From pastel to print – energy sketches

I have started using pastel again in my artmaking, starting with caricatures and now producing some more realistic art. However, I am not using this medium conventionally sense. Years ago, I started using pastel as my weapon of choice, rejoicing that I could do som,e here and some there and not have to worry about paint drying out etc. Pastel is a bright medium to use and extremely versatile. I love the fact of blending to create smooth effects.

When I work with pastels now, I have discovered that the loose dust plays a part in the image and storytelling. It adds character to the image’s edges and adds a freshness and energy in look and feel. Also it adds to the medium’s vulnerability. To this end, I incorporate that as part of the final image. When complete I’ll take a photo of the image to capture the spontaneity of the dust. That photo then becomes the artwork. The ‘original’ is the means to an end.

I know some say why don’t you sparay with fixative. By definition fixative, when sprayed on the surface will blow the dust over the artwork, so that’s not an option. Below is an example of a generated works of Pastel prints.

Selfie-ture TM

Here’s a detail of my latest work, completed over several sittings. It was completed using using pencils (2H, 3B, 5B and 8B). Note the particular emphasis on the beard and the various angles that the hairs take. They are not uniform.

selfie close up

Political ‘toon

A recent holiday by our PM to Hawaii created a lot of chatter on the airwaves. It also created some fodder for cartoonists. Here is my effort: as the PM was ‘scrambling’ to get back to Aus amid the strikes by one of the carriers: JetStar. It was a simple get. The art of melding two news stories into one message.

scomo2FINAL

HAWKIE! Drawn to Politics – my curating job

This was a ‘labour’ of love acting as curator for this recent cartoon exhibition at Hotel Kurrajong, Barton, ACT. The exhibition went from 30 Nov to 15 Dec and featured 75 high quality prints of cartoons and caricatures from this nation’s best black and white artists from four decades. The show focussed on the political life of Bob Hawke.

At the time of our famous ex-PM’s passing earlier this year, I noticed many artists posting their drawings of Bob on social media. I thought ‘there is an exhibition here’. The show was supported by the Australian Cartoonists Association (ACA) and a venue was sourced. I then took over and went about sourcing the images, finding a sponsor and organising the opening. HAWKES Brewing came on board as ‘liquid’ sponsor which was great.

OFFICIAL OPENING

I put a shout out to Hawkie’s ex-cabinet colleagues: Graham ‘Richo’ Richardson and Gareth Evans. Both gentlemen accepted the invitation and gave wonderful speeches at the official opening on Thur 5 Dec. Bob’s widow, Blanche deAlpuget, thought the idea was wonderful, although could not attend the opening.

Further to this was an auction held at the ACA’s industry awards – The Stanleys – and all proceeds went to Landcare Australia.