Alice in Wonderland – OR – Me in Sydney.
April 25th, 2011
Really, all I can say is EEEEEEeeeee…. Oh and possibly WOW could top it off.
Last weekend had been in the planning for quite sometime, months in fact. Although no amount of planning could have ensured the serious success that was last weekend. I have this friend you see, she and I have been BFFs for… well simply forever, long before the term BFF was ever uttered. She lives about 2000 kilometers away and I rarely get to see her, although when we are on the phone our conversations last for hours – several glasses (bottles) of wine in fact.
Now I’ve told you about my entry into the Archibald Prize (yes it is a big deal), the arrangement with my friend was, if I entered the Archibald she and I would meet in Sydney and go to the exhibition. It was touch and go there for a while with Tropical Cyclone Yasi wrecking the painting I had started and having to start again only a few short weeks away from the deadline.
As we hadn’t been away together since we were nineteen… we were expecting a big weekend, reminiscent of the past – a four day BIG weekend. I hoped it wouldn’t be too BIG and that I would be able to recover. I also hoped that sometime during our merriment I could get to visit a commercial art gallery or two. I had purchased an iPad and had uploaded images of my artworks to use as a portfolio. The idea of approaching a gallery to represent me (especially in Sydney) was intimidating to say the least. Luckily the iPad fitted snugly into my handbag, it wasn’t in the way, overly heavy or difficult to carry around so if I didn’t get up the nerve…..
We arrived in Sydney at 9.30am and by noon I had the biggest gallery in Sydney representing me ……EEEEEEeeeeee. And that was without stressing about anything. After a quick flick through my images, Maria from Wentworth Galleries made off with my iPad and when she came back to me she said “I want 4, big, soon as possible…. Nothing that looks like Melbourne, throw in a bridge or two” and that was it. Easy.
The first three hours in Sydney had gone very well wow, wow, WOW. For the rest of the weekend I felt like Alice in the Looking Glass or Dorothy in Oz, the days and nights were filled with frivolity, shopping, sight seeing, eating, drinking and more shopping, David Jones even threw us out – they had to close. Did you know you could buy a pair of ladies shoes at DJ’s for over $4000? I also took close to 400 photographs (untidy ones) to use as reference material of ‘bridges’. Exhausting, we did so much walking we were sure we had lost several kilos – become nearly anorexic even.
Our visit to both the Archibald Exhibition and the ‘Salon des Refuses’ (some of the refused Archibald entries) was educational and I am very happy we made the effort. As I said in a previous post the entries were varied and the finishes of the actual canvases were …. Um…. Interesting. It was great being there with my friend too, having her there to discuss the merits of the various artworks without having to sound like I knew what I was talking about was invaluable.
We have decided to make the Archibald weekend an annual event, but does that mean I have to enter again? I think so …. Yes I will.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Archibald or Bust
April 23rd, 2011
My apologies for not blogging last week, time just got away from me. If you have read previous blogs you will be aware I entered a painting in the Archibald Prize this year. I initially found the experience intimidating and had to overcome a couple of fears. One was the fear of failure, another, the fear of rejection; those fears I easily overcame each time they reared their heads. Those fears, weren’t my problem, entering the Archibald was on my ‘to do’ list. Some of the countries most respected artists enter the Archibald and don’t get ‘hung’, and no matter how I faired, in my eyes I had succeeded just by entering.
The other fear, was of success – why you may ask did I harbour a fear of success? Well, for a few reasons….
• If my painting was successful was it because of who I painted and not the actual artwork
• If my painting was successful would I be capable of doing it again (second novel syndrome)
• And if my painting was successful in such a prestigious internationally known event would I still be able to be a part of my local art scene?
• The fifty thousand dollar prize money would not a problem.
I had no reason to feel the way I did and let me tell you why…
I flew to Sydney and met my friend Lyn at the airport (more about our weekend in next blog). I wouldn’t have gone if not for the encouragement of Lyn (XX thx Lyn). The main reason (excuse) for our trip to Sydney was to visit the Archibald Exhibition and the ‘Salon des Refuses’ or Exhibition of Refusals, it was truly a educational visit.
We knew to expect some artwork we would consider ‘unworthy’ of such an exhibition, what we didn’t expect to find were some artworks that were miniscule. I am sure somewhere in the rules I read about a size restriction both upper restriction and lower restriction – I must be mistaken. The artworks on stretched canvases were also unpainted on the edges; this is a bit of a ‘no no’ in exhibitions where I come from…?
The other thing we noticed was that most of the artists with work ‘hanging’ were veterans of the Archibald, most having entered a dozen times or more and some lucky enough to have been ‘hung’ previously, maybe five or six times. So in short, when there are eight hundred entries and they have to select forty and those forty are mostly artists who have been hung before I think there is a little nepotism in the Sydney art world.
As an aside, the Wynne and the Sulman Prizes were interesting too. In fact I think I enjoyed them as much if not more than the Archibald. I certainly think they are worth entering next year. Now for the big decision… who do I paint next year?Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
What’s the Bet?
April 11th, 2011
What’s the bet the Danish Royal Twins will be named Hansel and Gretel at their christening on Thursday. Hans Christian Anderson is the Danish hero, so my bet is names from his stories would be appropriate for the young royals.
