For two weeks in 2016 I set about to paint some of my toys.
So to give a bit of an insight into the history of the objects. The doll that features in all of the paintings, I have had since I was a child though it wasn’t a favourite but as far as an interesting object it has stood the test of time. And now that I am a keen art maker it has regularly featured in my work both painting and drawing. The clock is a Thomas The Tank Engine alarm clock that belongs to my son and it makes for a great object to add to a still life. The little fellow with his pants down was a find from a doll market I discovered years back at Lambton High School. Snoopy belongs to my husband. The setting up of objects was a fun idea and one I’m sure I’ll return to down the track.
I found that when I painted these canvases I was looking at the negative space and this was the method I used for working out the composition. Very rarely do I draw onto the canvas first instead opting to roughly paint the layout and gradually working detail into it. Colours are achieved by limiting my palette which over time I’ve learnt works best for me. For now here is my online exhibition “Toys as still life”.
I tend to be a “House Kerri” ( a reference to the humble housecat that enjoys being a home’s permanent resident. And for those that are interested this is how my Facebook and Instagram accounts have become The Housecat Diary) so don’t mind a good stint of painting.
All works are approximately 30x30cm and acrylic on canvas. $440 each.
Drawing has become the main focus of my art lately. It’s quick (I only need a 10 minute window frame to grab my sketchbook and pen and begin or continue a drawing), it’s clean and it’s portable. I know clean wouldn’t gel well with most artist’s because I suppose that’s half the fun, acquiring materials and inspiration and channelling the creative flow into a solid tangible art work that along the way may be a bit messy. But I’m questioning this mess and use of materials lately (well I suppose it’s always been at the back of my mind but it’s come forward of late). It’s an irony that is amusing in a way. Most artist’s would like to think of themselves as bohemian, eccentric, a free spirit even. Not a huge consumer or a huge creator of waste and especially not another cog in the economic wheel. And with so many artist’s out there, regardless of whether it’s a career or a hobby, it must be contributing significantly to the waste in our world. I don’t want to stop creating but I’m going to try to minimise the waste and the consuming. Buying in bulk is not always a good idea I’ve discovered. I have a stockpile of lino, paper and I’m gradually getting through the paint. But art practices change and evolve and where once I was really keen to go down the printmaking track I’m not so much anymore. So a stockpile of lino is pretty much useless unless I force myself to use it. Which I probably will. And I’m planning on painting over the top of any canvases I’m not satisfied with. But the regular trips to that fave artist haunt Eckersley’s is a thing of the past. Ahhh! The waste dilemma. I’ve been thinking lately creating a beautiful garden or learning a musical instrument (both things I do with varying degrees of success, though I suppose that’s goes the same for my art) are perhaps a more environmentally favourable way to release creative tension.
Continuing on with my pursuit of a mind that does not wander at random I’ve embraced mindful drawing. I’ve been going for almost a year now so there’s a rather large collection of line drawings filling my sketchbooks. 10 minutes a day is my aim but of course that doesn’t always happen so I start a drawing and then I may not get back to it for a few days. For those that want to see the collection I have an Instagram account that you can click on right here https://www.instagram.com/kerri_smith_artist/ But for those that don’t want to endure yet another social media site I’ll pop some in this post.
I know mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword at the moment and mindful drawing isn’t a new phenomenon either judging by the number of blogs that pop up in a Google search. But I’m continuing with it for now. It’s killing two birds with the one stone so to speak. A bit of meditation combined with a commitment to the drawing practice. It’s a deep breath in and a slow breath out.
Just letting you know we still have our shop Fancy That in Newcastle mall. Below are a couple of photos of my still life paintings. One with me it. It’s been a tad wet and a tad slow so I’ve amused myself by taking a selfie. Cheers
Although the intention is there to draw each day it doesn’t always happen. So with that secret divulged here are a couple of drawings strategically placed in my busy home so it appears calm and meditative. Have a lovely arty week. Cheers.