I recently spent the weekend at a cottage in Hepburn Springs with a beautiful garden at the edge of the forest. I was especially struck by a bare tree covered by a net which reminded me of a bridal veil.
Born at Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1930, the painter and sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle grew up in New York. At 18 she eloped with writer and childhood friend Harry Matthews, and they had two children together. Niki didn’t fit the domesticated wife mould, and after a nervous breakdown she started painting as therapy. In 1960 Niki left her husband and children to devote herself to her art. She lived with sculptor Jean Tinguely, and became a member of the Paris group of artists the ‘Nouveaux Réalistes’.
In their group exhibition Niki presented her ‘shooting’ paintings for the first time. She filled polythene bags with paint and enclosed them within plaster on a board backing.
She, or spectators, then shot at the painting, releasing the paint in random explosions of colour.
From 1964 came her monumental goddess sculptures, the Nanas (‘nana’ is French for ‘chick’). The buxom, colorful female figures, inspired by a friend’s pregnancy, and first made of yarn, paper-maché and wire and later made of polyester, represent happy, freed women and harbingers of a new matriarchal age.
Continue reading “Niki de Saint Phalle”
‘My chief interest, I think, has always been colour, but not flat crude colour, it must be colour within colour, it has to shine; light must be in it… The room is in my own home here, and the sunlight did not come in a definite way but the whole room seemed to be full of light, which is what I want to do more than the actual sunlight. I feel that even the shadows are subdued light and they must have light in them as well.’
Grace Cossington Smith (1892–1984) was one of the most innovative Australian artists of the twentieth century. An early modernist, her fascination with light and colour and her interest in what she saw around her developed throughout the many phases of her work, culminating in the luminous interiors she painted in the 1950s and 1960s. Members of her family’s comfortable suburban milieu might have perceived her as a ladylike amateur; her fellow modernist painters, especially Roland Wakelin and Roy de Maistre, who were also students of Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo in Sydney, greatly respected her art. Dattilo-Rubbo was a passionate enthusiast of modernism and post-impressionism, introducing his students to the work of Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh.
I saw her Interior with Wardrobe Mirror, 1955, at the Art Gallery of NSW a couple of years ago and was struck by the vibrant colours and large rectangular flat brushstrokes that gave the work a mosaic quality. The juxaposition of pure colour is absolutely stunning in real life. I admire the way she uses colour fearlessly and the strong brushstrokes that seem to ‘dance’ on the canvas. Continue reading “Grace Cossington Smith”
At long last I’ve opened a shop on Etsy, prompted by a lack of cash flow at the moment.
Please take the time to have a look. I’ll be adding more work in the next few days…
This is a portrait of Lina Bryans (1909–2000) by her friend and fellow artist William Frater. Lina Bryans was an important part of the modern movement and a member of literary and artistic circles in Melbourne during the late 1930s and 1940s. Her vibrant paintings are characterised by bold brushwork and the expressive use of colour which is applied directly onto the canvas. In 1937 Bryans began painting portraits of her friends. Her most famous work, The babe is wise, is a portrait of the writer Jean Campbell who had recently published a novel of the same name. (NGV blurb)
I was using fluoro pink paint in the studio yesterday and reflecting on the start of my fascination with fluorescent paint… my first big pink fluoro painting was completed in 2012 while studying art at Victoria University…
Might be time to break out the fluoros and glitter again 😀
My first very large painting (168 x 173 cm), Psychedelic Pink Coral, is finished and stretched. I was inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Infinity Net’ paintings I saw at Brisbane GOMA earlier this year, and experimenting with patterns and abstract forms. I painted a fluoro pink background and the organic shapes just grew out of the small cells. Then I added some fluoro lime dots and dabs.
The others are much smaller (50 x 50 cm) and the poured/dripped painting (This painting clashes with everything) was another experiment. I love my new fluoro acrylic paints, and they fluoresce under black light! Can’t wait to test that.