seats in the Grand Chapiteau - Big Top to the rest of us! What an amazing group of people! Such an incredible twist on the old, tired circus acts - fresh, invigorating and exciting. There was artistic creativity in every aspect of the show - the lighting, the ‘sets’, the equipment, the make-up, the costumes, the entire storyline and, of course, the stunning performances by the artists themselves. As you can tell, I am now a total fan and eagerly awaiting the next time they manage to visit Perth.

Still on a different aspect, this afternoon I have the honour of being one of the judges for the China Painting Annual Exhibition which is on this weekend at the Guildford Town Hall. I’ve never been asked to judge anything before so am a bit nervous. I was surprised to be asked as I’ve never attempted the very intricate and delicate art of china painting, but I was assured that NOT being a china painter was in my favour as I would bring a new perspective to the judging. Those more knowledgeable will judge on all the technical skills involved. I had given a demonstration to the Society last year so it was pleasing to realise that they valued my style of work and felt me competent to be one of their judges. The Guild certainly produces outstanding artistic creations and I’m going to find it very hard, not only in judging, but in restraining myself from buying every piece in sight!!!!

In my own Studio creativity has been a little down this month, firstly due to an unpleasant head cold and cough when I had no energy to work, and then to a reaction to an ingredient in milk, of all things!!! Whoever thought you’d have to read the labels on MILK?! Why manufacturers insist on adding things to basic products with complete disregard for people who have allergies and sensitivities I cannot fathom! However, both incidents laid me a bit low for a couple of weeks. But I’m now back painting again. I’m really into my oils at the moment and feeling that I’m improving with every stroke. I finally feel that I’m understanding what I’m doing and am beginning to take a few risks. I did manage a pastel painting of some pelicans on the sea shore (very pleased with my rocks!), but it seems to have something of a cartoon-like quality, so I’ve given it a humorous title and will see what happens to it in an exhibition.

I also completed a small watercolour of a kookaburra’s head - mainly because one of the exhibitions I’m entering has put size restrictions so I needed something to fit the smallest category. I really dislike working to size restrictions (although I do understand the necessity at certain venues). My paintings tend to be rather organic and take on a life of their own, often meaning that they grow in different directions. I’m also enjoying painting in a larger format as I’m feeling more freedom - and as a tight, detail-oriented perfectionist, this is a good thing for me. It doesn’t mean that my paintings are noticeably looser in style, but inside me I’m feeling more free and open - if that makes any sense!

So, I’d better go put my judging hat on and endeavour to be a fair and impartial judge. Wish me luck!

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