Mar 17, 2010

A Sneak Preview, and a competition

“Fair Girls and Grey Horses”

A Grey Horse.....

... a Fair Girl....

….and a Competition...

I'm having trouble naming these two – so I thought i'd see what ideas you had:

If you are at all inspired with a name, just comment below with your suggestion. I'll pick the ones I like the best , and the two winners will each receive a gift voucher for $150, valid for 12 months. I can't wait to see your brilliant ideas!

“Fair Girls and Grey Horses”
opening reception
From 6.30 pm
Friday March 26
and over the weekend
rsvp march 22
or phone
Julia sawyer 0421 089983
Louise van ristell 0407 557701

Mar 10, 2010

Fair Girls and Grey Horses - from the Bush to the Boudoir!

I'm having an exhibition in a beautiful old building in Newstead from March 26 - I do hope you'll come!

The title of this exhibition is taken from a book of poetry by the bush poet Will Ogilvie, a contemporary of Banjo Patterson's and in my opinion the true bard of the bush.

As in the book, the exhibition is in two parts, one devoted to the love of the horse and of the bush, and the other to the female form. What I most want to do as an artist is to create and share the beauty I see in the world, and what could be more beautiful than the way light falls across the form of the horse, or caressing a feminine curve?
While out mustering, a particular situation would often bring to mind a line from a poem, and the paintings in this exhibition are only a small selection of the many inspired by Ogilvie, and my own experiences and passion for horses and the bush. As for the “ Fair Girls”, I simply think women are beautiful – I want every woman to see herself as she really is, perfect in all her flaws and her uniqueness.

On a deeper level the collection is a reflection of my recent journey in life, from a life deeply connected to the land and the “realism” of working cattle in the bush, to a more “abstract” life in the city.

opening reception
FROM 6.30 pm
friday march 26
and over the weekend


rsvp march 22
or phone
ulia Sawyer 0421 089 983
Louise Van Ristell 0407 557 701
There will be horses, cattle, nudes and some phoography - come along and enjoy a glass of bubbly and a chat - or if you can't make it I'll be posting previews and updates here up until opening night.

Dec 10, 2009

Christmas Commissions

Here are two recent drawings that were commissioned as Christmas presents - the photos aren't the best (I need to upgrade my equipment and techniques for photographing my work)  - but give you an idea.

"The drawing is amazing, thank you so much. I’ve dropped him at the framers, he was equally impressed! I can’t wait see him all framed up."  Will Banks, MLA

"You should see the drawing Ginny did of Scamper - it is really really good and is going to make a terrific Xmas present. I am really pleased with it!" Passed on to me by a friend who recieved this note after Sally had recived her commissioned drawing. Sally herself told me I had "captured Scamper to a T!"

More to get finished in time for Christmas, so best get back to the studio - remember to get this years prices on Commissions, you need to book in by January 5 - and a gift voucher would be a great gift if you still haven't found the perfect present - it'll come beautifully gift wrapped and ready just to put under the tree! To order yours, click here

Dec 8, 2009

Christmas Gift ideas

I'm sorry this is a little late - I have been madly trying to complete some commissions in time for Christmas! Anyway, here are some Christmas gift ideas and special offers to help you with that last minute shopping or for that person who has everything.
Gift Certificates
A gift certificate is a great gift as it lets the recipient choose their gift - certificates can be arranged for any price and can be used for a specific purpose (for example to buy a print or comission), or put towards a purchase of the buyers choice.
Gift Certificates can be to any value and come gift wrapped. If over $50, a free mini print is included to give on Christmas day.
To arrange your gift certificate, and any personalised message you'd like to include, simply contact me here.

Under $25

Why not give a gift pack of cards - they are blank inside and can be used for any occasion. This gift pack of 7 original design, premium quality large A5 size cards and envelopes is a great little present and can be used throughout the year, for any occasion. They can even be framed as gorgeous mini art prints - another great gift idea.
Normally $5 each but if you order the gift pack of 7 cards by December 16, you'll pay just $25
Click here to buy.

From $75 to $200

How about an unframed limited edition print? This is a gift that will last a lifetime and will continue to appreciate in value. Each print comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, has been printed by a master printer using only the finest archival inks and papers, and has been individually signed and numbered by the artist.
Order before December 16 and recieve a free mini print valued $25 as well.
Click here to choose your print and order.

Under $500

You may also want to have your print framed - only limited numbers are available before Christmas so order now - simply choose the print you want here and contact me by email or phone 0427 873 414 to arrange framing and delivery.