In my view the names Hansel and Gretel are also indicative of strong and clever children. In the story of this name the children outwitted the Wicked Witch, cared for each other, and showed initiative. All traits that should be encouraged in our children weather they are royals or not.
I don’t know if Princess Mary will prefer Australian names for her babies but Hansel and Gretel tickles my fancy. Princess Mary and Prince Frederick have the fairytale life minus the witches it seems right somehow to involve another fairytale within their lives, immerse themselves.
On another subject, my artwork is selling well, life is great. Sadly the painting I did of Bob Katter MP for the Archibald Prize didn’t get shortlisted for the finals… I didn’t expect it to, however wouldn’t it of been wonderful. I could also have used the $50,000.00 prize money, wouldn’t that come in handy. They received 800 paintings and had to whittle it down to 41 for the finalists, all pieces of artwork are quite different; it would be a difficult job to choose such a small number out of so many and such variety. I fly to Sydney on Friday to attend the opening and check out the artworks up close and personal, can’t wait.
So this week we find out two important things –
1. What the Danish Royal twins will be named.
2. Who wins the Archibald
Important to me any way, kind of, well… I’m interested OK.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)
What Goes Around Comes Around
April 5th, 2011
I don’t like painting in my gumboots.
The weather here has been atrocious… and not just lately either, it has been raining forever. Last year we had 310 wet days, and 69 out of 93 so far this year, (big sigh), the lawn between the house and the art studio is boggy to say the least. So gumboots it is, I do have shoes to change into over there, but…. Well, I get muddy touching the rubber boots – Yuk. Actually I have just had a brain wave (I have lots of those) I will put a container to catch water outside the door to dunk the boots into BEFORE I take them off. Good idea. And as it continues to rain the water in the container will overflow and refresh… Except… dirt will sink to the bottom of the container and ….Doh more mud.
It could be worse…at least I have a roof over my head.
I am the kind of person that goes with the flow, you know, just get on with it…It’s raining, it’s sunny, money comes, and money goes. I have a belief (not a belief I consciously live by) that if you need something and your motives are above board the universe will see to it that you receive it – kind of like a karma thing… you get what you deserve. And what doesn’t kill you makes you a better person or a stronger one anyway. And a bit of hard work goes a long way.
I’ve been very fortunate lately with sales of my artwork. The gallery that represents me in Cairns has phoned several times in the past week to inform me of sales. The paintings are winging their way around the world. How exciting. Sadly the money from these sales is already taken care of – a trip to Sydney, having more artwork scanned, gym membership, food… the list goes on. I tend to organize these trips and things without thinking that I shouldn’t have them because of…. Well, finances. I just think to myself, she’ll be right mate. No I don’t, not really, but I have always found that I have just enough to get by.
Except once, just before Christmas last year. I had taken my two sons, nephew and a little girl to Babinda to the movies. As usual we ordered our dinner in the café across the road, I went to pay and couldn’t find my wallet – Eeeek. I went out to the car to search, not there, checked the glove box for extra cash, not enough. Whilst I telephoned my sister to make sure my wallet was in the other car (yes it was) my eldest son opened his wallet and had enough to cover the dinner, whew, dinner and no movie, well at least we’d had a night out. As we ate our really delicious meals the woman who owns the café walked over and handed me $50 telling me to take the kids to the movies, how nice is that. ($50 is enough to take the family to the movies in Babinda) I didn’t know what to say except Thank You. I repaid her the money wrapped in a gift a few days later, and as it turned out the gift was something she really wanted.
What goes around comes around.
(I just realized I haven’t reimbursed my son, oooops)
A Killer Review
April 1st, 2011
The title of this blog could be taken in a couple of ways… one way could mean a review is fantastic, couldn’t be any better without being biased. Another way, it could be terrible for the reviewed, hammering them for the inadequacies of their work.
When is a review a career killer?
A review is one person’s opinion. Most reviewers are professional people who have tact in their criticisms… But I guess if a reviewed person can’t take criticism they may throw in the towel – then they really didn’t have a blossoming career did they?
Someone who takes this criticism to heart and argues with the reviewer is always going to come off second best…I was visiting my Facebook page this morning and came across a link some of my writer friends had commented on… so naturally I had a look at what they were talking about. How sad, a review (not completely bad and tactfully written) about a new independently published E novel. It wasn’t the review that I found sad; it was the poor writer’s response to this review.
I myself have had to wait for reviews (for both my writing and my artwork) to be published and let me tell you a sick feeling waits until you have read every word – twice. I have been fortunate; the reviews for my work were very favorable, so good in fact I shed a tear. Weather I shed the tears from joy or relief I’m not sure, but certainly emotions are raw.
This writer of Facebook/twitter fame sadly did not take the criticisms very well and the following war of words is awful. I recommend you read some of it and learn what not to do…I truly hope the writer doesn’t do something stupid, she appears a little unbalanced. Some of the comments posted are not very kind.
Apparently the sales of her book increased initially as the posts went viral, (folks wanted to know if it was really as bad as it had been made out….?) Though I am sure sales have cooled down.
I think she should adopt a pseudonym for future writing endeavors; she should also employ an editor.
Sad but true.Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)