When you just have to draw the sun rising on the hills you can see from your kitchen window.
I told you about my video exploits in a recent post so, when we had our first visit to the coast in over 18 months, I couldn’t resist taking my filming gear (my smartphone that is) as well as my sketchbooks.
It is a lovely landscape to explore. We even did some kayaking on Lake Durras, which might also make it into a video yet.
My latest film shows you some of the lovely scenery on the dunes and adjacent coastal forest at South Durras Beach, on the coast of South-Eastern Australia.
I am at the end of a very brief encounter with Ikara-Flinders Range National Park and I would desperately love to be giving it more attention.
We have just spent the second of two full days staying at Wilpena Pound. Tomorrow we leave. The weather has been vile. Cold, rainy and blowing a gale. But, but, but … it’s breathtaking.
We have sketched from our car, all of the first day and some of our second day. But my biggest frustration with this experience is finding my own voice because I seem to be painting other people’s paintings.
Australians will have some familiarity with the work of watercolourist Albert Namatjira and possibly with photographer Harold Casneaux, whose image ‘Spirit of Endurance‘, was made only a short distance from where we are staying.
So when I start painting I see Namatjira’s work floating in front of me. It’s a challenge to paint with that over your head. However, the more I thought about it I realised that I should learn from those artists, before I worry about my own style.
Obviously I just need to get on with it.
Wilpena Pound from Bunyeroo Gorge drive.
It’s a cliche but when I arrived at the farm yesterday I did feel my shoulders relax.
I spotted several points to sketch on my walk this morning so I set about working pretty quickly.
WARNING this post contains a nude portrait. (It’s OK, it’s not me).
I started drawing myself in March and then quickly fell by the wayside. I recently got re-inspired by Jennifer Higgie’s book the Mirror and the Palette, looking at the herstory of the self-portrait.
The portraits of older women artists are often the most experimental. Perhaps the most visceral portrait I know is by Maria Lassnig, (1919- 2014), painted in her 80’s, it really sorts the women from the boys. I saw it in Amsterdam in 2019 and it certainly hit me in the gut.
Alice Neel has also painted an unapologetic nude self-portrait in her 80’s, which is on display in a current retrospective of her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. See here for a online veiwing of the exhibition.
You will probably be relieved to know that I don’t have the guts of Lassnig or Neel to do nude self-portraits. Maybe later. Maybe when I turn 80.
So here are the portraits I have made so far. Most, with the exception of the watercolour, have been sketched on paper roll from Ikea.