This week did not involve a visit to a specific gallery; instead it was my pleasure to visit several artists in their own studio. (Serious studio envy.) Refer my earlier heads up entry – DMROS made it possible to determine your participation by sorting on arts specialty or on location. I chose to go to Trentham and visited artists with different specialties.
These artists were very generous sharing their history, how their art had evolved to their current practice. In some studios you were able to see old works and new. Artists could identify turning points in their life or share a pivotal work that changed or set the direction of their art practice. It was a fun day of learning about and enjoying the art and the artists. I only fitted in five artists, so need to go back next year to catch some more. Also recommend you include in your day trip / holiday activities a visit to the Little Gallery and Gold Street Studio in Trentham.
Chris has held onto some pivot artworks that show how her artistic skills have developed over the course of her career. This included returning to study when she felt her artwork was “missing something”. Well she creates wonderful, mixed media landscapes, building up layers and layers of media. These are not bulky heavy pieces, she includes beautifully fine and simple drawing of people. In the absence of detailed facial features she captures body language to convey the emotion in her figures. Where she includes text, it connects to the subject matter (not random). Recent works include undulations in the surface layers and therefore the image changes as the light moves across her work. Chris Rowe’s artworks keep on giving.
Chris Rowe “Poignant Parting – ANZAC Centenary.” Mixed media on canvas (Included with Artist’s consent)
Chris Rowe: “The Homestead that was” Mixed media on canvas. (Included with Artist’s consent)
Rose was a portrait artist and recently started doing landscapes. She also shared how her arts practice developed and how the themes for her work have come about. Several years spent living in Arnhem land has created the basis for her techniques. She paints portraits using oil paint and her fingers (yes – instead of a paintbrush) and with a blade for the fine details of hair and beards. These are beautifully detailed, relaxed portraits. I was stunned at what she produced with her fingers.
On the other hand for her landscapes she uses palettes knives and paintbrushes. Creating layers, adding and scraping back. she is inspired by the beautiful forests around Trentham and the Macedon Ranges.
Rose Wilson: “Mr Jones won ‘t be coming for dinner” Oil on linen; 135 x 107 cm.
Rose Wilson “Misty Gums” (included with artist’s consent)
Jeannine designs and creates beautiful, usable ceramic household items and ceramic art pieces. She gave me an education in the highs and lows of ceramic art practice; the joy of design, the value given to not just the visual but tactile nature of our everyday items, the risks with firing and glazing. She has a love of the entire process and it shows in each piece.
Dianne has a studio full of different types of plates, inks, paper and presses to be used depending on the type of work she wants to produce. There are many different types of printing processes and Dianne uses and / or teaches a range of them. Every printing process is complicated requiring design, attention to detail, knowledge of multiple types of materials (blocks, paint, ink etc.) attention to detail and precision execution. I was also amazed at the lack of chemical smells in the studio; Dianne has been finding natural natural solvents to use whenever possible.
Dianne Longley at her Enjay printing press (included with artists consent)
Ellie’s choice of subject matter is many and varied but her approach is to capture fine detail in high magnification. There are two crucial parts to the art practice – capturing the right image and then determining and executing the best photographic printing process. An artwork can take anything from one day to a week to create. Ellie’s photographs are created on metal plates by building up layers. She is ‘hands on’ at every step of the creative process (no digital development) and the end work gives no indication of the complexity of the processes that have gone into creation. Ellie also teaches photography.
Ellie Young: (Included with artist’s consent)