Saturday, June 9

Learning Art.

A bit about Big T. 


art [ahrt]
1.the quality, production, expression or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
2.the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection. See fine art, commercial art.
3.a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art.
4.the fine arts collectively, often excluding architecture: art and architecture.
5.any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art.

Art in school has upset me since I was a very small child. I would go to galleries with my mum, and see magnificent works, or look in books and be awed by simple pencil drawings of aesthetic proportions that would blow my mind, and then I would be at school 'learning art'. You do not learn art at school You learn to blob paint around in a format set out to cater to a half hour slot.  True art requires immense skill and knowledge, and does not come about by colouring in a picture of a bilby with coloured pencils. Art requires planning, mathematics, understanding of colour, of depth of field, of ratios, more planning, understanding of physics, chemistry and now also computers. Art requires practice, courage and insight and the capacity to translate from the inner eye to reality and hard copy.  But none of these are taught in school. Art is treated like poo at school. A boff off easy subject, a time to rest from 'real' learning. 
My first day of pavement art at 24or25. I had just quit doing visual arts at tafe because it was such a load of rubbish.

As a child I taught myself. No one else would teach me what I wanted to know. My mother helped me at home, she was a pretty good artist herself. We had a fantastic room with sesame street characters painted on the walls. But for the most part I taught myself, I was resourceful that way, still am. Trial and error and hours every day learning the hard way, painstaking observation. I was teaching myself how to make something of 'more than ordinary significance'. I started this when I was eight.  I wanted to be a master painter. Eventually I was good. Very good. I have not yet reached my potential, the fun part is that I never will!

 A rather bad photograph of one of my last works of pavement art and one of my last works of art. She was about 8ft tall! Summer 2005/6.

I am actually glad I never studied art at University. I have learnt that they teach aspiring young artists to cheat. Yep, to use projectors to translate photographs into paintings. What they haven't worked out yet, is that this totally messes up the proportions of the portrait, causing bulbous noses and large foreheads. A projector doesn't understand foreshortening. It just makes things big, and it doesn't work. I can pick a projector painting a mile away. They can look flashy, because the kids are great at colouring in, but they are missing something, something integral, something I can't yet pinpoint, inner soul perhaps? Oooh, I am such a b*tch.

Over the last 8 years I haven't produced much work. I did a few lame sketches of my daughter sleeping when she was a baby and that is about it. I will get back to it eventually of course. I have just been doing other things! 


So here is the first art project that Lil't has done at home. This project required a paper draft, to plan pattern, colour and layout and measurements. Also important to the plan was the order of colours to be painted, as acrylic tends to have a shadow bleed effect. The project is a complete one. Not a slap of sticky tape and pipe cleaner. It took two weeks to compleat. Some of it I helped with, especially the lining (which was really hard) but then my mentors would get their hands in with my art too. Teachers at school can't teach art this way, because there isn't the time to teach art properly at primary school, especially to kids who show a disposition toward it, which is a travesty and let down to the future culture of the human race.
Planning. Integral to learning to be an artist.
 This can be executed as a million drafts or in the head,
 but it has to be done.

Each colour required several coats of paint, which in turn requires patience. Patience is awesome.

The finished box, ready for display!

Monday, June 4

In the garden

How cool is our pink shed!

We have been doing a lot of work in our new garden, although it has been a difficult to get out there as much as we would like with all the rain we are having in Melbourne.

Lil't, for the first time ever, has a home with a climbing tree! It's magical to see her hanging out up there, just being. The day I took these photo's was stunning, tee shirts in winter, well, I was in a tee shirt, but I was pruning and digging.

Lil't's tree.
 Our garden is still pretty lame at this stage. It will take us a few months to prep it up, ready for spring plantings of veggies and flowers.

This is where the veggies will go!
 We can't wait!