Remember that the prints are framed under glass though, so if you have access to a framer near you, buying your print unframed is probably safer. I can give you suggestions on how to frame your print, and even the exact details of the frame and mat I use if you'd like.

$500 and over

Having trouble finding the perfect gift for somone? Why not give them their own original commissioned artwork?
A commission would be a perfect gift for someone who has everything, or a favourite horse or dog they love - it could even be a family protrait - it's up to them. The process is an exciting experience they will treasure forever, and they will be reminded of you every day when they look at their painting. Paintings can be as small as A4, or as large as you like, and can be in oil or pencil.
Order by December 16 and you will recieve a specially wrapped gift box and free mini print to give them on Christmas day -and they can arrange for their painting to be done anytime.
A commission is also of course a great gift to give yourself!

Commissions start at just $500 (after Jan 5 they will start at $600as prices are going up next year) - so for the perfect gift for that someone really special, contact me here or phone me on 0427 873 414 to arrange your own unique original artwork in oil or pencil.
And remember my work is 100% guaranteed - if you aren't happy for any reason, you won't pay anything, so there is no risk.

Don't forget the 50% Tax deduction which expires December 31st!
Do you own a business - you may be able to claim a 50% tax deduction on your artwork purchase. If you buy and install an original artwork valued at over $1000 before December 31st this year, you can claim a 50% tax deduction, courtesy of the Federal Government economic stimulus package!

Thank you all for your continued support and interest in my work - I look forward to sharing lots of exciting new things with you in 2010....
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for the New Year!!!

Nov 26, 2009

A portrait...

La Coiffure, 1901,  Matisse

Today I spent a very enjoyable day painting from life. A portrait commissioned by a gorgeous woman, beautiful inside and out, as a gift to her husband of 20 years. I can't show it to you as it is private and very personal. Painting from life, though, apart from the art side of things, is great fun as I get to meet wonderful people and have a good chat while painting.

I intend to do a lot more of these, following in a very old and well established tradition, celebrating the beauty of women.

Nov 20, 2009

Active Meditation

I read an article today by Maria Brophy, who has very successfully managed her husband's art career, and who shares her knowlege about marketing and managing an art business on her blog. In it, she shared how learning to meditate has helped her with her writing, and gave some great tips for how artists can use meditation to unleash their creativity.

While I completely agree with the benefits of meditation, for me, the sitting still and emptying mind kind never really works - all I do is think about the thoughts that aren't supposed to be there - and I haven't found any real impact on either my creativity or productivity from doing this (and I have tried, over a long period of time. It certainly helped me to breathe better, and to be more calm and centred).

What works better for me is to engage fully in active meditation. For instance, Maria meditates before she starts to write, to put her in a creative space so that her writing can flow. If I do that, I feel anxious to be doing the work and it takes me away from my creative space. Instead, I simply start to work - at first, as with sitting meditation, the voices in my head become very loud - telling me I'm crap, not good enough, other artists are better, etc, etc, etc...

However, if I just start anyway, and focus on my work, very soon those voices disappear, and my mind is completely absorbed with the problems of the painting. I am not consciously thinking, and yet am making decisons and choices all along. This is a well documented thing, of course, and is described as being in the zone.

In the zone, time and the physical body fade away and it's as if something comes in to guide me.
Hours pass and time and physical concerns are unnoticed - for example, I always make a cup of tea when I start painting but it's always almost full when I stop. I just get completely absorbed and forget about evrything else.

For me, the work is the meditation. Not just any work though, for me it's painting (there is plenty of work I have to do that no amount of any kind of meditation or anything else will make timeless for me!). Working with horses does the same thing.

I've noticed that action unleashes creativity for me - such as going for a walk / run / ride, and especially in the bush or at least with trees around. When I am still, or trying to be, I get stuck. If I start to move, I get unstuck.

Interestingly, it's the same with young horses. When they get stuck, or tight, the best thing to do is just to get them moving, and then it's easy to redirect them. Moving releases both their feet and their mind. I've known and practiced this for a long time, and yet only just realised it works for me as well. There really isn't much you can learn about life that a horse can't teach you. Just another reason I love to paint horses!

Either way, a regular practice - and Maria talks about how important it is to have a regular practice - that puts you in that empty mind / zone state is essential for allowing the full potential of your creativity and purpose to be realised.

On a lighter note - check this out. The very funny Laura Belgray exposes the myth of meditation-as-relaxation. Too true.

I'll write more on how you can make art your meditation practice soon.
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