Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Look at the Yarts And Hedgehogs

Portrait of Clive James by Jeffrey Smart - Brilliant

Clive James once said “Paintings don’t scare people, words scare people . . .paintings are friendly.” Clare Bear once said “I don’t get the point of paintings.” this coming from a Graphic Designer and a graduate of the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts shocked me a little. I think she was having a bad day. I still have a framed version of her year 10 linograph tryptic on my wall and I love it. It's dark and industrial and yet draws you in.

I love paintings. I particularly love paintings with people in them but I envy the artist. The true artist, the one who is evocative, colourful, interesting, different. One of my top ten things to do before I die (beyond go to Paris) is to spend days wondering around the Louvre or the Hermitage in St Petersberg. I could ensconce myself within these hallowed halls pointing at one and saying “What a waste of canvas - a sheer block of PMS 640! What's the point?” and another saying “God, brings me to tears.” I don’t know what it is about a painting - oddly enough I get the same reaction to some paintings as I do to Barber's Adagiio and bagpipes (and I hate bagpipes). You know that well up in your eyes, heart wrenching, I just have to cry feeling. Then again, I get it whenever I hear The Circle of Life . . .so . . .my little emotional idiosyncracies aside - I wouldn’t give you a cent for a 3 metre canvas drizzled in paint aka Blue Poles but when you understand the complexity of the artist, it all of a sudden makes chaotic sense.

There’s a little known painting in the Art Gallery of NSW Briton Rivière (England, b.1840, d.1920) Requiescat.

Lets face it, by the time we started collecting all the great masters had been raped by the imperialists and all we’re left with is well ‘left-overs’ or generous gifts. This particular painting is a It’s a 19th century painting of a dead knight, all dressed for burial on a bed with a heavily embroidered bedspread and at his bedside a forlorn hound . . . It is one of the saddest and most evocative paintings I’ve ever seen. I go there just to look at it but haven’t for a long time. It really moves me. I remember when I first saw it, I was about 15 and with my dad, his company were a patron of the gallery so we visited for free and used to go often. It is an extremely loyal painting both in its technical depiction and emotion. I love it. This and the sons of Clovis. Two Frenchmen, punished by their mother for insubordination, she boiled and broke their legs and cast them adrift to await their death as a lesson to others not to go against the will of their parents. Such beauty and brutality. Very emotional.

Evariste-Vital Luminais, Sons of Clovis

But and it’s a big but . . we have some stunning contemporary and 20th century artists from Sydney Nolan and the members of the Heidleberg school to Arthur Boyd, Margaret Olley and Brett Whitely and a zillion others, too numerous to mention here.

Heidelberg School's Fred McCubbin Bush Burial

Brett Whitely - Arkie Under the Shower

When I first moved to my current abode, we built a shed. It’s actually a double garage up the back. Half was intended for the tractor, the other half for me to start a studio. I've never painted much by the way. I always did Art at school and my major work in year 12 toured the country with Art Express but I always fancied having a bash. It wasn’t to be. The acquisition of horses meant my painting nook was turned into a haystack and tack shed . . .further purchases of motor bikes and tools saw the shed definitely deserve its title.

As I wonder through the plethora of creative blogs available, there are some amazing artists out there, from the cute and kitch to the pretentious and try hard to the considered and careful. Photographers, painters, sculptors, jewellery makers . . . There’s so much talent (and quite a lot of rubbish) But it is something I’m going to attempt. Yummy Mummy yesterday told me of her excitement, nay exuberance at having been accepted into an elite little life drawing class. She charcoals the naked form like no-one I’ve ever known yet her etchings remain hidden in some closet in the Blue Mountains, never mounted, never displayed. She was too shy to give me one that I particularly liked years ago. I bet it's hidden under the bed. I’m a bit like that. I want to paint, draw, create something beautiful, just for me . . . there . . . another thing to do when the apron strings are torn and working full time is no longer a necessity.

Having said all that, the most artistic thing I've ever done is a birthday cake that looked like a Hedgehog and another that resembled a smiling tiger . . .(a mighty fine specimin of a hedgehog I might add! God Bless the Women's Weekly Birthday Party Cookbook)

I really must stop watching Sunday Arts . . it’s doing my head in!

Photo courtesy of
We didn't have digital cameras in the novelty cake days!

Stop laughing . . I mean it . . .you try making chocolatey cakes in the middle of December . . . it's hot! it was a lot more successful than Hickory Dickory who's fondant mice kept melting. Thank God the little angels are more interested in vodka jelly shots these days!


Anonymous said...

Good luck with future artistic endeavours! Art is supposed to be for you first… I once made a caterpillar cake with liquorice and lolly decorations which were half picked off before photographed - or the candles lit :)

Baino said...

Onya 'nonymous. You're a pretty clever little artist yerself. Don't you think I haven't been exploring.

I've since traded kiddie cakes for a chocolate fountain . . far more grown up but just as much mess!

I haven't worked out how to get a picture next to my comments. I love your little birdie faerie thingamebobs! They look so happy!

Anonymous said...

I moved onto chocolate fondues after the caterpillars! It's not for carpeted rooms though...

Heehee, I'm an AnonyGhost now! Don't let those cute looking anons fool you };-} They are for luring the unsuspecting. Upload your image into a 'draft' post and copy the address of the image to paste next to 'Photograph' which you find after clicking 'Edit your Profile' button on your profile page.

Grannymar said...

Cakes... I think there might be a post in that!

Now I am off to play with my profile.;)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I hope I one day get to see your artistic creations - you know,the ones you will make when the apron strings are severed and the pension fund is nicely plumped up. You owe it to yourself - we all do.

Now, could I have a slice of that hedge-pig, please? Yummy! (Mind you, if someone had baked that for me, I'd have felt too bad for the little creature to eat it...)

Mr. Ed the Talking Horse said...

Wow, I can feel the calories already, forming around my heart.

Baino said...

Ladies and Horse: this was a blog about art not chocolate! Gawd.

And I've clicked all the right buttons but no profile pic in comments. Works on some sites and not on others . . . ah well.

Anonymous said...

To be seen on a site the owner would have had to: Go to 'settings' on dashboard; select 'Comments'; then select 'show profile images on comments'. But I can see ghostie me here ... so you have done that. Blah.

There are two image addresses - one is a scratch address - try one then the other (one of them works).
Apart from that, can't help any further ... it isn't very artistic but you could have payed me in chocolate if the ladies and horse didn't eat it!! Hope your artistic endeavours are less technical :)

Daz Of The Eternally Gloriouws Suit Of Wearing-Outness said...

Yeah ... well,

Guns don't kill people, rappers do.

So do cakes. And art.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

We're a shallow lot. Give us chocolate.

Baino said...

Daz: You and your eternally glorious suit are wearing me out . . .How many Sambuccas had you drunk? Killed by cakes and art ... mmm . . .lets have a pie fight!

Anonymous said...

I tried to post this with my LJ id but don't think it worked. Blame it on the blonde hair. Google led me here when I tried to find a pic of Requiescat to show a friend. I also go there just for this piece. The last time I was there I panicked after I couldn't see it in the usual spot, so emailed them and found out that it was being restored. Going back on Tuesday for the Archibald, and hope to see it back where it belongs =)